Recruiting is Sales! Recruiting is Not Sales! Why do we care?

I've seen a lot of posts lately about whether recruiting is or isn't sales. A large part of recruiting is sales. We're production and money/commission driven, we sell candidates on positions and clients on candidates, we close deals and I've even heard the "ABC: always be closing" spiel in training. But a lot of our job is also about networking, sourcing, sifting through piles of resumes to pick the top 2-3 for our clients to interview and simply facilitating the process to move the hiring process along and make it "easier" for everyone, which is why companies don't just go find these people on their own and also pay a fee. If you're in business, there will always be a part of your job that involves selling. And, really, why does it matter so much?

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Thanks, Becky. Well-put.

IMHO, it' (posts like that)s great to fill up digital inches of web-commentary, and that's about it.

(Internal) Recruiting is putting quality butts in chairs-on time and within budget, and THAT's about it...



You can't be great at the networking, candidate closing, etc... if you are not a good sales person. Every day each recruiter is selling themselves, the job, the client, the reason why someone that's not 100% match but has the majority of skills to be successful in the job and so on and so on. I think the reason why this is brought up so much is there are quite a few recruiters that lack this talent and push paper hoping for a match to be made. A good recruiter knows how to evaluate motivators for both the client and the candidate and not cross fingers for something to stick, they make it happen and take control themselves....they SELL!

@ Ryan, I'mm a fine networker, but NOT a fine salesperson.

I've been contract recruiting for ~20years- it's worked for me so far...


I don't doubt it Keith, but not to be ironic....don't "sell" yourself short. 20 yrs in the business and being a fine networker, you can sell! Maybe not the cold calling or breaking down doors, but you've sold from a recruiting perspective. It's all relative and a loose term....I just think recruiting is sales and we shouldn't degrade that compared to what our acct management teams do.

Keith Halperin said:

@ Ryan, I'mm a fine networker, but NOT a fine salesperson.

I've been contract recruiting for ~20years- it's worked for me so far...


Ryan, I agree completely that we are always selling in recruiting. In all reality, practically every job involves some form of selling. It comes down to discovering the person's "pain point" and fixing it. 

Keith, networking IS sales! Sales isn't just cold calling and convincing people to buy in to your service or product. People buy from people they like first. Forming and maintaining those relationships is the first and most important part of sales and recruiting.

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