I’ve been in the game for a long time. I’ve been a Recruiter, a Sales rep, a Branch Manager; I’ve hired a lot of Recruiters and Sales professional; and today I am personally connected to thousand of them right across the world.

But at the beginning of my career something important has happened changing the way I look at things. So, I want to tell you a little story:

“When I worked for an international Staffing Agency in 2008, I was at a Recruitment day event organized to recruit and hire junior sales rep for the company. During the Event I noticed that one of my team member as internal recruiter turned away a candidate, a young girl, because her background was in recruiting. I told my colleague that I did not agree with that choice. So I recalled the girl to invite her for another interview with me. The result was that the girl was hired and in one year she became one of the most productive sales rep In the company for the South-Italy”.

Afterwards I started to think that Recruiting and Sales were not in competition, but they were two sides of the same coin. And over the years I can surely say today that Recruiting is not only a Sales but a double Sales, so twice as hard. Infact Sales Professionals had one job and goal that is selling products or services to customers. Instead Recruiters have to sell the candidate to the hiring manager and to sell the company and the position to the candidate.

Moreover another evidence of what I think is that all the freelance Recruiters and consultants at staffing agencies have to successfully acquire their own customers, in order to provide their recruitment services. In this case they sell three times.

Nevertheless a lot of Recruiters I have interacted with during my career don’t see themselves as sales people. I don’t know exactly why, maybe it is because people in charge of sales do not have a good reputation (they are seen obsessed with the compensation system and motivated only by money), or simply because it’s not so easy to think of a job applicant as a commodity.

However I don’t want to generalize, I know that the two professions are not the same thing, but they have a lot in common about the skill-set involved and the way to plan and execute the entire action.

Here’s some similar steps they definitely follow to complete their entire process:

1. Developing the relationship

How you introduce yourself and how you begin the conversation that’s what really matters. If you choose to create a climate of trust and confidence, it will influence the rest of the conversation and negotiation for a better result.

2. Identifying the need

This is the most crucial step of the process. Every Recruiting and Sales process start identifying a need, but candidate and customers are often unaware of it. Therefore you have to investigate a lot and be very effective to do that. Only in this way you will be able to have a great performance. Recruiters with poor investigative skills generally create candidates who ultimately do not accept the position once offered.

3. Handling objections

Although objections are inevitable in any sales process, the key for successful sales professionals/recruiters is actually preventing objections. By asking the right types of when you identify the need, many objections that would have arisen in the process are addressed before the candidate or the customer has an opportunity to bring them forth.

4. Filling the need

Identifying the need is considered the most crucial skill in sales or recruiting; filling the need is the second-most critical step to ensuring success. Often recruiters and sales professionals alike pay little attention to step 2 and focus solely on step 4.

For example Recruiters often have an in-depth understanding of the organization they are recruiting for, they understand every detail of the position and its function, and they completely understand the requirements of the role. So, Armed with all of this informations and , these recruiters contact potential candidates and tell them about every benefit of the position and company they represent, never addressing the real needs of the candidate. This is a commen mistake.

5. The closing

This is the final objective for Recruiting and Sales. Now you are in the position to advance the process to the final action. Recruiters present the offer and gain acceptance from the candidate, solving hiring manager’s business needs and helping job applicants to find their career path. At this stage recruiters often focus on the practical aspects of the offer being made: compensation, benefits, etc. Effective recruiters and sales professionals alike understand the importance of re-emphasizing the emotional drivers identified in Step 2 (Identifying the need) of the process prior to presenting the practical aspects of the solution.

Originally published at medium.com