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- Client: Beverley Hildebrand, Job Developer

  Ontario, Canada




Job Development Strategies: The Need For Sales Skills

Sales skills makes job development effective. It doesn't matter how good a candidate is if employers consistently decide not hire him or her. People who cannot get a job on their own need someone to sell them

-- a "job developer" with the skills to influence an employer's hiring decision.

A visible employment barrier is the most common reason that job seekers cannot find work on their own. It causes the employer to perceive the candidate negatively. A job developer with sales skills can alter this negative perception. Manage employer perception and you manage employment opportunities.


Visible employment barriers include:

  • People with obvious or visible disabilities

  • Disadvantaged youth and adults

  • Job seekers on welfare (TANF)

  • Older workers, refugees, newly-arrived immigrants

  • Workers whose sex does not fit traditionally gender-specific hiring

  • Felons or ex-offenders

  • People with mental health problems

  • Minorities (races, nationalities, cultures)

  • Veterans with one or more of the aforementioned disadvantages


Job development selling is the most effective strategy to obtain employment for people with significant employment barriers.


Job development selling skills can be natural. But they are significantly better selling skills when they are systematized, learned, organized and practiced.


Excel in job development selling and you will excel in successful employment outcomes.



  1. People with visible employment barriers frequently fail to find jobs on their own. They need a job developer to help them secure employment.

  2. Regardless of barriers, most people are employable when they are MRD: (Motivated-- to work; Reliable --show up for work regularly; Dependable--stay on task.)

  3. An employer's decision to hire is based on perception, not on actual knowledge of a candidate's performance or ability.

  4. A candidate with visible employment barriers who can do the job is no different than any other candidate. The challenge is not to eliminate the barrier but to eliminate the employer's perception of the barrier. A third party, like a skilled job developer, can do a better job of changing the employer's perceptions than the candidate can.

  5. Manage employer perceptions and you manage employment outcome. Managing selling skills designed to alter employer perceptions is the key to securing employment for people with obvious barriers.

  6. Job development selling skills range from basic to advanced. To achieve success, employment programs must incorporate and utilize these selling skills. Organizations must know how to teach these skills to their staff or to find contractors/vendors who can impart them.

  7. The more effective the marketing/selling skills, the larger the number of job seekers with a greater variety of employment barriers who will be served and the greater the number of quality jobs that will be obtained.


A successful employment outcomes program is based on:

  • A senior manager directing job development via sales management skills.

  • Ongoing improvement of job developer's marketing and selling skills.

  • Ongoing interpretation of job market information and recalibration of strategies accordingly.

  • Continuous improvement job development selling strategy focused on increasing job market share.


To improve your organization's employment outcomes, look to our job developer and manager selling and sales management skills workshops!

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