Looking at recruiting from two sides…Agency and Corporate.  Let me know your thoughts.  Also, let me know if it is not about the candidate at all and more about the client you are serving…


If you are an agency recruiter, would you consider your position to be sales? Or, would you consider your role to be more consultative towards helping candidates find the right position?


If you are an corporate recruiter, would you consider your position to be sales? Or, would you consider your role to be more consultative towards helping candidates find the right position?

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Sales, yes,of course.

Absolutely!  Recruiting is a sales job- both corporate recruiting and agency recruiting.

"You have to sell yourself to clients that you can get them the best candidates around and to the job seekers you have to sell your skills that your service is good enough to get them the job they are looking for because you are competiting with several other staffing agencies both local and national."


This is 100% true from the corporate angle.  As recruiters, we have to sell our Hiring Managers not only on what we can do for them, but why it is good for them.  Some managers refuse to believe that a recruiter can be any benefit to them because they've been burnt in the past.  We have to sell them.  Obviously, we also have to sell them on our candidates as well.

I tell my recruiters that they have to sell and have to sell well, or else we will be continuously beat by agency recruiters, who quite frankly can do our jobs better than we do ourselves.

I agree Will, my job is first selling my Company to the Candidate, then once I've done a great job at that, I sell the Candidate to my Company/Hiring Manager.  No matter what, both the Company and the Candidate need to be comfortable with the "sale"; I don't get aggressive and push my agenda, but I don't take the first no as the final no either.  

Being able to sell effectively is a major skill set needed for all Recruiters - Agency and Corporate alike; and it's always about the Client/Company more than the Candidate - Clients/Company are the ones who sign your paycheck.  

Will Thomson said:

Agreed.  One thing I always say is I am not trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.  A candidate has to interview the interviewer.  If it is a fit, it is a fit; and if it isn't, it isn't.  I don't try to shove a position down someone's throat just because I am trying to fill a role.  As a corporate recruiter, I try to sell the COMPANY, not the role.  If they are sold on the company, the vision, the ideals- then the right position will come with time.  You have to sell the company & the vision though. 

Recruiters sell to both sides... candidates to hiring managers and jobs, company, culture to candidates.  Doesn't matter if your an agency or corporate recruiter. We also work as consultants and trusted advisers, influencing both sides to make the right decision.

I think 80% of the job is sales.  You need passion and drive to help others.  I have done both  agency recruiting and corporate.  You need to believe in the product and its features.  My current employer makes it easy for me to talk to potential candidates about our great company VisionIT.

Headhunting is a sales job. If you recruit highly sought after talent you are selling.

My role is sales - though it is my hope that neither my clients nor my candidates feel as though they've been "sold" anything.

Jerry - That is very well said.  I think that is where we can get into trouble as recruiters.  If someone feels they have been sold something, then that may be when candidates leave for the next best opportunity.  Thanks for sharing.

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