As you started your career as an HR recruiter, you might’ve thought you would have an unlimited amount of work – after all, there will always be companies looking to hire new talent, and there will always be people looking for a job.
But as there are millions of fish in the sea, there are hundreds of thousands of recruiters that clients could choose over you. And though you might find the perfect candidate for a position, you might still struggle to sell them to your client.
If that sounds like you, read on to learn the best sales tactics for HR recruiters.
What Is Sales in Recruitment?
Whether you’re a freelancer, in-house recruiter, or work at a recruiting agency, you still face a challenge in promoting yourself and convincing both employers and potential applicants to utilize your services.
Similarly, once you have a hiring client, you have your work cut out for you, trying to sell the hiring company on the worker and vice versa.
As such, HR recruiters sell three different people: themselves, their client, and their candidate in a complex roundabout. This makes sales skills three times as important as in any other position.
Luckily, sales is one of the oldest professions, and plenty of accumulated wisdom can be learned. Though not all tips translate across industries, here are the five most important sales tactics that can be applied to HR recruitment.
1.Identify Your Niche
Our first tip is to identify your niche as a recruiter.
What makes you uniquely qualified to find and evaluate applicants for your client? Do you have extensive experience working with companies in this industry? Or did you perhaps work in this industry yourself and know all the technical lingo?
Identifying these unique qualifications for yourself as a recruiter helps build your credibility to both clients and candidates alike. With the assurance that you’re an insider on the industry, they’ll have no qualms with diving right into the specifics of the position, knowing you’ll be able to follow along.
And the more you play to your strengths, the more confident you’ll feel about the conversations you have with clients and candidates alike!
2. Start a Conversation
Next is to develop close relationships with your leads, clients, and candidates by opening up with a casual conversation.
Rather than jumping straight into the job position or why they should choose your agency, take a moment to ask about their career goals, personal life, and any other topics of interest, and slowly work your way to your main offer. This helps you build a rapport, authentically discover the person’s personality, and leave a strong and lasting impression on your conversation partner.
This is especially important if you’re hoping to lure a worker away from a current job – if you start too strong with a job offer, they’ll likely say “no” out of reflex. Instead, it’s best to open up with a discussion on whether the potential candidate is happy with their current position or not and what perks or benefits another job could offer that might sway them to leave.
3. Qualify Your Prospects
Though you might be eager to accept any potential client who comes through your agency’s doors, you might bite off more than you can chew if you accept new clients without qualifying them.
Before you say yes to any incoming clients, think: What does your ideal client look like? Does this person seem like a good fit for my agency? As we mentioned earlier, it’s best to build up a reputation of expertise in a particular niche or industry where you have experience.
To that end, be sure to qualify any incoming partners or candidates to see if they match your ideal client profile. Before making any brash promises, take a closer inventory of the client’s industry, requisite skillset, salary range, number of positions open, and more. Similarly, when recruiting, take a close look at a candidate’s skill set, experience, asking salary, and location to determine qualifications before reaching out to them.
By taking a few extra minutes to qualify your potential clients and candidates, you can hone in and focus on the leads and prospects who will be a shoo-in for a position, boosting your success rates.
3. Use An Assumptive Close
So far, we’ve advised you to slow down, start a conversation, and spend some more time qualifying your prospects. But the longer you wait to pop the question and ask the client about hiring your services, the higher the chance the position or candidate will be snatched away by someone else.
That’s why your closing technique—your approach to asking for a sale—must be perfectly timed and suited to the situation.
One of the best closing techniques for clients with whom you’ve built a strong and friendly rapport is the assumptive closing technique, where you move the conversation along as if the prospect has already said yes to the deal. This skips over a tense moment and ends the conversation on a positive note.
For an HR recruiter, an example of an assumptive close might be, “If you can get me a rough draft of the job listing by Friday, I can have 20 qualified candidates on your desk by next week,” or alternatively, “If you send me your polished resume by the end of the day, I can get you an interview opportunity by the end of this week.”
However, it’s true that other closing techniques would be more suitable for certain situations. If you’re interested in learning more advanced closing and sales conversation techniques, check out Makingthatsale.com.
4. Maintain Lifetime Connections
Our final tip is to make lifetime connections with your clients. Follow up with former clients and candidates to see if they’re happy with their new hires and positions and to remind them of your help in their success.
Eight out of ten (82%) of Americans seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase, so if you make a strong impression on clients, they may be happy to refer new prospects your way. Plus, they’ll also be more likely to come to you first should they have more open positions that need filling or want a change in career.
As such, keeping up with former clients can help you obtain both new clients and repeat clients, all in one fell swoop.
Finding clients as an HR recruiter can be tough, and convincing them that you and the job openings and candidates you market are the best for them is even harder. But using these five sales tactics, you can up your HR game, make a strong professional impression, and hire more people than ever before.
HR Future Staff Writer.