HR – It’s You or it’s Me

I love ‘end of days’ type posts and articles.  The end of Job Boards!  The end of HR!  Here’s another one great one over at ERE by Dr. John Sullivan called: The End of Sourcing Is Near…, which talks about how eventually (in John’s opinion) most sourcing information will be readily available to almost everyone.  This makes really the only thing left to do in recruiting is to sell the candidate on your job and your organization.  Sullivan explains the importance of this very critical step in recruiting – the sell:

“Recruiting leaders should begin focusing on these selling aspects because, as previously stated, “finding” is becoming so easy, and there is little push for change in candidate assessment because most recruiters and hiring managers are comfortable with the existing process of assessing candidates through interviews.

Once you realize that the selling aspect of recruiting is almost universally under researched, underfunded, and it is almost always executed in an unscripted manner, you’ll see that it’s ripe for significant improvement and change. If you review the recruiting literature you will find very little written about the science of selling and the importance of using data-driven selling approaches within the recruiting function. The pressure is increasing on recruiting leaders to make a decision to shift resources away from sourcing by recruiters and toward the remaining big challenge: selling.”

Like most ‘end of days’ type posts, Sullivan’s end of sourcing post is probably a little over the top, but he makes a great point.  HR Pros don’t recruit well for one simple fact – HR Pros didn’t get into HR to sell – they got into HR to do HRy things like: build processes, improve processes, administer people practices within an organization, training, problem solving, etc.   They didn’t go – “Oh boy! I can’t wait to get into the Fortune 500 HR shop so I can sell our company like a a life insurance salesman trying to make quota!”

That’s where I come in.  I don’t hire HR pros to work in recruiting.  I don’t sell the recruiting position as an HR position.  I don’t go over to Michigan State’s HR program and speak to students about ‘getting their start’ in HR by coming to work for me.  99% of those folks, while great people, would fail in my environment.  They want to be in HR – Recruiting is not HR.  There in lies the problem for most HR shops.   Most HR folks – probably 70-80% – have to do some ‘recruiting’ in their organizations.  They don’t have a recruiting department or a sourcing group to do all the heavy lifting.  Most HR Managers, if they’re lucky, have a full time recruiter, but this still means, when it’s busy, they still have to recruit.

That’s why so many HR pros engage recruiting agencies.  We offer a skill set they don’t, necessarily, have on their staff.  We sell.  We sell the crap out of a position and your company.  We can make an average company look like the Best Place to Work and a really bad company look like the next big opportunity.  No power steering – No problem – manual steering builds up great arm muscles!  Want tinted windows?  Yeah, we can get those installed.  Recruiting is selling.  In fact, Recruiting is double selling.  You sell the candidate on the position, then you sell the hiring manager on the candidate.  Good recruiters can work in any industry – because selling skills are transferable to any product or service.

So – do you want your HR Pros to sell, or do you want me to sell?  By the way – I don’t hire HR Pros, I hire closers.

Let my company do some selling for you – let’s connect:; 517-908-3156 or @TimSackett.


3 thoughts on “HR – It’s You or it’s Me

  1. A.B.C. – Always Be Closing! Glengarry Glen Ross Alec Baldwin speech. You drove a hyundai to get here tonight and I drove an $80k BMW, that’s my name.

  2. Your observations about selling are correct. All of us, regardless of function need to realize that we are always needing to sell something. Daniel Pink talked about that at HR Indiana last year as he previewed his new book. During the conference, he specifically cited HR as vastly underestimating our need to sell, whether it was for recruiting new employees or talking within our own organizations about new programs and initiatives. Whether we know it or not, we all sell each and every day!

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