In recent weeks and months, there has been an unprecedented demand for IT Sales Recruiters across the agency market. Last week, I sat down with Nick Jenkin, Managing Director of Jenkin Beattie, a market leader in IT Sales Recruitment. Here is an insider look into the sector.
As a business leader with over 18 years of experience recruiting in the IT Sales space, what do you love the most about the sector?
It’s incredibly dynamic and ever-changing. The rate of growth has been extremely high and the pace and velocity have been increasing even more in the last 24 months. There are always interesting new technologies emerging and that keeps you learning, engaged and on your toes.
What are some of the benefits for a recruiter who is looking to transition out of another sector and into IT sales?
Ultimately, it is the opportunity to transition into what is the biggest growth market. This brings with it both the earning and the career progression opportunities for recruiters.
We have seen many new players entering the market on the client side. There is a growing trend of global players moving in and opening up offices in Australia. Once again, this creates tremendous opportunities for recruiters specialising in this sector.
What are the most common candidate job titles a recruiter can expect to be working on?
We aim to capture the candidates entering the market at the beginning of their career and support them as they progress through to more senior roles. So, there is a great opportunity for recruiters to work with a wide range of role types.
Common job titles include Sales Development Representatives, Inside Sales Representatives, Mid-Market Account Executives, Enterprise Account Executives, Account Directors, VPs of Sales and Sales Directors, as well as Marketing and Presales Consultants.
What are the types of clients a recruiter can expect to be dealing with?
We are experiencing the most growth and revenue with SaaS Vendors and Professional Services Firms/Consultancies.
What can a junior recruiter starting out in IT Sales Recruitment can expect to earn?
Entry-level consultants can expect to make $75k to $80k OTE in their 1st year, including commissions.
In the 3rd to 5th year, consultants should take home between $150k to $200k and beyond, as their market knowledge and reach increases.
Your earning potential ultimately depends on your billings and the effort and time that you put into building your desk, and the quality of your relationships
Is this sector job-rich and candidate-poor, or vice-versa?
IT Sales Recruitment scores 10/10 for talent shortage! This makes for a very competitive market for any player. Candidate control is paramount.
Our competitive advantage comes from working with top global and local SaaS Vendors and Consultancies. It’s about being able to identify the hottest and coolest vendors and opportunities in the market!
We also know 60% or more of the senior end of the candidate market. Between myself, Richard and Chris we have 40+ years of experience in this sector and have extensive networks across Melbourne, Sydney and beyond.
What are some of the biggest sector-specific challenges of IT Sales recruitment?
The biggest sector-specific challenge is the shortage of talent in the market.
Number two would be a large number of mergers and acquisitions. Lots of companies that we work with have either already been acquired or are currently the prime targets for acquisition by larger tech vendors or global venture capitalist groups.
Conversely, there are companies that are folding or leaving Australia due to venture capitalists pulling their funding. This type of investment can often bring with it unrealistic expectations regarding sales targets or delivery.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in growing your business?
On the client side, it has been the large number of mergers and acquisitions, and the rise of RPOs. This can decimate your previously very lucrative account.
A key challenge for any recruitment agency is finding good recruiters. There is still a massive shortage in the recruitment space. We have certainly diversified the sort of people and professional backgrounds that we look at to join our team.
How do you see the growth potential in this sector over the next 12 months?
I cannot see it slowing down! Sales is always a required function in any business. It is the activity that directly contributes to revenue generation. There will still be a very strong demand for sales professionals.
There is going to be continued strong growth in SaaS Vendors and Professional Services firms. On average, in FY 18/19 the Top 50 Companies in the sector grew by 82.3% - that’s 58.8 times faster than the economy as a whole!
What are the main differences between the Sydney and Melbourne markets in this space?
Traditionally, Sydney has been the bigger market. Over the last 5 to 7 years, the trajectory has been towards evening out with Melbourne. We see more head offices down here now and, especially, more software development houses.
From the salary perspective, the Sydney market is typically 10% above Melbourne and we see even a greater skill shortage in Sydney.
What is your final word of advice for anyone wanting to transition into the IT Sales recruitment sector?
It’s a very exciting and challenging market to work in. There have been more disruptions, more new entrants, more acquisitions. This is not a sector where you can ever rest on your laurels. You have to keep up with the changes in the market and that keeps you exhilarated.
Massive thanks to Nick Jenkin for sharing his insights, and for his time. It is clear - the opportunity in IT Sales Recruitment is tremendous. From a rec-to-rec perspective, if you are a recruiter who is interested in entering this sector, look at joining an established, market-leading brand. Don’t ever accept the first opportunity that comes your way - explore the market, seek expert advice and do your due diligence to ensure long-term success.