Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Selling Recruitment When They’re Not Hiring

Through the dramatic and continual change in the recruitment sales culture, classified sales reps and managers are being forced into creating their own lateral advertising opportunities within the vertical.

Recruitment advertising will never be as it once was. Through the dramatic and continual change in the recruitment sales culture, classified sales reps and managers are being forced into creating their own lateral advertising opportunities within the vertical. It is now necessary to look at alternative ways to increase revenues from a decreased space.

Newspaper classified sales departments are still focusing their teams on call numbers; and while it has always been a numbers game of sorts, calling on numerous potential clients without a clear strategy of deflection can allow them to simply walk away by saying “we’re not currently recruiting.” And, creating a change in course for the potential advertiser is a difficult process that will take time to see the ultimate results: increased revenue to your department.

The most important aspect in selling recruitment advertising is realizing that while speaking to a potential, if there are not any jobs available, that only means there are no jobs available now. No matter what the outcome of your initial call, keep in touch with the potential, stay relevant on their industry trends, add value to your department and be ready when there are vacancies within their company.

Do more than just sell ad space."

To focus your sales team and the minds of your potential clients, do more than just sell ad space. When on a call, find out as much information as possible about the company. Find out who is the decision maker, who signs off on the budget, what positions are the most difficult to hire and when is the next review. All of these aspects can aid in your sales success. Discussing with the decision maker immediately after employee reviews can increase your chances at selling space.

Find out the cyclical timings for recruitment services. Immediately approaching is the temporary seasonal help for the holidays. But when else throughout the year are prime times for recruitment services? Summer placements for college graduates should be solicited in late winter/early spring, think the months between February and April or May. Semester-long internship programs can be discussed at the start of each new semester, in August and January — but be sure to realize the potential of an extended campaign with them. Internship campaigns can have a four-month run, ending just after midterms. See if there is room in the budget that will allow you to offer clients loyalty points for recurring annual contracts. If there is not, work with your staff in creating that opportunity.

Also, see if there are any major community projects approaching with the city. Road construction seems to take control of the streets every summer, find out when the next large city project is going to kick off and when they’re in need of contractors. Sell the niche.

Set incentives for your staff. We’ve stressed the importance of appropriate incentives before, but it cannot be stressed enough how beneficial it can be to lift the morale of your sales staff. Incentives needn’t be monetary. Try offering rewards like mornings off or extended lunch hours for most clients signed or best leads-to-sale ratio in a month.