SmartRecruiters Hiring Success Journal

 

4 Ways the Best Recruiters are Like Salespeople

When you think of a salesperson, you might think of a relentless professional who persuade others to buy things they don’t need. But salespeople are more than that. Stereotypes aside, salespeople use effective strategies to increase business. Recruiters are like salespeople. Both need to find new opportunities, build relationships, and close deals. Here are 4 ways recruiting is just like sales:

When you think of a salesperson, you might think of a relentless professional who persuade others to buy things they don’t need. But salespeople are more than that. Stereotypes aside, salespeople use effective strategies to increase business.

Recruiters are like salespeople. Both need to find new opportunities, build relationships, and close deals. Here are 4 ways recruiting is just like sales:

Identifying needs

Once a relationship has been established with a potential customer, salespeople evaluate business opportunities from both sides. They assess the needs of their own organization and the needs of the customer to make a partnership that will benefit everyone involved. That way, they take care of the needs of the customer and themselves simultaneously.

Recruiters also identify the needs of the employer and potential employee. You must know what skills and experience the organization requires, and be able analyze candidate to find the one who best fits the role. When assessing the needs of candidates, is the culture right for them? Will the job fit their lifestyle? Otherwise, you risk wasting your time on a candidate who won’t work out.

Lead generation

Sales starts with leads. It’s the first step of the sales process, and salespeople are always on the lookout for new prospective consumers. They actively bring in new customers through a variety of channels including advertisements, emails, direct mailings, trade shows, and more.

In the same way, recruiters should actively seek new potential candidates. Job seekers find employers and opportunities in multiple places from different social media outlets, to professional networking sites, to general and industry-specific job boards.

Have a presence and market your employer brand on these many different channels to fill your talent pipeline and bring in new leads for your open positions.

Relationship management

Salespeople don’t just collect leads — they pursue them. After generating leads, the next step is to contact those potential customers and start building a relationship. Strong relationships turn leads into customers and new business opportunities.

In recruiting, strong relationships turn passive professionals into candidates and candidates into new hires. Build relationships with promising professionals through email, phone calls, and social media.

In addition, you should be nurturing leads and building relationships with all of your applicants, even those you don’t intend to hire. You don’t have to do much, but letting applicants know where they stand will go a long in way to create good relationships and generate more leads.

Candidates who are treated well throughout the process will be more likely to recommend you to professionals in their network. In addition, a 2014 survey conducted by Software Advice found that 60 percent of respondents will only apply to companies that have more than a one star rating on Glassdoor. Communicate often with applicants to generate positive reviews and more applicants in the future.

Closing

The close is the most important part of the sales process. If salespeople can’t close a deal, they’re not worth much to their organization. They know what the customer wants and how to leverage their wants and needs to make the sale.

Closing is just as important in recruiting. If you find the perfect candidate, but they turn down your offer, all your hard work means nothing.

Know what your candidate wants, draft an offer that will appeal to them. If the candidate wants to negotiate, listen to what they have to say and consider their suggestions. If they call or email with concerns or questions, respond as soon as possible. Throughout the process, reassure the candidate that they are the right fit and you are excited to have them come aboard.

Good salespeople are effective, and so are good recruiters. Using strategies from the sales process can better help you find and secure the candidates you need.

What do you think? What other sales strategies translate to recruiting?

Jason Buss

With 20 years of global human resources and talent acquisition leadership experience, Jason Buss is a recognized expert with deep experience in identifying, recruiting and hiring high-performing teams. As the head of global talent acquisition for New Relic, Jason is responsible for the strategy and delivery of recruiting and workforce management solutions.

Jason is also the founder of the Recruiters.Network communities and editor of Talent HQ, a premier online news and information channel for recruiting and human resources professionals.