A couple of days ago, I got a note from a friend, who gave me a link to an important looking job, and one that I have the experience to jump into. However, it was linked to one of the monolithic job search engines. As I read this description, my first response was to jump through the hoops, slave myself to their procedures and try to see if I could actually get a real person, who wasn’t reading from a script, to call me. Here is an excerpt of the job description:
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Established mid-sized company in the packaging/marketing services industry is seeking an experienced V.P. of Sales and Marketing. Qualified candidate must have a history of success at achieving revenue & margin growth by leading a sales team in selling solutions to senior management in a competitive B-to-B environment. We recently made a significant investment … We are looking for a strategic and results driven person to join our management team and play a key role in achieving our growth goals of becoming an industry leader …. To meet this goal, we need to build a sales team with strong process and consultative sales skills. We expect the ideal candidate to motivate, coach and hold sales team accountable to new business results, while growing existing business. This position will lead and manage activities and results for the departments of Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Estimating.
- Communicating job expectations; planning, monitoring and appraising job results. Sales coaching, counsel and disciplining employees. Initiating, coordinating and enforcing systems, policies and procedures. Provide accurate, complete, and timely submission of required progress reports, forecast quotations, budgets and rates. Develop action plans; measuring and analyzing results and initiating corrective actions. Ensure service excellence by establishing and enforcing process and standards for every client interface. Lead the team effort and create a team based culture. Promoting and encouraging professional development within their reporting departments. Responsible for understanding and committing to carrying out the company’s Quality Policy and Quality Objectives.
This sounds like an important position and something that is mission critical for the employer. It would seem that this company wants a Linchpin, a rain-maker, and certainly a leader that inspires/builds the team to new heights. Unfortunately, they treated this description just like they were looking for a run of the mill, line worker. A cog in the system.
Memo to employers:
If you want the kind of senior leader, who must drive your organization, lead, inspire and be creative, please consider the following the following ideas.
- Do not force your creative leaders to have to become a commodity in the search engine black hole.
- If you want the candidate to commit to your company, have the courtesy to give your name before deciding to date. This description is so sanitized; it makes me wonder what you are hiding.
- Don’t waste time, for either side.
- Review the cookie-cutter language before you post the job description. These words are not attractive to sales/marketing creatives…hold, monitor, discipline, enforce, correct, and commit to objectives that are not collaborative. Necessary yes, but give me something to really get excited about.
- Great jobs, the ones that sales executives kill for, do not force you to email in a resume. Resumes give employers everything you need to reject candidates, rather than allowing you to really find the right person to sit on your bus. If you want a professional resume writer (or liar), that is what you will get. If you want a mentor, coach, persuader, creator, builder and game changer, have the candidate sell himself using what they are best at…and what you must have leading this battle plan.
When you are hiring a key position like sales/marketing/business development, this person is ‘not an errand boy’, or ‘someone who will merely go down a checklist’. This job must ‘innovate, create new opportunities, connect with hard-to-reach people, and build success’. (Seth Godin, Linchpin)
I am going to do an experiment with this job and see if I can find a way to standout just enough to get through to a real person, who understands the creativity that it takes to make things happen.
“The competitive advantage that the marketplace demands is someone more human, connected, and mature; someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities … flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion”. – Seth Godin, Linchpin
What good/bad experiences have you had with the job search?