It has never been more important for recruiters to perfect their “sales process” for identifying, nurturing, and hiring qualified talent. 

Consider the current hiring environment: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate in November 2016 was 4.6 percent –the lowest level seen since 2007. Employment is growing rapidly, especially in top industries like technology and healthcare, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’Occupational Outlook Handbook. And top candidates – if they’re even open to a new opportunity – know that they’re in demand and often have multiple offers to choose from.

For recruiters, this can be an exhausting and unforgiving landscape to navigate, especially if they don’t have the right resources and strategies in place to be productive. Leveraging many of the same techniques and tools that sales & marketing teams use to be successful can help. The idea that the work of a recruiter is very much akin to that of a salesperson is certainly not new. It’s a logical connection to make: Both need to identify qualified prospects, nurture them through a specific process, and eventually – hopefully – close the deal before the competition does.

By taking a page or two from sales playbooks, recruiters are likely to find it easier to source candidates, build a pipeline of talent, and hire faster. For example, recruiters should work to:

  • Use technology to create and manage an active, engaged pipeline of leads and prospects. The best sales teams use every tool at their disposal to generate viable leads, follow up promptly with “warm” prospects, and turn those prospects into customers. It’s safe to say that most sales professionals today would be lost without a sales management system to help them stay organized, manage their contacts and track their sales deals more efficiently, and work faster. They also would probably sell a lot less.

    Like sales management systems, candidate management systems can help recruiters become more productive. They can also become more strategic with their candidate sourcing and build robust candidate lead pipelines. getTalent, as an example, creates a single repository of all candidate leads, which recruiters can then organize into distinct targeted and highly customizable talent pipelines. Keeping an easily searchable database full of “warm” candidates is critical to nurturing talent over time. It also ensures fewer cold calls to prospects – which is what sale professionals strive for, too.
  • Help “sell” your company’s brand to attract hard-to-reach audiences. Arecent EventTrack survey found that organizations are hosting more, and investing more in, live events and brand experiences. The reason, of course, is that they’re finding great success using these methods to engage with their target audiences in a very personal and memorable way.

    Employer branding has continued to be a buzz word, and recruiters should also be maximizing every opportunity – in-person and online –  to add a dimension to their company’s brand and help “sell” the image of the organization as an employer of choice. Sponsor a Meetup group or hackathon. Post images and videos through a company-branded account on Twitter to offer a “behind the scenes” look at the company and its culture. These are just some ways to foster a positive brand image with active job seekers – as well as grab the attention of passive candidates or soon-to-be-graduates who are preparing to enter the workforce.
  •  Track and measure success using key ROI metrics – just like sales teams do – and use the data insights to continually improve their performance. Here again, candidate management systems can help by enabling recruiters to understand exactly what is happening with their talent pipeline. They can determine if their pipeline is growing, for example, and identify where they need to focus more effort. They can also use these solutions to track candidate interaction across email, phone, and social media, so they know when to follow up – and when to move on.

Recruiting Leaders should look for a solution to help them better track candidate leads and monitor candidate engagement with real-time dashboard capabilities – the type of tool that modern Sales Leaders and their teams rely on to maintain a competitive advantage. With these capabilities, Recruiting Leaders can better coach their team and ensure a positive candidate experience.   Most important, these data insights can help recruiters turn warm leads into hot prospects – and eventually, actual hires.

Shravan Goli is President of Brightmatter Group, a division of DHI Group Inc, and the creator of  getTalent. He will be speaking at the  SRSC Conference on Friday, January 27th in San Francisco, register now to learn more from him and other industry experts.