Why Recruiting is (now) like Sales

Thursday, March 12, 2015

As LinkedIn commented recently, Recruiting is a form of complex, strategic selling. We couldn't agree more, and here's why...


Top talent these days are sophisticated job seekers. They’re not applying for just the first thing they see on Seek. They’ve got options – and they know it. They’re not looking for just any old job, and they’re not swayed simply by remuneration. 

They’re not looking to work for a company; they’re keen to work with a company. It’s a small semantic difference that represents a significant attitude shift – the new breed of top talent want to join you, as once we might have joined an association or club that shares our values, our vision, our passions.

Traditional (read: old fashioned) models of recruitment were set up purely to benefit the recruiter. But today’s workforce won’t respond to out-dated practises. Candidates are going to evaluate you as much as you evaluate them. They’re choosy. And the best ones – those passive candidates – they aren’t going to desperately pounce like the grateful unwashed on the first vacancy that pops up. Oh, no – they’re proactively researching your company, even before you have an advertised role. They’re seeking out who they consider could be their ‘tribe’.

Quality candidates are a lot like consumers – they're looking for a new employer to fulfil their needs. And it’s a buyers market out there. Recruiters, then, need to be salespeople, applying tried-and-true sales and marketing principles to their profession to attract (and to retain) the best and brightest. A wave has begun to swell, of progressive companies and HR professionals who are re-training themselves in the art of ‘marketing the workplace’. 

Like with any powerful consumer brand, it’s not just about style, it’s also about substance. The best quality candidates can spot a fake or a try-hard from 50 paces.  You can’t manufacture company culture in a lab (or in a design agency). 

A good brand partner can help you uncover what makes you special, what makes you desirable (often engaging existing staff in this discovery process), and then help you really elevate and celebrate this truth in an attractive, cohesive and compelling employer brand. 



Ready to start a conversation about this in your business? Get in touch with our team


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