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It has never been more important for recruiters to perfect their “sales process” for identifying, nurturing, and hiring qualified talent.

Consider the current hiring environment: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate in November 2016 was 4.6 percent –the lowest level seen since 2007. Employment is growing rapidly, especially in top industries like technology and healthcare, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’Occupational Outlook Handbook. And top candidates – if they’re even open to a new opportunity – know that they’re in demand and often have multiple offers to choose from.

For recruiters, this can be an exhausting and unforgiving landscape to navigate, especially if they don’t have the right resources and strategies in place to be productive. Leveraging many of the same techniques and tools that sales & marketing teams use to be successful can help. The idea that the work of a recruiter is very much akin to that of a salesperson is certainly not new. It’s a logical connection to make: Both need to identify qualified prospects, nurture them through a specific process, and eventually – hopefully – close the deal before the competition does.

By taking a page or two from sales playbooks, recruiters are likely to find it easier to source candidates, build a pipeline of talent, and hire faster. For example, recruiters should work to: