Traditionally, operations and talent acquisition do not see eye-to-eye in service driven companies
An effective recruiter knows her product as a salesperson does
Last week as part of our TA Leadership League sessions, we met a group of TA Leaders in Pune and invited Prameela Kalive (among others) to address this group. Prameela heads both Operations and Talent Acquisition for Zensar Technologies. Traditionally these two functions do not see eye-to-eye in service driven companies and the challenge is to make them both collaborate. That is probably why when she was given the role of head of operations, she brought it up with the business that she will also take on the talent acquisition role. Her goal is to integrate business execution and recruitment and that she says, is serious business.
This is how Zensar aligns its recruiters to business execution:
1- Define your recruiter’s role as a ‘Sales & Marketing’ role: Recruitment is a sales function, it has a sales cycle from suspects, prospects, leads to customers (in this case, candidates) that accept out proposal (in this case our job opportunity)
2- Know your product: Make sure your recruiters know the product they are selling. Sales people know the benefits, the features, the complete details of the product and know how to position which features to which customers. Do your recruiters know the product they are selling? Recruiters do not sell an offer letter, the sale something much more complex – the role, the dependencies, the culture, the opportunity. Do they know what they sell? Do they know how to pitch it and customize it to the different candidate segments?
3- Know your competition: As much as a sales professional knows her competition, a recruiter should. What is the competition’s product, their value proposition?
4- Leverage innovative pricing models: The same way that sales professionals innovate at the negotiation stage on pricing; recruiters need the ammunition to convert the offer by offering innovative value to candidates. Value proposition and pricing should be differentiated from competition and should be appealing to the segment you are trying to convert.
5- Define your conversion strategy: Sales professionals have a way to maximize their chances of closure on deals, get closer to the client, find out information about competing bids etc etc. Same applies to recruiters? Does your TA team have a defined conversion strategy? Well, it should! After all the effort eventually you want to maximize conversion, so how are you doing it? Get the pulse of the candidates, sensing if a candidate is backing out gives you the opportunity to create back up plans too.
6- Empower & reward: Sales professionals know their authority levels on what they can negotiate and they cannot, do your recruiters know? Similarly sales gets rewarding on revenue, recruiters should get rewarded based on closures too, of candidates to new joinees. Look at the salary structure of recruiters to create the right behaviors.
An effective recruiter knows her product as well as a sales person does, plans her day looking at her sales channel of candidates, brings innovation at every stage to maximize conversion of candidates to employees. A great way to transform the recruitment function is to get the sales team to train and mentor your recruitment teams. Sales skills are available in-house but most often sales and recruitment hardly interact make that interaction possible and creating a mentoring relationship between the recruitment team and the sales team.