Why the Best Recruiters Are Actually Sales Reps

In my experience, the best recruiters are those that can sell their tails off. But what is a recruiter selling? The company vision? Company culture? Roles and responsibilities? Career path? YES, YES, YES and YES… and so much more. Succinctly put, a recruiter must sell the dream.

The recruiting life cycle aligns with the classic sales cycle process: Prospect, Qualify, Propose, Negotiate.

Prospect. The goal of prospecting is to create interest and convert that interest into a conversation. Sounds simple, but how does one go about generating interest? The best way is to understand what most candidates are looking for. Nine times out of 10, it’s company stability, momentum and growth opportunities, exciting meaty projects and a positive culture. Use these topics in your initial personalized note or call to generate intrigue or even excitement, with the goal of getting them on the phone for 10+ minutes.

Qualify. Now you have them on the phone, but are they truly hot leads? Qualifying is often overlooked, but it is truly the most important step — qualifying can separate a great recruiter and a sub-par one. Make the most of that initial call and really dig into the candidate’s background. Ask open-ended questions (not leading ones) to understand their motivations, compensation needs, career goals, desired culture and benefits package, ideal manager and role. These are all things you may need to leverage while negotiating.

Propose. Your candidate has sailed through the interview process and you are ready to make the offer. If you’ve done your job during the qualifying stage, you’ve ready to craft a suitable offer that will excite the candidate and check all of their motivator boxes. A great offer will keep the candidate focused on the total value (not just compensation).

Negotiate. The best negotiators stay true to their value, but thoroughly understand the candidate’s pain points and motivators, thus allowing them to use this to pull the appropriate levers with the offer. For example, are they most motivated by equity versus base salary? If so, give them the top range of the equity band, but a lower range of comp… and vice versa. By understanding their motivators, you’ve shown that you understand them and have crafted a unique offer tailored to them. This leaves the candidate and hiring manager in their happy place and one less requisition on your plate!

Of course, there are many other key attributes to being a Rockstar Recruiter — check out these five.

So put on your sales hat and start selling! And if all else fails, pick up a copy of GlenGarry Glen Ross and “Always Be Closing.”