Successful Recruiters Think Like Sales Reps

 

Recruiters and Sales Representatives have a lot of similarities.  One thing is clear, no matter if it’s a job opportunity or an awesome new technology platform - you are selling something.  Having filled shoes in both roles, I learned a thing or two on what you need to do in order to be successful in either position.  Here are five ways you can stay on top of your recruiting game by thinking like a Sales Rep.

Be persistent The war for talent is on.  I guarantee you that you’re not the only recruiter that’s reached out to that specific candidate.  Better yet, if you’re trying to contact an “A” player, chances are your one of the ten LinkedIn InMail messages they receive on a weekly basis.

Did you know that 48 percent of sales professionals give up after one contact attempt, and 12 percent give up after three attempts?  Sales and recruiting is a numbers game.  The more consistent you are with your outreach, the better your chances are that a prospect is going to respond.  Of course, it doesn’t end there.  What you do when a prospect responds is equally, if not more, important – but I’ll save that for a future post.

Do your research Think outside of the box.  Don’t just cut and copy a job description and say, “Please read this, and let me know what questions you have.”  Take the time to check out your prospect’s social media handles.  Find out what their interests are, what they are passionate about, their previous and current experience, and make a personal connection based on this information.

Recruiters today read the bullet points on the job description, and just do keyword searches until they find a “match.”  Take the time to dig deeper, and you’ll find out that it’s about more than just a keyword match.

Nurture your prospects In my opinion, this is the most important thing you can do.  Not every prospect you reach out to is going to be ready to make their next move just because you have an opening.  The reasons could vary from the fact that they are happy where they are, they’re waiting on a promotion, or they are waiting on a bonus payout.

Just because it’s a “no” now doesn’t mean it will always be that way.  Once you have a dialogue with someone, you need to nurture the relationship by checking in.  The goal is to stay in front of their mind so when they are ready to make a move, you are the recruiter getting the call.

Don’t just act passionate, be passionate You aren’t just selling an opportunity, but you are also acting as a face for your company.  If you don’t like working there, or you don’t believe in what your selling – product, service, or a company culture – why would your prospect have any reason to get excited?

Take the time to understand what you’re selling, and make sure that you stand behind it a hundred percent.  This passion for the company will project in your conversations with prospects without coming across as insincere or just plain “fluff.”

You’ve got to hustle Although it needs no explanation, I am going to dive into this anyway.  The days of the typical nine-to-five work day are long gone.  While you’re sleeping, someone else is working.  While you’re watching TV, somebody else is talking to your candidate.

Don’t get me wrong – work and life balance is important, but mirroring your prospects and their availability is critical in gaining a competitive edge in the war for talent.  A lot of candidates do most of their job search on their commute home or when they are sitting on their couch after working hours.

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What do you think?  Does recruiting and sales go hand-in-hand?  Any tips to add?

Responses

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MF
I appreciated this article a lot. As a salesperson, persistence is key. We call 100s of people a week, send out lots of e-mails, leave VMs and messages with receptionists galore, all for the chance to chat with a decision-maker for 10 seconds before "not interested, *click* ". It is a fascinating exercise in humanity.
JF
Thanks Matt!



Totally agree. I am amazed how many sales professionals quit after one outreach. These "C" level executives get hundreds of calls and emails a week. Without persistence, you will fail.