Industry Views

Pending Business: Recruitment 3.0

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imIt’s that time of year. College graduates are pushing out resumes. Are you open for entry level sellers? Any turnover on your sales team this year?

In April, we reviewed new data impacting today’s college graduate entry-level sellers. 97% are open to jobs unrelated to their new degrees. 56% of Americans, as in their parents, do not believe a college degree is worth it anymore.

There’s more. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, a survey by college healthcare provider Timelycare, shows 53% of (2023) graduates want a full work-from-the-office environment, while only 21% are good with total remote. Are we saying entry-level sellers WANT to work from the office? These young people want the commute, politics, and distractions of the office workplace environment. Are you kidding me? The good old days?

The survey results do make some sense when you stop to realize most of the new grads spent a good part of their COVID-impacted college lives logging into classes, missing several semesters of lecture hall instruction and dorm life.

Now comes the closer: these isolation years caused these new grads a lack of “soft skills” or what we used to call social skills. Recruiters, colleges and universities are now coaching these new grads in everything from “How to Start a Conversation,” to proper in-office dress, to eating at the same pace as your business lunchmate.

Not kidding here, all you 50- and 60-something sellers and managers. This round of recruiting entry-level sellers is totally about “How To…” and you may want to consider video and an eBook once hired.

Let’s face it, with AI coming fast, the future is here and like everything else in sales, there is no clear “How To…” handbook. But recruit we must as nothing happens without a seller. Loyalty is quickly fading as new, younger sellers want a different experience.

Let’s prepare a starter list for recruiting entry-level sellers in today’s world. Here are 10 suggested questions and concepts to cover the basics:

— Why do you want to join our sales team?

— What do you think is the most important quality a seller must have?

— How would you define a sale?

— When was the last time you experienced rejection? What did you do?

— Give me an example of a recent success in a competitive situation.

— If you could do anything professionally, what would it be?

— I am going to hand you my pen. Sell it to me.

— What is the difference between a Winner and a Champion?

— What do you think the most important thing an advertiser wants to hear from a seller?

— Tell me what specifically brings you to sell for _______?

I’m sure you have your own recruitment strategy/profile. Is it current? For the seller, that younger team member may be different from what you expect. The best seller I coached was an Art History major.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

Industry News

Pending Business: Attracting New Recruits

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

Ask any sales manager what the #1 challenge they face is and nine times out of 10 the surprise answer is not “more business.” Generating more business takes a well-oiled machine that starts and ends with a focused, well-trained sales team. And therein lies the challenge question I hear every week. “Where can I find more good salespeople?”

With all the sophisticated technology available today – from Zoom and Teams to data mining and social media – it is hard to comprehend why any viable radio station would have difficulty recruiting “good salespeople.” I rarely faced that challenge in any of the markets where I worked. No matter what the ownership structure or market size – from Buffalo to San Francisco – recruiting and retaining “good salespeople” was only an occasional problem.

If you are a manager at any level, in any market, responsible for recruiting and training “good salespeople,” you may never view the task the same way again if you follow these six simple steps:

1)         Recruitment should always be on your “To Do” list. Always, period, the end. Like the sun rises every morning, recruitment is a regular part of your day.

2)         Times are changing, build your bench. If your sales team is a mix of generations, any given team member may decide to move on for reasons you may not understand. Be prepared. Turnover happens, don’t be ambushed.

3)         Do you have a written profile of the ideal candidate for sales? Sound crazy? Try it right now. What are the three must-have qualities of every successful seller on your team? Those qualities may now be changing with newer digital, social media, and programming changes.

4)         Is your compensation structure competitive? This is one of my favorites. Depending on ownership you may or may not have the degree of flexibility you want. However, you may find a friendlier structure through performance incentives.

5)         Would you trust members of your current team to interview a candidate? I used the technique often over 15 years. Sometimes the culture in your sales department is unique or you may feature team performance incentives. The power of teams is a proven winner in most businesses.

6)         Are you plugged in to the new-think of today’s entry-level seller? Here are some current facts that may change your view of recruiting younger sellers:

   a) A study at the University of Chicago showed 56% of Americans think a college degree is not worth the money. Wow, is that different from most job postings!

b) As job markets become unpredictable, 97% of graduating seniors are open to alternative careers, as in not their major, this according to a study by iCIMS.

Finding “good salespeople” should never be viewed as a management headache. Once you make the commitment, the next great seller could be your next interview.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve Lapa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.