Matchmaking Job Site to Hone in on Sales Positions

Jan 5, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

That “Revenue Accelerator” system I mentioned this week isn’t the only new tool created to help companies with sales positions. A new site called StrictlyClosers will launch next Tuesday to match candidates seeking sales jobs with employers seeking the same.

StrictlyClosers is one of 30 sub-sites that a larger job site called StrictlyTalent plans on launching (it started with StrictlyExecs and after sales will move to IT).

You may have heard of one of the big players behind all this: Hank Stringer. He’s a headhunter who once founded a system to manage resumes and candidates called

Last year in Austin, Texas, Stringer met Graham McFarland, a serial entrepreneur who started a photography-related business called ExpressDigital. McFarland had moved to Austin and met Stringer through a recruiter-friend who’d filled a job at ExpressDigital. The two (Stringer and McFarland) are co-founders of the “Strictly” sites.

Stringer says the sales field was chosen as the next StrictlyTalent target because “from looking at the marketplace, it’s what everyone seems to be looking for all the time.”

How it Works

I know you’ve heard this line before — like when people talk about Jobfox — but StrictlyClosers will have an eHarmony feel to it. Candidates pay $9 for a month, employers about 10 times that, to “discover matches and request relationships.” You anonymously check either out — the employee and the employer — and if there’s mutual interest, you begin a relationship.

It takes about five minutes for a job-seeker to fill out a profile; they have the option of pulling some information from LinkedIn. They answer questions about their education and experience, and preferences; for example, do they prefer a certain industry, or a certain size company? A portion of those questions are seen on the graphic at right (click to enlarge).

The employer does something very similar, describing the positions they have open.

If there’s a 50% match — based on a proprietary algorithm the company built — then employers get a list of their matches, and of course so do the job-seekers.

The matches are ranked as strong, moderate, or weak depending on how much over 50% the match is.

I asked Wendell Williams what he thought about all this. Based on what he saw on the site, at least, he said, “perhaps this website can reduce the raw number of applications, but I saw no credible evidence that it does anything to improve the quality of the people who get matched. In my experience, some of the worst salespeople have some of the best-looking credentials and some of the best salespeople have some of the worst.”

“Tell Wendell I agree,” Stringer says. Stringer says he posted a marketing VP job on LinkedIn last summer and got 172 candidates in 24 hours, and spent 2 1/2 days contacting everyone who applied. With StrictlyClosers, Stringer says that asking the right questions will help whittle down the pool to better applicants, not just people who talk a good game. One of Stringer’s favorite questions, for example, which worked for him when recruiting for Dell in the 90s, was asking candidates how many years they’ve exceeded quota.

For a month, StrictlyTalent has been running a campaign to get employers and employers to enter information into the new sales jobs site. There are about 100 sales-employee profiles now and about 115 sales-employer profiles, with the bulk of those coming in the last few days.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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