Human resouces

Recruiting is a commercial act

As years go by, we continue to see Linkedin posts repeatedly where countless people complain (often with some violence) about “unfinished” recruitment processes, no feedback, and lack of recruiter response. They also complain about the hours and hours that they spend responding and solving challenges, technical tests, and coding interviews that have no return. We see and hear them complain about the deficiency in the sum of processes that often lead people to give up along the way.

We believe that two points are lost sight of in the recruitment process and are often a cause of loss.

1- Recruiting is a commercial act, a sales process.

2- Candidates and prospects must be treated as the main clients of that process.

Let’s analyze each point in detail:

When we talk about recruitment, we talk about much more than a process of matching people and skills; a sourcing process or unbridled search for profiles that match the type of characteristics that a role or position describes. Recruiting is, in itself, a sales process. Yes, don’t be so horrified; recruiters are essentially sellers. What do we sell?, Openings. Who do we sell them to? The people we consider might have the knowledge and experience that our opening/s require/s.

However, assuming ourselves as “sellers” is not an easy task. Especially if we consider that the people who take on the role of recruitment are usually either from the HR world (which has little to non sales approach) or from the tech world (the least percentage of cases) – In either situation, the word “sales” or “customer service” does not seem to be part of the scope. Unfortunately or not, recruiting requires it, demands it, and determines 50% of the success in our work (we will talk in other posts about the variables that determine the rest)

If we take the steps of the sales process that are commonly used, we will clearly see our work reflected on it:

  • Prospecting. Prospecting is the first phase of the sales process and is intended to identify potential customers. //Sourcing and Contact of prospects.
  • Lead qualification. //1st interview screening. 
  • Presentation. // Introduction of the candidate to the client or company. 
  • Argumentation. // Defense of the profile and accompaniment. 
  • Closing sales. // Offer and negotiation
  • Post-sale // Follow-up during the offer and post-hiring process. 

Assuming our commercial role, validating the importance of knowing what this implies will allow us to avail ourselves of the necessary tools so that this “sale” is successfully addressed. And we do not understand success as just getting someone hired; please, there is a long way in our career’s future to only focus on that.

My employer (if I recruit for a company) or my client (if I work freelance) is only half of my combo. The most important of all, the counterpart, is “the candidate,” the person on the other side and whom I have to care for, respect, and guide as much OR MORE than my client/employer. Satisfaction in terms of the number of compulsive hires is wrong if, along the way, we’ve left a trail of candidates without response, without feedback, treated half-heartedly, or ignored. Everyone undertaking a recruiting role must understand that they are dealing with people (it seems like a truism, right?) and that, as such, requires an unavoidable skill of valuing the other’s time, understanding and respecting what is being given in the process.

We talk about clients, and when we talk about clients, we inexorably have to think about satisfaction and the much-feared “customer service” – That simple act of response, of empathy, of showing interest and appreciation for the other’s time will make our name remain in the good memory of that person and will surely change the course of some things:

*It will give the person more confidence when opting for our proposal/offer if that instance is reached

*It will leave a positive reference associated with the company/client with which we work (“Yes, with that company, I had a good process, it was pleasant, even if I was not hired for the role”)

*It will probably make the person recommend us in other circumstances. Ex. When a relative or colleague is looking for a new job. 


It will not always be perfect, we won’t succeed 100% of the time, but if we do not lose sight of the objective, we will undoubtedly improve the outcome.

By Agostina D’Alo. Founding partner at BeRecruiting.

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