Take a Sales Approach to Recruiting (and No It’s not the Same as an Employment Brand)

Most recruiters know that, in this hot talent market, you need to woo candidates. Yet even that may fall short. To land those A players, you need a more aggressive approach than recruitment as usual. Look beyond the borders of human resources and you will see people in your company who are aggressive for a living: sales and marketing.

The sales process is tried and true, and it aligns nicely with recruitment. The first step is to treat candidates as customers — not only because it will help land talent, but also because every candidate is, in fact, also a potential customer. That means nurturing every candidate who sends a résumé. At a minimum you should acknowledge receiving the résumé, and if you find someone with the skills you want, you need to pour it on.

Nurturing candidates builds your employment brand as well as your company brand. If you don’t, it could hurt you. According to Tracey Parsons, director of recruitment marketing practice at SmashFly, “Lack of nurturing creates brand resentment.” Alienate a candidate and you’ll also alienate a potential customer.

Should Recruitment Move from HR to Sales?

To model talent acquisition after client acquisition, think Sales 101. The two functions are so similar that you wonder whether recruitment doesn’t belong in the sales & marketing department rather than HR. The steps of a successful sale follow:

  • Define the value proposition: Why should a candidate leave their current position to take your open position?
  • Convert that proposition into a compelling message: Distill it down to the hook that will engage the right candidates.
  • Get the message out to targeted prospects: Post and source, of course, but also use social media.
  • Manage leads (applicants): Qualify them and score them against the likelihood that they will be converted to a hire.
  • If one lead says no, ask him or her for referrals.
  • Follow through until you close the deal.

Like sales, you should use a customer relationship management system. You may not have thought of it this way, but your applicant tracking system is more than storage for archiving résumés. With it you can build and manage a pipeline, including measuring leads, tracking conversion rates, and even creating the recruitment version of a sales forecast. This will provide you with tangible metrics to manage against, such as deliverables and targets.

This approach will take some effort, but it’s easier than culling through 100 résumés that simply aren’t a good fit. You’ll also need to commit resources, take some risks, and act with urgency — like your sales team does. A little flair for the dramatic also will help.

Who’s Making It Work

Some companies are doing this. It’s working. Gap, Apple, and Google all use a sales/marketing/branding approach to recruitment. Reportedly, each corporation receives as many as 30,000 applications a month. You may not have the brand strength or resources of those companies, but you can adopt one of their key best practices: treat applications as leads, and use those leads to source potential candidates and customers. Most companies are not doing this, and that’s good news in terms of competition. If everyone were doing it, it would flatten the playing field. However, if you implement this approach, you will stand out.

Lots of companies have developed an employment brand, but that’s not the same as taking a sales approach. You may have a great employment portal on your website, but you still have to draw people to it. Miles Technologies (Miles) is one company doing a great job with this. Check out its career portal.

Spotlight on Proactive Best Practices

Miles has branded itself not just as an employer of choice, but also an environment of choice. There are a dozen pictures that make you feel like you’ve already visited the company. The portal also shows employees enjoying fun activities together. The corporate overview below the pictures is an example of best practices in marketing content. Why? Because the emphasis isn’t on what employees need to bring, but rather on what Miles is offering.

Further down it showcases Best Places to Work awards it has earned and is confident enough to provide a link to Glassdoor. The page describes the culture, work/life balance, community engagement, benefits, and more.

Article Continues Below

The kicker is that the company is proactively driving traffic to the portal. Recruiters huddled with their marketing team and launched a yearlong campaign to promote the brand and increase candidate awareness. This included things you might expect, like email blasts, but it also had key staff members post in blogs and online forums frequented by the kinds of candidates needed.

Miles continues to maintain a strong social media presence (a Twitter feed is right there on the careers portal), but it doesn’t write about how great it is to work at there. Instead, employees share ideas and insights in their practice areas: IT, business software, and web/marketing consulting. By establishing themselves as subject matter experts in the right circles, they raise the company’s profile among prospects/candidates.

According to Luke Trovato, talent scout for Miles, “In the first six full months of 2014, we saw an almost 186 percent increase of applications from the six months prior.”

