There’s an age old debate around recruiting and outbound sales. How alike are these roles and can they be viewed in the same way to achieve better results? Lead prospecting or candidate pools, job placements or closed deals – can’t we all learn something from one another?
Recruiting argues that placing candidates is NOT as simple as selling a product. In a recruiting cycle there needs to be a mutual agreement between the candidate and company to move forward, so the recruiter sometimes has to “sell” both sides. Regardless, recruiters who can run a tight pipeline of candidates, using these sales techniques, attract more quality talent, keep them engaged and close more offers.
Let’s look at 4 important aspects of the sales cycle and apply those techniques to recruiting:
Strong salespeople are always prospecting. They’re looking for opportunities through a variety of channels, relationships and connections. They’re setting themselves up for the next successful quarter even if they’ve hit their current quota. It’s constant care to their pipeline, filling and nurturing the sales funnel, and playing the long game.
Recruiters should approach their candidate pool in the same way, even if they don’t have an open position for a quality candidate. Keep your networking activity high with the mindset of a future “sale” and leverage email tracking apps to stay in touch with candidates at the right time. When the right position does open up for them, you can be quick to move them along and place them without roadblocks. Where are you looking and interacting with potential candidates, and how can you expand your reach?
Sometimes in sales, your buyers just aren’t ready to buy yet. They don’t see your solution as a priority, or they don’t think they’re facing the challenge you solve for. It’s up to sales to create the issue and urgency around it, then shed light on the solutions and how the buyer will ultimately benefit.
When it comes to recruiting, it is your job to sell a candidate on your organization, when the majority of the time they aren’t looking for new opportunities. It’s known that top quality talent is already employed, so how are you differentiating yourself in your pitch? Why should that candidate leave their current role and consider working for you?
The messaging you use to peak candidate interest is crucial, just as cold email templates, social engagements or cold calls are important in sales. To perfect your initial impression, carefully craft your outreach emails in a way that will resonate with your candidate. If they’re in IT, the content will be different in tone and delivery than if you were reaching out to a marketing candidate. Think ahead, and leverage the use of email automation and templates to speed up this process. Leverage your marketing team to come up with collateral you can easily share – maybe recruiting and sales can equally benefit from collateral that paints a strong picture of your brand and peaks candidate interest. You can create a different email sequence based on candidate type or role, and speak to the differentiators that matter in their current situation. Email automation via templates and sequences are easy to use, and scalable, to make this process second-nature and cultivate a pipeline of quality talent.
The Efficient Workflow
So the similarities between recruiting and sales are there.
We both focus on the hunt to land a conversation and ultimately close a deal.
We both manage a pipeline of prospects or candidates. We qualify them based on skills or ideal customer profiles.
We both leave a crazy amount of messages, chasing down and calling our prospects or candidates.
So can we both agree that efficiency in our workflows is crucial? The easier the process, the faster we can move prospects and candidates along the pipe. The easier the workflow, the more we can automate and focus on attaining quality engagement.
Use applicant tracking systems and sales process automation to your advantage. Schedule email send schedules, cold email templates and content links to do the heavy lifting for you. Something as simple as email automation to quality candidates, letting them know you’ve received their resume, can strengthen the communication and relationship from the beginning. You’re responsible for that compelling messaging to aid candidates in making a decision, so make it easier on yourself by planning ahead and setting up email automation and meeting schedulers to help you get there faster. You’ll have a better handle on your candidate pipeline, and be able to qualify them to determine where to spend the majority of your manual time.
The Follow Up
A strong follow up game can be the difference between a top candidate slipping through the cracks, or landing their dream job they weren’t even looking for until you reached out. In sales it’s known that it takes between 4-16 touches to connect with a prospect. How many times, and on how many channels, are you engaging with candidates? How much time passes between your outreach? Time creeps up and can kill the deal, whether it’s a prospect that went on vacation or a candidate that went dark. Strategically schedule email and all forms of communication ahead of time to avoid these dark periods. Determine your ideal level of engagement and spread out the touches via different channels to stay connected to your candidates. Even if they aren’t looking for new opportunities now, it’s still beneficial to keep in touch through a nurture-like campaign. Always follow up. And follow up to your follow up. You get the idea, and with workflow tools like Mixmax you can create the strongest follow up game to keep quality candidates in sight.
There’s a lot we can learn from the teams we may not work with regularly. A strong outbound sales team is synced with marketing and operations for a cohesive brand experience, and that ties into the message your recruiting team is portraying too. A strong organization is standardizing new sales tools across all their teams to make their processes easy and efficient. Recruiters can take away valuable tips from the sales team’s workflow, to prospect quality candidates and move them quickly to an accepted offer. What else can we learn from our peers to think of our own process differently and boost our performance?
Want to Up Your Recruiting Game?
Perhaps it’s time to give Mixmax a try — it can help you outsmart your recruiting quota!
Start a free trial of Mixmax today.