Talent Circles

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Sales Skills That Make a Recruiter Successful

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

One in nine Americans done the official titles of sales however, Daniel Pink believes that 8 out of 9 Americans work in a sales capacity. The role of sales is extremely apparent to the corporate recruiter who is responsible to sell to both the candidate and the hiring manager.

Recruitment is closely aligned to sales.
A good sales person understands the entire sales lifecycle from the beginning of phases of qualifying and identifying potential buyers for the available product or service. They understand the key features and benefits of what they are selling and they search the market for the right buyers. Doesn’t that sound just like recruitment?

Recruiters are selling both sides of the employment opportunity. They seek to qualify and identify top candidates for a job requisition they are looking to fill. They identify the top benefits or perks that appeal to their best candidates while simultaneously selling their top prospects to the hiring manager showcasing their candidate’s top qualities.

To be a successful recruiter, you must be successful at sales.
What does it take for a person to be successful at sales? Some say it requires the right personality, attitude and overall approach. But what qualities are most important to a recruiter who is ABR (Always Be Recruiting)?

There are five key sales skills that make recruiters successful. These essential traits include:

1.     Empathy
Understanding how others feel, or to empathize is important to recruitment. By examining the needs and objectives of the candidates and the hiring manager, recruiters can identify the needs of each party and present solutions that lead to trust and rapport.

2.     Focus
Maintaining a focus on the objectives is critical to the sales cycle and recruitment process. When recruiters are focused, they tend to be self-motivated and organized. They also are good listeners with the ability to drive the conversations towards the goals for acquiring top talent.

3.     Responsibility
Successful sales professionals never make excuses or blame others for their circumstances. They continuously and confidently strive to reach their goals so that they may achieve the intended results. They have tenacity that is motivated by action items.

4.     Optimism
A positive mindset is an important trait to the recruitment process because of the ongoing need to overcome obstacles. Because there are many factors to account for that recruiters cannot control entirely, taking the initiative and maintaining persistence regardless of any setback will allow success throughout the recruitment process.

5.     Ego-drive
Self-motivated and a self-starter, a person with ego-drive is highly competitive and strives to achieve and win. Ego-drive is especially necessary with an ABR approach.

Because recruiters are consistently scouting talent and mining the market for potential hires to present to the hiring managers, these five sales skills will be key to the full lifecycle of talent sourcing. If you are a recruiter producing marginal results, it may be beneficial for you to find these inner traits within your self and begin to approach your recruiting efforts like a sales professional.


  1. Is this aimed at agency or inhouse recruiters?

    Please don't say "both'?

  2. Having worked both internally and in an agency, I think it does apply to both, though agency recruiters often have to do sales in addition to recruiting. With internal, I can sell the company and culture more than the "job." Since recruiting is going towards marketing, I find that when I'm looking to hire a recruiter, I look for the same qualities that would be important in a retail environment -- customer service focus, conversational abilities, and analytic skills. I like to say if they can't work at Starbucks (which has a strong company culture and commitment to employees, comparatively; they also seem to find the most interesting and bright people!), they can't work for me.

  3. If you want to be success in any of the fields then you need to be expert in that field. It would also be a great idea to do some of the additional courses like Executive Diploma to boost career.