International Women's Day 2022 at Outsource UK - #BreakTheBias and drawings of diverse women

Why women are put off applying for sales roles

9th March 2022

By Emily Randall, our People & Talent Consultant.

This year, we’ve been on a journey, internally improving our talent attraction processes for ourselves and our clients. We’ve made big leaps forward and can now celebrate 50/50 gender equity, however we are now coming up against the challenge of attracting women into sales roles.

Breaking and remaking the hiring process

Our People team here at Outsource UK has spent a lot of time considering how we can break and rebuild our hiring processes to deliver #InclusiveRecruitment for all. Despite all the articles we have seen, read and absorbed about the ‘Sales mentality’ and women in ‘selling’, it does seem there’s a chunk of the story missing.

Women don’t like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ sales mentality

A lot of women in Outsource UK (myself included when I worked in sales) hate the word sales and don’t consider themselves good at selling. Yet they are, every day, delivering excellent advice and support for candidates and clients. We need to get away from ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ mentality and think of it as providing a service or commodity that customers get a direct benefit from. How the roles are positioned is key, the language used, be a solver not seller, #BreakTheBias. So, we’re asking women to consider their biases about sales because it’s changed and it’s not like that here.

It’s about gaining confidence, to grow into the role, as we have both trainee and experienced positions available. We’re looking at those transferable skills.

What we’ve done to improve our hiring process:

  • We’ve spent time anonymising our hiring process so that the best candidates get through.
  • We’ve completely rewritten our job descriptions to be more feminine because all of the qualities and skills that we’re looking for here are not the traditional competitive aggressive salespeople at all.

Who we’re looking for:

  • We want people who love working with people!
  • People who like getting to know their candidates and clients, who are good at listening, building relationships, problem-solving, who are curious and definitely consultative.
  • People who collaborate, support, plan and research, and organise. These are traditionally female attributes!

We know that, here at Outsource UK, this is what makes you a good salesperson, knowing your customer and candidate and matching the two.

Anyone can pick up a phone and make a sales pitch but it isn’t about that anymore.

The key message is that, whoever you are, if you have the right approach, anyone can learn to network and gain confidence in those skills. We’ve got people who are natural and confident; really good people who display those characteristics and live our values who you can learn from and who can support you. If you put in the effort to know the market, be passionate, and help candidates achieve their dream career move and for customers to achieve their business goals, then you’ll succeed!

If you're interested in any of our current openings, drop Emily Randall an email or check out our jobs by clicking here.

 

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