Our Collective Challenge

Let’s create a shared library of what works and what doesn’t with this approach. If you know of companies that are trying it — and especially if your company is trying it — share that information below. Together we can create a strong resource for everyone. It’s a new mindset, and every bit of insight can help.

thanks for the help from Tom Brennan, Master Writer

image from Shutterstock

Kim Shepherd joined Decision Toolbox, a 100 percent virtual organization providing recruitment solutions in 2000 as CEO. Today, she leads the company’s growth strategy, primarily through developing partnerships and alliances, and as an active member of the Los Angeles and Orange County human resources communities. A recognized thought leader by HR organizations nationwide, she regularly speaks on topics such as recruitment best practices, recruitment process outsourcing, and the virtual business. She authored The Bite Me School of Management, a book journaling her business journey and the challenges she has overcome, and Get Scrappy, a business book that provides a new perspective on personal and corporate growth. Decision Toolbox is a four-time winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.


20 Comments on “Take a Sales Approach to Recruiting (and No It’s not the Same as an Employment Brand)

  1. “Should Recruitment Move from HR to Sales?”


    The problems already associated with recruiting are because it is treated as a Sales! job. Nor are the strategies for places like Gap, Apple, and Google applicable for companies who don’t have their existing brand recognition. Nor is a value proposition much good if a company doesn’t live up to it, and most companies these days just don’t, period. Recruiting needs less sales and more objective reality. It already has plenty of salesmen in it chasing after every potential lead and not doing the follow up and clean up work afterwards.

    – Recruiting needs to develop standards and certifications that actually mean something, and are enforced.
    – Recruiting needs to take tips from supply chain people and other such logistics type roles, because most jobs filled are nuts and bolts type positions, and those people know how to fill orders for commodity type goods and services, which is what most jobs offered are analogous to, and what most available candidates are analogous to as well.

    Ferrari companies get Ferrari employees, and they pay a pretty penny for them. All the Sales! people in recruiting have Honda companies thinking they can have Ferrari employees at used Kia prices, and that’s what Sales! people do, and that’s the problem. Honda companies have a potential value proposition, but where they’re going to compete is primarily on price, or salary, which is the one aspect of employment Sales! recruiters have convinced employers doesn’t matter, and they have convinced most potential employees to never bring it up until the end of the process, only then to find out the job they’ve been sold! on pays 30% less than they’re currently making, and 40% less than the minimum salary they said they wanted when they first spoke to the recruiter.

    Recruiting needs to kick all the sales people out, give itself and its clients a healthy dose of reality regarding the importance of basics like a decent wage and reasonable hours and PTO allotments, and to stop beating around the bush about salaries and be open and honest from the start. If you’re not offering a job at Apple or Google with the opportunity to make a damn fine wage and play with some new tech, then you’d be stupid to approach hiring as if you were. Most companies are Honda companies; solid, reliable, nothing special, but also past their salad days and slowly declining in quality while trading on their existing reputations. Most employees are Honda employees; solid, reliable, and can do the jobs the Honda companies want them to, but won’t get all ‘passionate’ and ‘engaged’ about it, because their primary concern is their life, their family, and their friends, not the company or their job, and it’s stupid and presumptuous to expect otherwise.

    Think of any one or two industries dominated by old school Sales! types and you’ll invariably come up with one or two industries people absolutely hate and dread engaging with; used cars and mattresses, for example. Real estate is another. As a recruiter, work corporate and get an ATS installed, and get a taste of the Sales! model of most ATS companies with websites that offer little to no information, sales demos that offer little to no information but take up your valuable time, opaque pricing that’s never listed, anywhere, ever, and enjoy getting sold on functionalities that turn out to only be available through ‘partners’ at massive premiums that can easily double your annual bill, if not triple it.

    That’s Sales! in a nutshell, and please, save the, “That’s not real sales…” Yes it is, it is real sales, those are constant negative experiences people have will all sales people in all industries. Don’t like it because you don’t behave that way? Too bad, those are your colleagues, so get used to it and own it, and clean it up, or it’s on you. I’ve been trying for years to do my part to clean up recruiting only to see it perpetually pulled back into the mud by Sales! people, because the lure of easy money and little to no standards of any kind are too good for the used car sales types to pass up.

    As recruiters, we need to set standards and have standard SLAs that are three-way and impose requirements on candidates,more so on us, but mostly on employers. They’re the ones who ultimately dictate how people are treated, and if as most do, they just want recruiters to throw as many candidates at the wall to see if one eventually sticks because they really just don’t value their employees, well then all the Sales! people will chase that dragon despite the wreckage left in their wakes. Sales people want to please customer regardless of what the customer wants, and we need more recruiters willing to be partners, which means being more committed to mutual success rather than satisfaction of one party, and that requires a willingness to walk away and refuse to facilitate destructive hiring processes that decimate candidates, and which are used at most companies these days, without care or regard for the living hell they put people through.

