By Jessica Miller-Merrell 


If you haven’t yet picked up on it, let me be the one to tell you that recruiters are the sales people of talent management. In part one of this series I talked about how similarly aligned our processes are with traditional sales people, from generating leads to building relationships to sealing the deal and making the sale. I highlighted the fact that in this competitive job market, recruiting teams must start thinking like sales teams to gain an edge on the competition and be best in class recruiters. A significant part of getting to a place where you can think and act as a best in class recruiter is investing the time and resources into training your recruiting team, just like a sales team would.
There’s no doubt that many, many recruiters are talented in their own right. They likely have tips and tricks that work for them, but even the best sales people would be expected to go through training before they were thrown into the lion’s den. All too often, recruiters don’t go through any kind of formal training, whether it be to acquaint them with the company or to just develop further professionally. And of course, we cannot forget that for every talented recruiter out there, there is at least one who is green, learned the wrong way or just needs to sharpen their skills. In short, your recruiting team needs sales training. The good news is that it can come in many forms and methods and doesn’t have to be complicated.
Actual sales training
You can’t acknowledge that there are so many striking similarities between recruiting and sales and not be convinced that actual sales training wouldn’t benefit your team. The art of generating leads is a valuable skill, as is relationship building and closing the deal. Let your team learn how sales pros manage the process and bring in revenue for their companies. There are a number of ways you can provide this training, from workshops to books to keynote speakers.
Company resources
Consider what internal resources your recruiters could benefit from. This could include internal mentor programs, joining in your company’s sales team training activities, or shadowing in the areas they hire for to learn more about the positions and organization, all for the purpose of being a better job opening sales person.
Ongoing training and support
Your HR department probably does a great job of offering training and resources for those within the company, but our own departments tend to be forgotten. Don’t neglect your recruiting team. A study by Aberdeen found that 44% of companies surveyed provide post-training reinforcement beyond initial sales training. Do the same for your talent sales people and provide ongoing sales training and support. Providing initial training and never revisiting the subject is like going to rehab but never meeting with your sponsor after the fact. Success is not happening if it’s not an ongoing effort.
Mentor programs

Some the most valuable learning happens from experts outside of the industry so expand beyond HR and recruiting and discover what can be gleaned by learning from those outside the industry. A really great way to do this is by pairing recruiters with mentors in the marketing and sales industries. Mentors don’t always have to be, and in fact shouldn’t always be, in the same industry. As an added bonus, it’s also a way to build personal networks, which is never a bad thing in sales or recruiting.

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.


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