4 Ways Recruiters Can Act More Like Salespeople

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As a recruiter, you work with one of the most important (and unpredictable) resources in the world: people.

Whether you are hiring engineers, HR pros, salespeople, marketers, or finance professionals, you need a process in place. My recommendation is to approach recruiting like sales.

So, where do you start? How do you adopt sales techniques to recruit top candidates in the job market ? Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Define Your Target

You first need to define the role you are looking to fill. Without information about the job title, responsibilities, and compensation, you won’t know what to look for in a candidate.

It’s also important to build a flexible blueprint of your ideal candidate — the keyword being “flexible.” You need to be realistic about what the market can offer you.

2. Track the Right Metrics

When you are recruiting, you are building a pipeline. You want to start by driving lots of traffic into a wide funnel at the top; then, as candidates move through the stages, more and more should be filtered out until only a few are left at the final stages.

In order to manage your candidate pipeline, you need to track it. Some critical recruiting metrics  to note are:

  1. Number of people with whom you connect daily
  2. Number of emails you send daily
  3. Number of LinkedIn messages you send daily
  4. Number of voicemails you leave
  5. Candidate follow-up: how often and how many times per candidate?
  6. Number of steps in recruiting process from start to finish
  7. Number of candidates who make it through each round (phone screen, in-person interview, etc.)
  8. Number of offers extended vs. number of offers rejected

Tracking these metrics will give you valuable insight into your pipeline, allowing you to adjust your process as needed for maximum efficiency.

3. Engage Candidates

When you interview candidates, you need to engage them. You need to sell your company and the opportunity. Talk about the leadership team, the direction of the company, the culture, the benefits, and the opportunities for growth.

It is important to set accurate expectations around the role — including the challenges the candidate may face in the role. Don’t focus too much on the negatives, or else you may end up turning off qualified candidates.

Recruiting is half the battle, but if you do not have structure around your interview process, your recruitment strategy will ultimately fail. Be mindful of your interview process. If it is too long or too slow, your competitors may hire top talent before you can. Be willing to speed up the process for candidates you like.

Some questions to ask about your interview process include:

  1. How many steps are in the interview process?
  2. Who is involved in the hiring process?
  3. Is there a background check? How long does it take?
  4. How many references do you check? At what stage are references checked?

4. Close the Deal

When you reach final stages with one or more candidates, you need to be able to close the deal. As with any sale, you should be qualifying and re-qualifying throughout the process to avoid surprises. For instance, a candidate shouldn’t decline a job offer in the final hour due to compensation concerns. That subject should have been discussed early on, and both parties should be in alignment long before the offer is extended.

The final stages of the recruiting process should look like this:

  1. Gain agreement that this is a good opportunity for both parties
  2. Check references
  3. Extend a verbal offer
  4. Prepare a written offer
  5. Agree on a start date
  6. Discuss counteroffers

Recruiting is an activity-driven sales process, which means it requires a clear strategy just like any other sales process. Don’t leave your recruiting to chance. Set up a clear, streamlined, efficient recruitment protocol that draws on sales tactics for the best results.

Chelsey Canavan is the marketing manager at Treeline, Inc.

By Chelsey Canavan