Sales and recruitment are two totally different areas and there is a thick line between them, is it? They seem to have more in common than it may appear at first glance.
The goal of sales activities is to acquire customers and keep them, while the purpose of recruitment is to find people proper for particular jobs. Both are necessary to assure business fluency and sustainable growth of every company, they complete each other. The structure and names of given positions may be different depending on the organization, but there are always employees who are responsible for hiring new people and those responsible for selling products or services.
Similar goals require similar character traits
What is more, in some specific companies, like personal agencies or outsourcing firms – recruitment services are the major “product”. Therefore, it may happen that one person deals with sales as well as with recruitment in the same time – first of all they need to find a customer who would like to delegate a recruitment project outside, and afterwards run the whole hiring process. So logically, there must be some common skills and competencies needed for both roles. What are the most important ones?
- Great communication skills – that’s crucial, because the results of both sales and recruitment processes depend on how the whole communication was held, including asking the correct questions, listening actively, recognizing real needs and goals of the customer /candidate, presenting offer in an interesting way, answering all questions and eventually negotiating conditions of collaboration. Without this, it would be hard to sell even the best product or attract the candidate to the most lucrative job opportunity.
- Persistence – if you want to either acquire a customer or hire an employee (especially in IT), you must be prepared to receive a lot of “no” replies. You just can’t give up easily, the key is to be highly motivated and keep trying.
- Goal orientation – both roles are about pursuing specified goals, like: signing particular number of contracts or bringing some amount of money to the company, hiring agreed number of employees, closing vacancy within a tight deadline. One has to know the goal and always take into consideration, in order to plan all the activities wisely.
- Ability to build strong relationships – the rule is simple: if you are a client and you like a salesperson, if you feel some “chemistry” between you, then you are keen to buy something from him or her. Probably most of us have been in a situation when we resigned from a transaction because we didn’t like the customer service. It is really powerful. It applies to recruiters as well – if they are not able to make real connections and build relationships, then job offer may be eventually rejected by the chosen, as s/he didn’t feel engaged and motivated enough.
So, if you work in a sales department and you consider changing your career path to recruitment, or the opposite – I think it can work out.
Author: Joanna Marciniak, NATEK Talent Acquisition Specialist