No one would argue that sales and marketing are strategic business functions. They get strong executive support and the big budgets because they feature data-driven decision-making, market segmentation, powerful branding, and customer focus. Recruiting, on the other hand, has long been known as “just sales with a crummy budget,” as HR thought-leader John Sullivan puts it. That perception is rapidly changing as recruiting takes its rightful place as a strategic priority.
Recruitment is a sales process as defined by Dr. Sullivan’s work:
Strategic recruiting is an approach to winning the best talent based on three components: employer branding, recruitment-directed marketing, and skilled selling. Combined, these components create effective responses to dynamic market conditions in support of an organization’s strategic objectives.
Transitioning to a more strategic role and adopting a sales and marketing focus is a sea change for most corporate recruiters and their company leaders. Again, we turn to Dr. Sullivan who, in 2008, was way ahead of his time in defining the future of HR as he developed “20 Principles of Strategic Recruiting,” which he has recently updated. Below, we highlight as well as add to some of his most critical insights and guidelines. Use them as a foundation for designing and implementing your own strategic recruiting objectives and processes.
Guidelines for Creating a Strategic Recruitment Plan:
Recruiting will not be considered strategic until it adopts a sales and marketing approach. Just like sales and marketing, recruiting must outsell the competition. Use the guidelines above as a foundation for developing your recruiting strategy. Then take a seat at the table where you’ll be a vital partner in creating success.