Recruitment: The Sales Job You Didn’t Know About
Have you ever considered that your next career step might be hidden in plain sight? If you’ve built a solid foundation in sales, honing your communication and relationship-building skills, the world of recruitment could be a compelling new frontier for you. Why? Because recruitment, much like sales, centres around identifying prospects, building relationships, and closing deals. The key difference? The product is our service, the people we partner with and the job roles and organisations we represent. Here’s why recruitment is essentially a sales job in disguise.
Understanding Sales: More Than Just Transactions
Sales forms the backbone of any business. It’s all about engaging potential customers, understanding their needs, and persuading them to purchase your goods or services. Be it face-to-face, online, or over the phone, the objective of sales is to boost the company’s revenue and profitability.
Unpacking Recruitment: Sales With a Twist
Like sales, recruitment also involves identifying potential ‘buyers.’ However, in this case, ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers’ are blue chip companies looking for talent and the skilled professionals who could be interested in their next great goal. The recruitment service is the product. While they share core traits, there are distinct features that set recruitment apart:
Recruiters are playing a dual role: they’re promoting their recruitment services to companies and finding top-notch candidates to fill these companies’ roles. Much like salespeople, recruiters must be adept at selling. But, unlike sales, recruiters sell on two fronts – to both clients and candidates. This requires a strong understanding of the market, client requirements, and salary trends.
Recruiters often earn commission on top of a base salary, meaning they have the potential to boost their earnings significantly – a structure familiar to many in the sales industry. For those starting out, recruitment can provide rapid financial rewards and progression opportunities in line with the effort put in.
You can learn more about how recruiters make money in this handy article.
Cultivating Long-Term Relationships
In recruitment, building relationships is essential. Recruiters invest time into understanding a candidate’s career aspirations, interests, and skills and offer guidance throughout the process. Simultaneously, they foster strong relationships with clients to succeed in the fiercely competitive recruitment industry.
Time is of the Essence
Recruitment is a long game. It can take weeks, even months, to find the right candidate, conduct interviews, and negotiate job offers. While this requires patience, the payoff when the perfect match is found is significant.
Recruitment and sales track success differently. Recruiters use metrics like time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and quality-of-hire, focusing on the efficiency of the hiring process. On the other hand, sales measures success via revenue, sales volume, and conversion rates, tracking profitability and growth.
A Real-World Example: Luke Percival
Luke Percival, our SAP Contracts Business Manager, began his career in sales. He experienced a successful transition into recruitment and shares his perspective:
Straight out of college at 17, I ventured into sales, first with a broadband company and then several car dealerships. But by my mid-twenties, after a streak of bad luck, I found myself back at square one, living with a friend and barely a penny to my name. With a wedding on the horizon, I knew I needed more than just a job – I needed a career that offered financial stability. That’s when I considered recruitment.
My brother-in-law, a ten-year recruitment veteran, suggested I explore this field. After interviewing with several companies and dismissing a few sectors that didn’t click with me, like medical recruitment, I found my match with Whitehall Resources.
So, why do I love my job in recruitment? It feels like an ethical form of sales where everyone wins: the client finds a great candidate, and the candidate secures a job. Plus, the financial aspect is incredibly satisfying. The thrill of making placements was a real motivator when I first joined, especially with bills to pay. Now, as a manager, the excitement still kicks in when my team nails a ‘deal.’ Watching them grow, earn, and succeed is a joy I wouldn’t trade for anything.
For an insider’s perspective on transitioning from a sales career to recruitment, don’t miss our detailed article featuring Luke’s journey. His personal experiences and insights offer valuable understanding for anyone considering a similar move.
The Verdict: Is Recruitment a Sales Job?
The evidence is clear: recruitment has a strong sales DNA. As a recruiter, you’re selling a candidate to your client and vice versa. It’s a balancing act that requires both parties to be satisfied for a deal to be successful.
Sales professionals will find that many of their skills are directly transferrable to a recruitment role, making this an appealing career path to consider.
Are you intrigued by the potential of a career in recruitment? Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. We’re here to guide you every step of the way. Check out our latest vacancies and apply online today!
About the author
Whitehall Resources is a specialist SAP recruitment agency based in Colchester, Essex. We work with some of the biggest and best known brands in the world to find high-quality skilled IT professionals. Join us, and experience a new kind of sales journey.