Everyone knows that sales is the lifeblood of any business, and the importance of finding the right fit starts with the leadership and extends to every individual on the team - from account executives to the head of sales. And that is exactly what drives the team at Merit People to do what they do.
Based in the UK, Merit People is a niche recruitment firm working exclusively within the sales industry to provide elite sales talent to help organisations drive growth and revenue. We spoke with David Baker, Director at Merit People, to tell us more about the company and the vision, and to share a little more about the services which extends beyond just recruiting.
Vincere: What makes Merit People different?
David Baker: We’re focusing on a particular niche area for our business; recruiting sales candidates who operate within engineering and manufacturing from senior candidates like sales directors or field sales representatives, to those who are employed in back offices sales in supporting sales roles. My own career began in engineering and I’ve maintained a close contact with manufacturing and engineering business throughout my time in recruitment both as an agency recruiter and an in-house recruiter. I wanted us to concentrate on sales roles because the promotion of our customers’ products and services are what really makes industry tick, the candidates we work with are in exciting roles that make a difference to the expansion and ultimately, profitability of ‘UK plc’.
We don’t just provide CVs to client and leave them to do the rest. I want us to do everything possible to help our clients source, select and retain the very best talent - including providing after-recruitment support like onboarding, training and development. We’re geared up to help our clients with preparing interview packs plus additional assessment tools through to fully hosted assessment centres. We can also support with training or learning and development of their new hires or integrating existing sales teams through the expertise of one of our team members who has 10+ years experience in delivering this service to globally renowned engineering enterprises.
We use a variety of sourcing methods to find candidates for roles, we don’t operate like other recruiters who simply hit and hope with an online ad. We recognise that our clients pay us to source difficult to find people with particular niche experience, we put everything we have into every vacancy. It’s a common pitfall for recruiters to forget that not everyone in client company is comfortable enough to take on the role as an interviewer, so we can give help to these people and make sure that process is smooth so that both clients and candidates can get the most out of it.
V: What’s your vision for the company?
DB: Simple, we want to be the ‘go to’ recruiter for clients and candidates in our market space. We’re not looking for world domination...it’s not our aim to become a global business. For now, it’s all about building up the brand within the UK market. Running a good recruitment business takes more than mere industry knowledge and charm. I believe excellent levels of service and consistent delivery will get us there. Recruiting for sales is an interesting area to be in, especially when people are focussed and passionate about selling their product or service. It would be good to be recognised as the preferred recruitment partner for sales recruiting.
V: How many systems have you used over the course of your career. What were any challenges that you had with previous systems/recruitment process?
DB: So many, probably approaching ten or so. I’ve been in recruitment since the 1990’s working both as an agency recruiter and in-house so I’ve mastered many manual approaches to keeping client and candidate records before the advent of recruitment CRM. As an interim recruiter, you could do about three jobs in a year with different companies so I’ve used many different ones including the big names like Bond Adapt. I usually come in with little or no training and have experienced managing projects which required the selection and roll out of new systems. Since then, I think two key things have posed problems when it comes using recruitment systems; firstly, the implementation has to be handled properly. I’ve seen instances where the set up and training of a new system has been left down the list of priorities or not been given enough resource – starting badly isn’t a wise move. Next, too many recruitment CRMs haven’t got the right feel; whilst they’re impressive pieces of software they don’t reflect the way a recruiter operates and end up becoming a chore which then affects user adoption.
V: How important do you think having the right CRM is to running a good recruitment business?
DB: We live in increasingly technologically-led times, a slick, intuitive CRM is vital and it definitely helps when it comes to running a good recruitment business, but that said, a really good system should also be able to free up time for recruiters to add that ‘human touch’ - which I believe is the key to good recruitment; communicating with and listening to people.
There’s a period in the early days where people just got introduced to recruitment systems and they were simply using it as a phone directories or databases. Now there’s much more potential for modern CRMs to integrate with job posting modules and social media which can really have impact on speeding things up as a recruiter.
V: It’s early days with Vincere but what made you choose us? Any features you particularly love?
DB: All too often you use these system, they work perfectly well, but the overall process is still overly clunky and a chore to populate data. Vincere is clearly developed with the recruiter in mind. The structure and process flow works really well and there are plenty of features that enhance a recruiter’s ability to deliver a great service to all and maintain the right level of communication with candidates and clients. I like that the workflow exactly matches how recruiters work - well, at least for me and my business, and that is the most important thing.
I used the data import tool extensively for the first time yesterday and was able to add about 4000 records in less than 1 minute with no hiccups - that’s really really good. Like really good. I also appreciate the function which allows me to parse people’s linkedin profile - so quick and easy. The support articles and help videos are useful; it’s got just the right level of instruction to help you get going and get the job done. That said, I’m sure there will be many other features as I explore and continue to use the system.