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  • The HMX Group

How Sales Managers Can Use LinkedIn To Recruit Top Performers: Pt 1 (Market Mapping)

Most recruitment processes do not structure an outbound (headhunting) campaign. Too often the result is unqualified candidates, wasted time, increased costs, a long-term limitation on revenue performance and a competitive disadvantage. Which is why recruiters tend to have a bad reputation with some hiring mangers. In this blog series we'll be sharing how you can effectively implement executive search practises to reduce your time & cost per hire and improve your recruitment revenue outcomes. Adopting our structured outbound recruitment process will remove your dependence on job-boards and increase your hiring options beyond the minority of the market who happen to be actively job searching.

Covering your inbound channels:

Outbound recruitment efforts will make the biggest impact, especially in the long run, but that's not to say you shouldn't cover all bases! If you don't have an internal team doing this already, it's worth advertising your jobs and handling the inbound applications for suitable applicants. It's also worth approaching people you know who might consider working for you, as well as peers who might be able to make suggestions.

Market Mapping:

This is where your outbound recruitment efforts start! Market mapping is the foundation that holds a headhunting campaign together, and the outcome is a long list of target companies for you to approach. Consider which companies will have current employees who have the knowledge and experience you require. While a lot of people may start and stop at direct competitors, it's also worth focusing on your fundamental requirements and researching companies that match these, even if they don't have the exact same value proposition. This will open up your hunting grounds drastically and expose you to a much higher volume of talented people.

The number of target companies you use is dependent on a number of variables unique to every role and company. As a rough average, we generate a long list of 70-100 companies for each search we conduct. But to reiterate, this can really vary and include many more companies or far fewer.

Here are some of the things we often include when market mapping to develop a target list:

Domains, Verticals & Personas:

  • What products and services do the target companies offer, and how closely aligned are they with the technology domain we're recruiting for?

  • Which specific divisions, products, and services within the target company are the most relevant?

  • Is the target company focused on specific verticals, and how well-aligned are they?

  • Will individuals in the target company be selling to the right audiences and personas? (e.g., IT, Sales & Marketing, Finance, Legal). Are they focused on selling to banks, the public sector, SaaS, SMEs, mid-market, enterprise, etc.?

  • Will the target company's employees be exposed to the same information you require? (e.g., knowledge across specific asset classes, types of integrations, partnerships, etc.)

Sales Deals & Process:

  • What are the average deal sizes, cycles, contract lengths, and values within the target company?

  • What is the deal velocity and expectation at the target company?

  • Does the target company use a specific sales methodology or implement relevant sales training?

  • What technology, qualifications, or tools does the target company provide? (e.g., CRM, Sales Enablement tools, reporting & analytics tools, collaboration tools, etc.) This may or may not be a requirement, but it is searchable and will be covered in part 3 of this blog series.

Your criteria for market mapping will vary depending on the role, seniority, requirements, priorities, etc. You can benefit greatly from paid versions of tools like Craft, 6Sense, Owler, and Crunchbase, as well as research from Gartner, Forrester, and G2. You can also leverage tools you may already be using, like LinkedIn Navigator and Zoom Info.

While it may feel like a time-consuming task, market mapping is a great exercise to structure and improve the acquisition of your company's most valuable asset: its people! Target lists can also be reused, revised, and improved over time, so getting this right is a necessary investment if you're going to improve your ability to recruit, develop, and compete long-term.

If you found this useful, subscribe so you don't miss Part 2 of this 5-part series where we cover the practical steps to uncover talented people for your organisation. And if you need to fill any important roles urgently, let's connect and map out your search together. Or send an email to ( so we can arrange a call.


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