As the baby boomers (who make up 35% of our working population in the UK) are reaching retirement we need to investigate where the next generation of sales people are coming from?

Millennials (the term used to describe those born between 1980 and 1995 ) have been raised in a hypercompetitive, technology saturated environment. Work life balance is a priority for this generation and it is more important that they work for a brand that stands for authenticity. This is where matching personalities to company culture is paramount.

Do you know your company culture and what it stands for?

Are you hiring employees that match your environment and your key values?

Getting the above 2 factors right will ensure you have greater staff retention. A few pointers to help you get this right-

  • Be transparent during hiring – be open about your company culture, ethos and values as well as your long-term vision.
  • Match to key strengths that fit in with your culture – are these inherent strengths? You can upskill and train but you can’t change a personality!
  • Recognise that every personality is different as each one of us is raised in a different social environment and from a different mould. This stands also for every company – they all have different values and visions.
  • Consider that Millennials have faced a harder economic climate than the baby boomers. They have had to work harder to get on the mortgage ladder – pay off student loans etc. Does this make for a better sales person – often it does as they have to be driven to achieve their goals.
  • Do you have a structured mentoring and training programme – nowadays jobs aren’t for life – keep them interested and feeling valued. Continued development is important to this generation – don’t let boredom or complacency set in.
  • Flexible hours – try and get away from the 9-5. Motivation is increased when staff are trusted to plan workloads independently. If the job is getting done and targets are achieved, let them plan their own schedule. If working from home on a particular day proves effective – let it happen!
  • Make sure your incentives are attractive (and also attainable ). Are there perks – gym membership, pension, private healthcare? Is the company car on offer a drain or a perk – ie. Choose a car with low emissions that still looks professional – after all it represents your brand.
  • Stay ahead in technology. Millennials know how to use it – they have been brought up with it. Use it to your advantage and utilise their skills – stay current and modern. Companies that stay ahead technologically are more attractive to work for – they aren’t stuck in an era but are progressive.

Stay ahead of your competitors and build your brand – a good sales person is the face of your company. They have to be the right match!


Written by Michelle Crocker, Director of Mercury Talent, March 2017

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