Did you know that some of the top sales recruiters actually started their career as sales people? The role of sales recruiter is heavily linked to that of the sales person and when you consider the two in detail you realize that the roles are actually very similar. Let's look why...
1. Recruiting is a form of sales - you are selling both a job and a prospect
A sales recruiter's job is, on paper, simple: find a candidate and sell the job and company to them while simultaneously selling the candidate to the sales manager. This makes recruiting effectively a double-sales role - while a salesperson typically only has to convince one party to make his deal work, the sales recruiter needs to convince two! Both the sales manager and the potential employee need to believe the deal is in their best interests. This means that both the successful sales person and the successful sales recruiter need very similar skills in sales and persuasion.
2. Sales recruiters need to understand brand management
A sales recruiter interacts with many people outside of the company - some of whom they will have to disappoint when they decide that person is not suitable for the role they are seeking to fill. This means that sales recruiters need to be experts at brand management. The person being turned down needs to go away from the meeting with a positive image of the company despite not being offered a role. If that person goes away with a poor image of the company, they may damage brand through speaking about the experience on social media or elsewhere. A sales person has a similar role as a custodian of the company's brand - through each of their interactions with clients they can either enhance or damage the brand - which will be good training for if they ever become a sales recruiter.
3. Key understanding of the sales role
A great sales person already instinctively knows what is needed to success in sales. By applying this understanding as a sales recruiter, they can quickly weed out applicants who simply do not have the characteristics required to be a star sales performer. When trying to recruit people to the role they can also speak from experience of what the role entails and the benefits it brings to the potential employee.
4. Key understanding of the team and company culture
A sales person can be especially good as a sales recruiter if they have been promoted from within and are recruiting for roles within teams that they have worked with already. Their understanding of the culture and personality of the individuals and teams means they quickly decide if someone is a good fit. The better they understand the dynamics of the sales team the more tailored their set of candidates will be for the hiring manager to look at and the more likely it is that a successful candidate will be found and accepted.
5. Both sales and sales recruitment are all about people
Ultimately, the sales recruiter is simply trying to understand and fulfill a need that a person (the hiring manager) has. Equally, the sales person is trying to understand and fulfill a need that the customer has. The sales recruitment builds on the same skills of customer profiling and empathy that make many sales people successful.
Are you having trouble finding a great sales recruiter? Next time look out for one who has already had sales experience - they'll understand the roles they're trying to fill that much better than someone with no sales experience.