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Sales employees want more career opportunities
Despite good benefits and high job security, over 80 percent of sales professionals are open to a new job. This is shown by a study conducted by Michael Page. Are employers doing enough to keep their best employees on board?
The most important motivation to look for a new challenge is not a better salary, but rather the contents of the role and the opportunities for growth. “This is by no means to say that they are all actively looking,” says Jorrit van der Linde, manager of the sales & marketing division at Michael Page. “But they are certainly open to it if the opportunity arises. That is kind of in their nature. Sales professionals tend to check for greener grass, to see if they could build their career faster with another employer.”
Still, Van der Linde says, employers should take this tendency into account. “Training a good sales professional takes two years of investment. They will only start making you money after that. So it’s important to hold on to them for as long as possible after those first few years.”
Fewer opportunities for promotion
At the moment companies are mostly focusing on benefits to create attractive employment propositions. For example, more than 90 percent of respondents receive a bonus, and the majority of employers offer a company car. Although these extras are important, career opportunities are the deciding factor. And with the meagre economic growth we’ve seen in recent years, they have been in short supply. “When the economy is thriving, there is more turnover at the top level,” says Van der Linde. “During the crisis, more people stayed put. This limited the number of opportunities for career advancement. Now that the economy is recovering, this problem will start to fade.”
Competing for the best talent
At the same time, when more roles become available, the competition to attract the most talented professionals will heat up. “We are seeing strong growth in the recruitment market,” says Van der Linde. “Professionals with a few years’ track record in the corporate sector are particularly popular.”
As a result employers will have their work cut out trying to recruit and retain this group, says Van der Linde. “Employers cannot afford to sit back and relax. They will have to implement an active retention policy.”
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