Recruiting is like sales

I come across profiles of candidates who I think would make great recruiters. . . but their background isn’t in HR/Recruiting. How can that be, you ask?  It’s simple. Recruiting is JUST like sales. The roles are analogous; they are one in the same.

Hear me out.

Sales / Job description

  • Identify target audience (enterprise, mid-market, small business, tech, healthcare, finance, government, etc)
  • Prospect and cold call
  • Follow up on warm leads (ie: inbound leads)
  • Peel the onion and find pain points
  • Close business
  • Get contracts in place

Recruiting / Job description

  • Identify target audience (sales reps, field marketing, financial analyst)
  • Prospect and cold call
  • Follow up on warm leads (ie: inbound applicants)
  • Peel the onion and find pain points
  • Close candidate
  • Get contracts in place (ie: employment contract)

I’ve seen a number of people successfully make the move from sales to recruiting and they’ve done amazingly well. Sales is a grind. But, guess what? So is recruiting.

I made the change from sales to recruiting back in 2007 and haven’t looked back. I loved the grind and I loved the commission checks, but something was missing. Read more here.

What do you think? Are sales and recruiting closely aligned?



Why Corporate Recruiting?

How / Why did you get into recruiting?

That’s a question I got when I was interviewing.  It’s also a question I frequently get when talking to friends.

My journey to the Corporate Recruiting world started in 2004.  I was finishing school, interning for a private money management company in their sales department.  They brought me on full time once I finished school, and I went into a sales role.  Cold calling.  Appointment setting.  Tracking the money I was bringing into the firm.  I was better at sales than I ever thought I could be, especially in an industry I honestly knew nothing about.  I made a lot of money.  But I wasn’t happy.

What was missing?

In sales, it’s very much about “how can you help ME?”  When, in turn, I really wanted to help THEM.  I wanted to provide them with their best options – whether or not it was truly with our firm.  I started thinking about a way to combine something I was good at (sales) with something that would make me feel good about what I was doing for a living.

In 2008, I was approached for an internal position as a Corporate Recruiter, and I jumped at the opportunity.  What better way to fill that void I felt!  I landed in a position where I would “sell” the managers on candidates that I was presenting to them, where I would “sell” the candidate on what makes our company great to work at, where I fulfilled my own desire to be helpful.  I was helping a company fill its organization with great talent, while helping someone looking for a great “home” to display their expertise.

Selfishly, I made the move for myself.

And in the end, that decision to move out of sales, away from the big money income, the glorious “President’s Club” trips, and the pretentiousness of being the best has left me feeling extremely fulfilled in my career.

I have considered moving to the agency side of recruiting, but I want to feel like I am helping to grow ONE organization.  I want to live, breathe, and BE the culture I am promoting and supporting.

I love what I do.  I love the feedback I get from managers when I find their perfect candidate.  I love the emails I get from candidates saying they had the best candidate experience and “THANK YOU for helping me.”

I am a matchmaker.  I am the one who walks away with a sly smile knowing that all is right in the world for *this* exact moment.

Now… let me ask you… why do you do what you do?