    1. I think a paradigm shift may be needed on this topic. It is not HR vs Recruiting, nor which is dominate. Rather Recruiters do sell based upon the benefits the companies offered as developed through HR. Hr “sells” leadership to set the proper budget, improve or maintain the proper user/ candidate experience and enforces the hiring process timeline. HR can not blame recruiters for false expectations, as much as HR can not blame recruiters that a companies culture sucks. When the two work together will a company see improved candidates, culture and processes. Company leaders and HR provide the tools for recruiters to “sell”. A Ferrari sells itself. If ones recruiters are inflating the benefits and culture, whose fault is that? Everyone’s…

      1. HR can blame recruiters for false expectations if recruiters lie, which they often do. I AM a recruiter, I’ve seen it happen constantly. I’ve been on the agency side and the corporate side. The agency side is dominated by lying, sleazeball sales types who will say anything to a client or candidate to get a fee, the corporate side is dominated by people who are often overwhelmed with bureaucratic nonsense work, and who are often between a rock and hard place when it comes to being honest about the company, its salaries, its benefits, and what they have to offer in general, because most of the time it isn’t all that much, and more often than not these days is outright abusive.

        At my last corporate job, I solved quite a few recruiting problems by being honest; the owners of the company were three screaming lunatics who would regularly curse people out in public, and even physically assaulted a few. To give you an idea of the extent of how bad it was, I would often have to caution people who would claim to me, and which I could confirm sometimes via glassdoor, that they had dealt with such types before. When they got hired, often their first encounter with management left them so shell shocked they called out the next day or two, often quit right then and there, and were almost always gone within a month or two. By being honest about the managers, I managed to cut this down quite a bit because people at least knew going in what they were getting into. No single agency recruiter ever, and I mean ever, took to heart or communicated this information to their candidates. EVER. They always BSed them and used euphemisms like ‘challenging’ to describe the place, and we had to deal with the turnover, which is why we eventually stopped using agencies for corporate roles. Ever since I left, I was replaced by a recruiter who didn’t understand this point, the same damn positions have been open on and off for over two years now.

        Corporate and agency recruiters are two very different roles. Corporate recruiters very often get pulled into time consuming administrative tasks and even employee relations and generalist duties, I’d love to see an agency recruiter deal with all that and then make quips about ‘excuses’ for not delivering. Agency recruiters have far less of that, and they have a greater ROI, and thus incentive, to invest in time building pipelines for various skill sets. If you have twenty or thirty similar positions a year open up at various clients, it makes sense to build that pipeline. If you have one such position which might open up once in ten years, you’d be an idiot to invest the time and money building a pipeline for that position. Corporate and agency recruiters have different jobs, different goals, different responsibilities, they are different animals.

        The paradigm shift needed on this topic is for people to stop paying lip service to valuing employees, and to actually demonstrate that value through decent pay, benefits, and treatment. Everything else will generally follow from that.

    2. HR failed at recruiting and that’s why I’ve been paid 30% of the successful candidate’s first year’s compensation. The check arrived from companies that full inhouse HR recruiters that had totally failed at getting the person they needed. Of course, the line managers were the ones driving the company to hire me and not the HR Dept that only had excuses for failure.

      1. Let’s see you handle everything those recruiters in HR had to handle, and fill the position, and then I’ll be impressed. Better yet, lock yourself in a room for ten hours a day each day the first three days of this coming week with no computer or phone access to simulate handling open enrollment sessions, and then let me know how much recruiting you get done in that time, and then tell me about excuses. Because that’s something I had to do as a corporate recruiter, and it’s not uncommon. Excuses my ass, the two roles are different and I’ve seen people from either side of the industry crash and burn when they went to the other because they actually had no clue what the job really entailed..

    3. Thank you Medieval Recruiter. I think we can both agree that the recruitment industry has to get out of the dark ages. We’re still talking about the lack of standards and certifications. I’m curious where you first got your bitterness toward Sales! people?

      1. The bitterness comes from seeing them destroy the recruiting industry, slowly but surely, over the course of my years in this career, and the wreckage caused by other recruiters that has splashed back on me. Sales people are necessary, but the ability to convince someone you can do something is not the same as the ability to actually do it, and the ability to convince someone that X is true is not the same thing as X actually being true. Sales people are long on convincing and short on delivery. Psychologically they are very resilient, which is a necessity in sales and a good thing in sales, but being ultra non responsive to negatives means you’re more likely to ignore a problem and beat your head against the wall to see results than actually solve it. Hence, recruiting practices from the 19th century, and a recruitosphere full of ‘recruiters’ selling a lot of rhetoric based solutions, the vast majority of which can not be tied to any objective reality.

