Sales vs. Recruiting: Are They That Different?

February 26th, 2014
HireVue Team
Video Interviewing

Have you ever considered what recruiting has in common with sales? Many recruiters believe they just have to wait for the perfect candidate’s resume to show up in their email. However, some of the most qualified candidates aren’t necessarily looking for a job.

Like high-level salespeople who find, develop and close big-money deals, the best recruiters identify, cultivate, and recruit the best candidates. Consider the following techniques used by top salespeople.

Make the customer the hero

Successful salespeople don’t sell: they tell a story with the customer as the hero. And what the salesperson is offering makes the customer even more successful. Similarly, rather than giving a boring job description in terms of skill requirements and duties listing, deliver a narrative explaining how successful the candidate will be in a new position.

Go big

Experienced salespeople understand that it takes more effort to sell ten $100k deals than to make a single $1M sale. In the same vein, recruiters will want to actively find and pursue the right candidate for the positions they’ve been hired to fill rather than taking what they can get.

Generate loyalty

Rather than concentrating on just getting the signature, top salespeople concentrate on building life-long relationships with their clients. In the same way, recruiters will want to keep in touch with people regardless of whether you were able to get them hired or not. If you were able to find someone a great position, you essentially changed their life. This is definitely a basis for a long-term business relationship.

Build a deep pipeline

Good salespeople will sell even when they don’t have a shortage of customers and are closing current deals. This suggests that recruiters need to be looking for the perfect candidates long before they have open positions. In doing so, when that important position becomes available, you can already have several candidates in mind to line up for job interviews.

Get referrals, not contacts

Top salespeople will wait until the client is perfectly happy before asking the customer to recommend friends, family, and colleagues. Recruiters need to help develop a work environment that employees enjoy and appreciate. Not until this has been accomplished should you ask employees to recommend their respected contacts.