Recruitment and sales are similar in a number of ways. This is especially so when the recruitment is for sales. The most conspicuous similarity between these two is in their intended purpose. While sales recruiters are responsible for prospecting for top candidates to place in sales positions, salespeople source for business contacts and clients.
Sales recruiters are charged with the responsibility of selling their services to candidates and corporate clients, just as salespeople are responsible for selling to potential clients. Besides this, clients have the option of getting the same product or service from any company apart from the one the salesperson represents, in the same way that candidates have the option of looking for recruitment services elsewhere. For this reason, many of the strategies that make exceptional salespeople can be applied by recruiters to facilitate their success. Here are the top three:
1. Separate yourself from the Pack
A simple strategy that enhances success both in sales and in recruitment, is to be clear about what you can offer that the candidate or client may not be able to get anywhere else. For sales recruiters, the thing that most separates you from your competitor is your culture. This is true whether you work for a recruiting company or by yourself. Culture is the unique personality of a company. It is this quality that determines how the company treats candidates and corporate clients, as well as how they are going to represent both of these parties.
2. Understand the Important Role of Relationships
Success in both recruitment and sales is dependent on relationships. It is important for the sales recruiter to establish a good relationship with the candidates; thus fostering the sales candidate’s trust that the recruiter will take care of their best interests. On the other hand, a sales person is successful when they are able to close a sale and/or get the contract signed by their client in order to seal a deal. For this to happen, he/she needs to establish a solid relationship with their potential client. In most cases, this relationship is formed at the cold-call stage and culminated as the deal gets sealed.
3. Know the Job (i.e. your product)
Just as it is essential for a salesperson to know their product, it is also important for sales recruiters to know the job that they are sourcing candidates for. This is helpful because what you communicate to the candidate within the first few minutes of interaction will determine whether they are going to stick around or walk away. The ‘inverted pyramid’ method is very effective in these cases. This is where the recruiter provides the most vital information first, and then works their way down to less crucial information. This way, the candidate is immediately captivated by what you are sharing with them, and they are more likely to stick around and hear more.
Understanding the similarities between recruitment and sales enables recruiters to incorporate into their skill set, some of the very qualities that they look for among sales candidates.