        If you search the internet for the phrase ‘recruiting is sales’ you’ll get endless hits, because apparently the mere need to convince someone of something at any point in a particular process qualifies that job as sales. But, that’s a qualification for every single job on the planet, so I guess that means we should let sales people be engineers now. Not because they know all the forces at work on a body resting on an inclined plane, or because they know Ohm’s law, or because they know the equations necessary to determine the strength of steel structures when exposed to high winds, but because they can convince someone that their ideas are the right ones. Now, in engineering that sounds ridiculous, or at least I hope it does. But in recruiting, it sounds perfectly plausible, because that’s what’s been sold as the end all be all, sum total of recruiting.

        There are too many BS artists in recruiting peddling rhetoric based ‘services’ by telling corporate ‘leaders’ what they want to hear rather than the truth. It’s only now, after ten years in this business, that I’m finally seeing some articles on sites like this where the main point is that maybe, just maybe!, people actually do care about their pay levels, and companies shouldn’t downplay compensation in favor of ‘passion’ or ‘engagement’ or any other buzzwords used by, ironically, very well paid consultants to convince employers that they really don’t actually need to pay people, or anything like that.

        I’ve seen years of poor to outright illegal and fabulously incompetent behaviors reinforced by Sales! recruiters too busy chasing the fee to tell their clients that: a degree from a particular school is not necessary to do the job; that regularly screaming and cursing at employees means you actually don’t have a ‘great company culture’; that no, 40K for an 80K job is not a reasonable salary, or a ‘challenge,’ it’s outright stupidity; that not hiring women is illegal and stupid; that not hiring men is illegal and stupid; that, no, there is absolutely no evidence that ‘passive’ candidates are ‘better’; etc. I could go on into infinity listing the ridiculous ideas and business practices that recruiters help perpetuate, and very often lie to their candidates about or cover up with euphemisms like ‘a challenging culture,’ when they really mean the owner is a screaming incompetent lunatic who had one good idea when he was younger, started a business, and spent the next twenty years limiting the growth of that business with his own incompetence because he assumed having one good idea meant he could do things like properly hire and manage people.

        Recruiting, especially agency recruiting, is dominated by used car sales types who will say anything and everything and do damn near anything and everything to get the fee! They will work with anyone, and, let’s be honest, the companies they work with are usually the ones that are having trouble hiring and retaining people for various reasons. This industry never policed itself, never regulated itself, never did anything to actually improve the quality of it’s product, because it’s full of hucksters and low life types who capitalize on the fact that the majority of companies in this country treat their employees like crap, and don’t want to be bothered figuring out how to hire and retain them. Which is why now it probably can’t be policed or self regulated, because companies have so devalued their labor and are so used to treating their employees as disposable commodities that there’s really no way, and few if any recruiters willing, to turn it around. All because they were too busy selling! to their precious ‘clients’ and never considering that the candidates and employees on the other side of the equation might eventually get pissed off at how they were treated.

        And please, anyone with a mind to, spare my how different your treatment of candidates is. Every recruiter claims they are different, they aren’t like one of those recruiters, oh no! Their ‘firm’ is different, their network is much more than a rinky dink ATS from the 90s with every resume they ever scoured from CareerBuilder and Monster still in it, and absolutely they have a relationship with the hiring manager, and will get feedback right away… The reality is people’s experiences with recruiters are almost universally negative, and yet every single one claims to be different and not that recruiter. That’s Sales! for you, the ability of one person to convince another to deny the reality that’s right in front of them and hope against hope that they’ll beat lottery level odds and get good treatment.

        Once this industry stops spinning in place trying to catch its own ass and does some self policing to counteract the dominance and destructive force of all the Sales! people in it, I’ll lose my bitterness towards them. Once turnover at agencies stops mirroring that of sweat shops and call centers, I’ll change my mind. Once ‘recruiters’ have actually certifications with some ethical weight and required evidence based training behind them as opposed to the numerous and worthless pieces of paper handed out at various weekend ‘training seminars’ run by God knows who, I’ll consider changing my mind. Until then though, I say this industry is letting itself get pulled into the mud and be destroyed by slime ball Sales! people who will eventually get the government on our asses, their behavior is so poor and despicable.

