3 secrets for hiring on Wall Street versus the Silicon Valley
With only eight states and less than 3,000 miles between Wall Street and Silicon Valley, there is a remarkable contrast in business cultures between these two global business hubs.
While New York is influenced by Wall Street’s high-powered deal-making, business in San Francisco tends to have a more relaxed feel with an emphasis on relationships.
It is no surprise that these differences have a big impact on the selling cultures in these cities. What may come as a surprise, however, is that these differences have an important impact on sales recruiting efforts.
While both cities are rich with sales people, talent and opportunities, companies hunting for talent in New York and San Francisco cannot follow the same strategy.
1) Build relationships with candidates when recruiting in San Francisco and get straight to the point in the Big Apple:
Cold calling and unsolicited pitches work well in New York, where aggressive tactics can yield surprisingly good results. It is a pure numbers game in the cut-throat sales world of New York where sales reps who get straight to the point often win. Speak to a sales candidate in NYC and be prepared to make your pitch in 10 seconds or less or expect to get cut off. Think Donald Trump.
Hard sales and recruiting techniques on the west coast, however, are more likely to draw a blank response. Relationship-based selling wins the day in San Francisco. This is why many of the best West Coast sales reps focus on establishing a presence in the community and becoming trusted advisors to their clients.
Effective recruiters hiring in San Francisco, therefore, should not simply call on prospective candidates and spit out an exhausting list of job requirements. They need to educate the candidate about the opportunity, frame the conversation around their career, and, in the candidate’s eyes, become a trusted advisor.
So what about recruiting in New York City? For top sellers in NYC, utilizing every second the business day offers to hunt new prospects and close deals is what counts most. They are too focused on hitting their quota and tending to the selling tasks of the ‘here and now’ than to be having lengthy conversations with recruiters about future opportunities.
In New York, hiring managers must appreciate the nature of New York City salespeople and present the career opportunity in less than two minutes. They must focus on what matters to the candidate – the compensation package, location, territory, travel and company brand.
2. Focus on future rewards and culture in San Francisco and focus on immediate earning potential in New York:
San Francisco deals in hope. The city is filled with visionaries and start-up founders who think they are on the road to changing the business world forever. Therefore, top Bay Area sales people appreciate a recruiter that instills enthusiasm and excitement as part of the recruiting process.
West coasters aren’t afraid of a little risk, if they see the possibility of high rewards. While generating excitement around the opportunity by focusing on non-tangible benefits like corporate culture is an effective strategy, it is important for hiring managers to remain grounded in numbers. Salespeople, regardless of where they live will not accept an opportunity that has overstated earning and career growth opportunities.
This is not to say that there aren’t visionaries in New York, in fact, quite the contrary, but the East Coast, thanks to its legions of bankers and financial wizards, assign less value to elements not tied to the opportunity’s “bottom line.” Hiring managers in NYC, therefore, need to tailor their “pitch” to the candidate by focusing on immediate earning opportunities.
3. Job titles matter more in NYC
Nobody bats an eye on the west coast when Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows up to investor meetings wearing hoodies. The tech capital of the world is famous not just for its innovation, but also for its casual business attire and horizontal corporate structure. However, wearing sneakers and a hoodie versus a $3,500 suit, and the difference between a manager and a vice-president title are important aspects of the business culture in NYC.
These differences impact recruiting efforts in New York and San Francisco. Job titles matter more to candidates in New York City – the birthplace of corporate America. New York’s traditional business structures have withstood the test of time, and moving up the ‘corporate ladder’ is an integral part of the ‘American Dream’. This has shaped the business and career psyche of many New Yorkers and significantly impacts if a candidate will consider a new opportunity. Effective New York City sales recruiters, therefore, will not only focus on a candidate’s increased earning potential, but on an upgraded title.
In conclusion, hiring managers that adapt their approach to court candidates based on local market needs, will be highly successful. Learning what information to share about the opportunity and catering to the seller’s mindset will help get the right person onboard and lead to increased revenue.
Related Story: How to recruit employees using social media
Related Story: 4 Tips for Effective Recruitment
About Eliot Burdett:
Eliot Burdett is the Co-Founder and CEO of Peak Sales Recruiting, a leading B2B sales recruiting company launched in 2006.
Under his direction, the company leads the industry with a success rate 50% higher than the industry average, working with a wide range of clients including boutique, mid-size and world-class companies including P&G, Gartner, Deloitte, Merck, Western Union and others.
Prior to Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies by recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software) and served as Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.
Eliot received his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner. He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.