HR Needs to Act Like Sales

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Partner & CEO
May 31, 2022

The number one asset for any company is its team. Period. Yet - the resources assigned to recruit and retain this primary business asset is often relegated to “whatever is leftover” from the other business units. It's an afterthought. A cost center.

Don't believe me? Let's try an exercise.

In your company today, how does a prospect become a customer? Think about your outbound communications, the website you send them to, how they submit inquiries, how fast your team responds and educates them about your products and services, your follow-ups, your onboarding, your post-sale service, and the process for encouraging referrals?

Is it pretty great? If you have strong sales numbers, chances are you have this down pat.

Ok, let's try this. In your company today, how does a recruit become an employee? Think about where they find out about job opportunities, the websites you send them to, how they submit a job application, how fast your team responds and educates them about who you are and what you do, your follow-ups, your onboarding, your new employee experience and process for asking employees for job applicant referrals?

Be honest - it's pretty terrible, right? Chances are, it feels nothing like a sales process (a well-considered and streamlined optimal experience) although it absolutely should. After all, sales and HR are BOTH recruiting. In both scenarios, you are identifying, educating, and onboarding individuals who will either work for or with you. Both are tremendously important and will define your business.

So why is one treated so differently than the other?

Well, historically companies didn't really need to care. They had jobs that lots of people wanted, and they could force applicants to endure any terrible intake process they wanted. Make a candidate fill out the same super long-form five times? Ok. Force them to go through unending rounds of tests? Done. Totally ghost them after weeks of conversations? Absolutely.

But wait - now no one is filling out your purgatorial forms, the quality of the ones you do receive has dropped considerably and YOU are the one getting ghosted. Why is that?

A few things have changed. A strong market and record low unemployment create a competitive environment, but the number of people who are also leaving the job market suggests this won't be temporary when demand drops. In addition, the speed of change and rising complexity of business demands an ever more experienced and sophisticated team to meet the challenge (which further reduces the pool of already hard-to-find talent).

So how can you recruit and retain an ever-smaller pool of uniquely skilled individuals to drive your business through an uncertain future?

Start treating your recruiting efforts like sales.

Improve your brand messaging, be more thoughtful about how you advertise and market your jobs, team, company, and culture. Have a great website with consistent messaging, limited steps, and clear calls to action. For those who submit their resume, track, assign and respond to them as quickly and professionally as if they were a new customer. Ensure your internal brand experience is also great for current employees and empower them to recommend their friends to apply.

Make your talent recruiting experience delightful.

In our rapidly changing world, companies who can recruit and retain the highest quality teams will win - and with this rising level of competition and talent expectations, you better bring your "A" game… and you better start now.

Need help modernizing your HR recruitment program? Integrity helps corporations and institutions reimagine and redesign their entire talent acquisition experience to be world-class. We would be happy to assist you too.

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