Sales and Marketing Strategies to Drive Your Recruitment Funnel

The COVID-19 pandemic hit recruitment and hiring professionals with a massive one-two punch of disruption. In a suddenly far more fluid, labor-driven market, the time-tested methods for interviewing and hiring candidates were no longer possible.

Human resources professionals now rank recruiting and hiring as top concerns and they are embracing new recruiting technology that may become permanent parts of the HR toolbox. As the process of hiring talent becomes increasingly digitalized, savvy recruiters are using sales and marketing strategies to power a stronger recruitment process

Here, we examine the digital recruiting funnel and identify some sales and marketing strategies that recruiters can adopt to drive better outcomes for their business. 

How are sales, marketing, and recruiting similar?

While each department has separate business functions, salespeople, marketers, and recruiters perform many of the same activities. That’s because each process has a digital funnel at its core: 

The recruitment funnel mimics the sales process 

Similar to the sales process, recruiting also uses a digital funnel for each step in the cycle. The recruitment funnel typically includes steps for candidate prospecting, outreach and engagement, assessment of skills and cultural fit, and finally making an offer to the best candidate and closing the open role. 

Fig: The Recruitment Process Funnel

Much like marketers promoting products to targeted audiences, in order to run this recruitment funnel efficiently, recruiters must develop their employer brand, create a great candidate experience, and offer job opportunities with attractive compensation and rewards to convert them into employees. 

Marketing and sales strategies for a stronger recruitment process

In today’s candidate-driven talent market, timing is everything. To drive better results in their hiring process, recruiters are employing proven strategies from marketing and sales in order to start engaging people sooner and with more context. 

Here are some of the most effective sales and marketing practices to adapt to your recruitment funnel: 

Rely on better data

The better quality data you feed your recruitment funnel, the better results you can expect out of your recruiting efforts. Working with a comprehensive B2B data provider like ZoomInfo can improve the quality of both the search for clients (in the case of agency recruiters) and the overall candidate outreach process.

Act based on real-time information 

Staying on top of the latest developments in the industry can help you make informed decisions about the best candidates to target.

Using a tool like ZoomInfo Recruiter Scoops, which aggregates and alerts you of important company news in real-time, can provide you with a real competitive advantage in the talent market.  


Using personalization in the recruitment funnel is just as effective as it is for sales and marketing. Nick Geifman, a senior talent acquisition manager at ZoomInfo, says he’s found a lot of success by making his outreach about the candidate, rather than the employer.

“Blasting out the same message to a variety of candidates and hoping for someone to bite is not the most strategic way of recruiting,” Geifman says. “It’s all about slowing it down and figuring out where there is a potential connection with the candidate. Whether it’s a school, or a skill set, or anyone we have in common — whatever it is, I try to make it a little bit more personal.” 

Build a strong employer brand

A company’s employer brand can affect candidate outreach long before recruiters or hiring managers enter the picture. Investing in building a strong brand reputation enables your team to attract and retain better talent.

“Branding is critical. I would say that close to 50 percent of people we talk to are using or have used ZoomInfo in the past. 75 to 80 percent of people that I talk to know about ZoomInfo. So because the brand is a powerful selling tool, most of the roles I recruit for such as SDRs, AEs, AMs, CSMs have all had exposure to ZoomInfo as a brand before they come through our recruitment process,” says Tony Schafer, a talent acquisition manager at ZoomInfo. 

Invest in a recruiting tech stack 

Digitization and improved technology solutions formerly reserved for sales and marketing functions are now emerging as viable recruitment tools as well. A high-quality recruitment management platform can increase the speed and efficiency of sourcing candidates and overall better align your entire recruitment funnel. It allows you to easily filter candidates based on location, industry, skills, and other criteria. 

Leverage automation

Automation isn’t just for sales and marketing anymore. Now, automation tools enable recruiters to personalize cold emails and drip campaigns sent to passive candidates that describe the opportunity and express interest in connecting. 

Just as important, automating your recruitment funnel provides a means to iterate, measure, and improve the performance of communication between candidates and recruiters. For example, an applicant tracking system (ATS) can automate candidate matching and set up a centralized database of candidate information

Minimize friction in the application process 

Candidates don’t like to spend time or effort on a cumbersome application process. A good platform and the right tools make it easy to call, email, track, and schedule meetings with candidates. You can use them to tailor the approach taken to hire for each role and give your recruiters more control over the candidate experience. 

Digitalize your recruitment funnel

Following the digital playbooks of sales and marketing teams can improve everything in your recruitment process, from which candidates you target, to how you reach them, the messages you use to capture their interest, and even reducing the time it takes to hire them. 

Recruiters that have adapted to new digital technologies and are familiar with sales and marketing techniques can greatly improve the results of their existing recruitment process.