For better or worse, recruiters are salespeople. (Sadly, we live in a world where that sentence sounds derogative, which it isn’t.) They hunt for leads, they pitch companies and opportunities, they facilitate through the “buying” process, and they help close the deal. What they sell changes lives, but it is still sales.
So there are a lot of lessons to be learned from selling within recruiting, and I think the most important one is this: No one cares that you’re hiring.
Salespeople deal with this deep indifference all the time. They have a product or service that can help someone (or a business, perhaps). This offering is will save money/make money/provide insight that makes money/save time/limit regret, etc. This isn’t snake oil, it’s a product with clear benefits to the right buyers.
So how does a good salesperson sell something obviously valuable and prima facie useful?
Start with the benefits: I have a way to save you money and time. I have a way that increases conversion 20%. I have a tool everyone you know will be using in one year, so beat them to the punch.
Maybe they start with the buyer: You’re someone who is spending too much time and money doing X. You need more of a certain kind of lead. You run a business and you’re seeing costs go up.
Maybe they start with the problem: Are you struggling to convert leads? Do you need a supplier who anticipates your needs instead of waiting for you to ask? Need to attract customers to your new location?
Maybe start with an emotion: Are you worried you’re getting left behind? Is the fear of an audit keeping you awake at night? Are you concerned that you haven’t positioned your business to maximize customer interest and margins?
There are libraries of books written on how to attract interest because the first lesson every salesperson learns is that until to spark interest within your target audience, no one cares. Everyone is so insanely busy and no one has time to wander around looking vaguely for “new ideas and solutions.” Thus the first job of a salesperson is to get someone who is busy worrying about seventeen other things to see IMMEDIATELY that what you are selling obviously can help the buyer.
That means, you never see a salesperson post on LinkedIn, “I’m selling!” Of course they are selling! They’re a salesperson. It’s their job to sell. But if I’m a small business and you sell hydrogen-fueled generators the size of Winnebagos, why should I care that you are selling?
So why do so so so SO many recruiters (and god help us, recruitment marketing professionals and even many employer branders), start their LinkedIn posts with “I’m hiring!”
Of course you are hiring! You’re a recruiter! It’s your job to recruit! But if I’m a nurse and you’re hiring middleware developers, why should I care that you’re hiring? You’re not hiring me!