  2. Kim — A couple of observations to your great article:

    I totally agree that to be successful and stand out today, you need more than “recruitment as usual”. Safe to say a fair amount of aggression and “hunger” (often found in sales folks) are also important traits in successful talent acquisition professionals.

    While value propositions are essential in sales, I would also like to make the point that there is not a single value proposition that will be compelling to all prospects. The skill comes in identifying what is of value to each individual and creating a unique value proposition (rather than one that might be generic). And to be able to create great UVP’s, recruiters need to have outstanding questioning and listening skills. In my experience, lack of listening is almost “epidemic” among so many recruiters. Most are much more comfortable with “telling” instead of listening. To be fair, the “itch to pitch” can also a problem in sales.

    Your emphasis on finding out ways to turn an ATS into a more useful and powerful CRM tool is spot on. My point has been that this approach can be a tool for managers to more effectively forecast the health of pipelines. But too often recruiters and managers simply use an ATS to “log” progress of resume screens.

    Love your acknowledgement that aligning a recruiting process with a sales process makes great sense – and is proven successful. [Full disclosure – I do sales training for recruiters and have
    written about using sales tools to enhance talent acquisition].

    Thanks for a great post!

  3. Recruiting: Sales or HR? I’m on record saying, most definitely HR. Focusing entirely on “employment brand” and “candidate attraction” without exploring the “whys” and “whats” driving recruitment is a disservice to the company for whom you recruit. It’s all surface and no substance. We’re not just looking for people to fill jobs; we’re looking for employees who will ultimately comprise the organization that has said opening.

    Once reason companies shifted the nomenclature from “recruiting” to “talent acquisition” is to emphasize recruiters’ roles in the talent (and employee) lifecycle. To decouple those things, to view recruiting separate from Talent Management, Compensation, and Learning is folly. These things cannot be viewed in a silo since they interact. Compensation and Talent Management inform WHO should be recruited and it’s Talent Acquisition that, in turn, provides the people that populate compensation and TM metrics. They are interdependent and it requires a sophisticated knowledge of HR to make that happen. In other words, it’s easier to teach an HR professional sales tactics than it is to teach a sales professional HR–deep, strategic HR and not just the administrative kind.

    1. I think you completely misunderstand what makes a great salesperson., Teaching “sales tactics” will result in nothing but a person that can talk about the sales process but could never execute it. You can try to teach a person how to sell and they must learn certain strategies, but the very best salespeople are primarily born and not made. You have to be competitive, self assured, disciplined and most of all you must be able to handle rejection. This final point is what sinks 95% of most sales professionals. Remember the best sales professionals are the highest paid people on earth. You can’t take an HR “Weenie”, as they were known when I was a recruiter and run him through a sales training program and expect a highly productive sales pro to pop out the other side. HR practices come out of a book. Sales talent has to be trained but the highest achievers will always arrive at that training with the intangibles that can’t be inculcated with training.

      1. I respectfully disagree with your comment. While “sales!” might translate well into an agency, it doesn’t tend to generalize well into the corporate environment. From my standpoint, “Always Be Closing” has led many a recruiter down shortcuts that led to compliance nightmares down the road. The best recruiters I’ve worked with had a much better understand of HR needs (both from the business as well as compliance) than those who simply sought to close the deal. Do good recruiters need to be able to close the deal? Of course. But to me, it’s necessary, but not sufficient.

  4. Great comments from all. Thank you for continuing the conversation. I doubt that TA will ever move out of HR and that’s ok, but there are lessons to learn by taking an aggressive sales approach to recruitment. There’s a big difference between just filling an opening and strategically attracting a top tier candidate. Like in sales, it’s the art of selling the deal.

    1. Everyone imploring people to remember the ‘sales’ aspect of recruiting is ignoring one massive problem: They control recruiting. 10 out of every 1 articles on recruiting say something like, “Remember, recruiting is Sales!“, as if it had been forgotten. In that respect, people who push this angle are only slightly less annoying than vegans in their need to endlessly proclaim their beliefs. I say the problems in recruiting are there because of this over emphasis on sales, and not enough attention paid to raised in Ben Sian’s comment below.

      People in recruiting don’t need reminding of the sales aspect of recruiting, it’s constantly rammed down their throats by all the Sales! people in recruiting. What they need is a dose of reality, to stop selling! for long enough to take a look at what they are selling, and also to advise their clients – employers – on what they can realistically expect to afford at their price points; if you’re not Apple, and you can’t offer their salaries, perks, tech, and prestige, then don’t pretend you can and then disappoint yourself. You need to know the league you’re playing in, or you’ll never get laid. They also need to get some people involved in this industry who are seriously, utterly, completely bereft of any sales experience to start doing some objective work on improving results.

