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6 IT Recruiting Techniques You Can Steal From the Sales Department

Jan 06 , 2016

IT recruiting is not exactly like sales. It's like sales times two. On the one hand, recruiters have the task of selling employers on the merits of prospective hires. On the other hand, recruiters must sell potential hires on the merits of employers.

Thus, it makes sense that effective IT recruiters employ many of the same techniques that make salespeople effective. What are they?

Tip No. 1: Know your product.

The first secret to successful selling is being familiar with your product. In the case of an IT recruiter, the product is finding the right candidate for the right position at the right time. Knowing your product, then, involves a high level of communication with the employer.

A top IT recruiter must have a deep understanding of the needs of the employer. Pinpointing and prioritizing employer requirements are key skills for successful candidate placement. The relationship built between a recruiter and an employer should be considered a partnership toward the common goal of attracting top talent. Anything less is poor salesmanship that leads to disastrous recruiting outcomes.

IT recruiters must develop a mentality of partnership with employers.

Tip No. 2: Know your target audience.

Once a recruiter has a firm grasp of employer priorities, it is time to zero in on candidates that most closely match those requirements. This requires an understanding of how and where potential candidates search for employment.

According to a recent SHRM article, recruiters can attract better talent by ramping up the way they utilize social media in their pursuit of qualified candidates. One survey shows that 93 percent of recruiters currently use or plan to use social media to supplement their normal recruiting practices.

Using a variety of channels and marketing to different audiences increases the likelihood that recruiters will find those candidates that have a strong IT background and a desire to make a move professionally.

Tip No. 3: Tailor your message.

While it may be tempting to automate your interactions with candidates, good salesmanship still requires a personalized touch. Using automation appropriately, then, calls for discretion and good judgment.

Top tips for personalization include making your message conversational and using a multi-media approach that includes videos and webinars to attract and engage candidates.

Tip No. 4: Use social media to bolster networking efforts.

Effective salespeople always know somebody who knows somebody. In today's digitized environment, that concept takes on new meaning for IT recruiters. A recent survey reveals that 65 percent of organizations hire employees who were sourced through social media. Additionally, 63 percent of employers stated that it was important for IT job candidates to have a presence on social media.

These statistics illustrate the changing landscape of IT recruiting. Recruiters must utilize social media platforms such as LinkedIn to bring employers and job applicants together. In addition, recruiters must become increasingly tech-savvy to attract top talent.

Tip No. 5: Become an active listener.

In a recent guest blog for Hubspot, Will Brooks, director of marketing for the Brooks Group, observes: "Successful selling requires a delicate balance between talking and listening. While you need to provide enough information to communicate your product's value, you also have to make sure your prospect feels heard."

Are you an active listener?

Successful recruiting also requires active listening. This type of listening is more than just hearing what people have to say. It involves soliciting feedback with a view to understanding the viewpoints of both the employer who retained your recruiting services and the job candidate with whom you are working.

It also involves maintaining a balance, reining in any impulse to dominate the conversation, and asking strategic questions to elicit genuinely useful responses.

Tip No.6: Measure the success of your efforts.

Salespeople constantly have one eye on the numbers. They want to know how successful their sales initiatives are in order to constantly tweak their performance.

The same holds true for recruiters. In order to gauge the success of their efforts, recruiters must pay attention to the metrics of their strategies, making appropriate adjustments as needed to optimize their services.

The Takeaway

Successful salespeople and successful recruiters have much in common. They know the product they offer, they know their target audience, they use their social skills effectively to achieve stellar results, and they measure those results with actionable metrics.

While the sales mantra may be "Always be closing," the recruiting mantra is "Always be recruiting." With an ear to the ground and a skill set that includes active listening and personalization, recruiters can find top IT talent and master both the art and science of recruiting.

For more information about how effective recruiting measures can yield better results for your business, please contact us today. We have a passion for matching top talent with the companies who want it.