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Why Is Being a Recruiter Such A Hard “Sales” Job ?

Why Is Being a Recruiter Such A Hard “Sales” Job ?

In a naked attempt to garner sympathy for us poor recruiters, I thought I might outline why recruitment does seem to be even harder than other sales jobs.

I speak as someone who has recruited media sales people for 13 years and who worked as a media sales person for 11 years before that.

Naturally lots of the same ‘challenges’ exist in both Recruitment and all other Sales sectors – revenue targets, deadlines, KPI metrics, contribution to a company’s bottom line (and therefore continued existence) etc etc. However the one variable that seems to be unique to Recruitment is the fact that you are ‘selling’ to 2 parties at the same time: employers and potential employees.  

A recruiter has to convince 2 different parties that this is the right decision for both of them, whilst continuously going back and forth between the two sides, to ensure a mutually acceptable outcome. OK so a bit more to contend with than in other sales roles perhaps but surely not beyond any sales person who understands how to persuade and influence ? Well yes….and no.

The tricky part is that just when you think you have got both parties convinced of the “marriage made in heaven” status of their decision, one side or the other can turn around and change their mind.

Imagine this happening in another sales sector. The car salesman sells you a Holden Monaro for $40k; you sign on the dotted line and reach out for the keys and suddenly you hear ……”nah, don’t like the look of him….I’m not going with him”. The Monaro has just vetoed the sale !

Or the retail sales person sells you a lovely little black number that will make you the talk of the party but the dress suddenly pipes up with…… “ooh no, I can do better than her. Find me a better body that wants to buy me”.

Sounds silly but this is an everyday reality for us poor recruiters, so please show some empathy and compassion for our suffering.

It’s not going to work is it.  

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