      They don’t need Sales! people to sell! them on solutuions, they need the actual objective solutions that are grounded in reality, not some slick pitch artists’ ability to convince them. They need to bring some reliable, objective approaches to this field because right now the best practices only ensure a 65% hit rate, and that’s ridiculous. And I firmly believe it’s all the Sales! people in recruiting who have kept processes deliberately archaic and opaque so as to be able to capitalize on the uncertainty. If an effective and reliable hiring process was developed and proven, and had a significant success rate of say 90% or better, well then if Joey Uber Salesman from Agency X kept submitting people who failed, all his Sales! skills wouldn’t matter a hill of beans next to his results. All the free lunches and flashy suits and assurances in the world wouldn’t amount to anything because the reality would be his people just weren’t cutting it.

      Which is why I say supply chain and materials planners are where recruiters should look for the future. It doesn’t matter how slick the salesman is from company X, if you need to buy Y number of resistors from him that meet criteria A, B, and C, with Z failure rate, etc., ultimately his product is a pass or a fail. His customer services and sales skills aren’t irrelevant, they will matter, but only if his product passes an objective and reliable test of suitability. And it’s that latter piece that is completely missing in recruiting, and which all the Sales! people fervently hope never arrives. Because that would implicitly introduce standards to the industry, which right now requires literally no qualifications to get into.

      1. You first paragraph is calling for the ability to, ‘Qualify”. The best people are always asking questions and never, “pitching”. The best sales pros never let the person they are recruiting feel like the are being sold anything. “If you can’t quality, you can’t sell”, is one of the old parts of the selling process. I didn’t bother to read the rest of your paragraph, because of your fundamental ignorance of what a true sales professional is and has to accomplish to be successful.

        1. Your paragraph is nonsense. ‘True sales’ is what actually happens, on net, in sales, not some idealized nonsense that lets you and anyone else who desires to divorce themselves from sleazy sales people they don’t like or don’t agree with. But then, that’s the fundamental problem with sales people: they’re divorced from reality. Every sales person on the planet claims they aren’t one of ‘those’ sales people, every politician on the planet claims they’re different and not one of ‘those’ politicians, etc., etc., etc., etc. True sales is what actually happens in reality – you know, the truth – and not what you want it to be or think it ‘should’ be, all conditions and participants being ideal.

          The ‘sales’ approach to recruiting has dominated for the entire existence of the industry’s life. Type in the phrase ‘recruiting is sales’ in any search engine and you’ll get countless hits, with far fewer, if any, explaining the parallels to other positions or industries. However, it’s a common BS sales pitch to constantly tell a ‘story’ or ‘narrative’ where you’re the underdog, to try and get the reader or other object of the sales pitch to instinctively take your side. Which is why you get constant articles with titles like Is It Time To Take A Sales Approach To Recruiting?, or Should Recruitment Move from HR to Sales?, as if any other approach has been dominant at any given time, where ever the actual department has been housed. It’s used by politicians galore, hell, look at Trump and his successful use of it.

          My point is, put aside the question of where recruiting ‘belongs’ and assume it is a sales position; do you have anything to sell?! For the vast majority of companies, to use an analogy, the answer is nothing much more exciting than a Honda. Given the overall devaluation of labor, more likely Kia. You have to have something to sell, or a reasonably accurate picture of what you are selling, before you can sell anything. And since many companies seem to be completely divorced from reality when it comes to the actual wages, working conditions, and opportunities they’re offering viz a viz the market average, chances are they’re going to be ‘selling’ way above what they can afford. Which is why recruiting needs less sales and more reality.

          Recruiting, and hiring managers, should be housed in a buying or inventory department in a factory for a solid five years to learn about pricing and logistics and supply chain concepts, so they learn to objectively quality what’s actually needed vs what can be afforded, and then to find the right supplier and make the god damn purchase rather than fiddle about mapping their belly buttons until the whole company grinds to a halt due to them not acting.

  5. I seem to have opened a can of worms. In the spirit of using some sales techniques to assist recruitment, I would challenge you to look at your most recent job description and see if there is any “selling” in it. Talent courtship is not a passive sport.

  6. Hello Kyla – we focused more on “why” to convert rather “how.” Stay tuned for my next post.

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