8 Top Tips for New Recruiters


Starting out in recruitment is both exciting and daunting – so much to do, to learn and just when you think you have the hang of it there’s another part of the process to deal with. So, here are 8 top tips for first-time recruiters, which I wish I had known when I started out:

1. Take a breath and slow down

Seriously, take a day or a weekend to really take a step back and look at your work. It’s easy to get caught up in hitting KPI targets and quick wins, but try not to pat yourself on the back until you’ve made the placement. Take time to really visit your actions and analyse ‘what went right/wrong?’ If you can’t clearly answer that question, find out from colleagues or read a sales book about the values of those actions and desired outcomes. There are tons of blogs and resources that can explain the value of each type of call and best practices to obtain the best results.

Here’s a couple of sources I’ve used:

2. Leverage your colleagues networks (Cross-sell)

Most new recruitment consultants tend to recruit for support or junior roles, generally working with ‘non-decision makers.’ Other recruiters and senior colleagues will have better/stronger relationships and warm introductions are always better than cold introductions. Just because someone or a business isn’t on the database, doesn’t mean someone doesn’t have a personal relationship. Ask early and often, and don’t forget your time is valuable.

3. Don’t clutter the database

Although others will appreciate the diligent data entry, avoid adding noise to the system. Ten great contacts are better than one hundred that aren’t qualified to be on the system.  

4. Develop your own relationships

This is more of a reminder. It’s really easy to get comfortable with taking orders for new jobs, but talent movement and change can have massive effect on future revenue. If you aren’t maintaining and building new relationships, you are on your heels. The managers you work with, may not stay with that business or always be in a hiring position. What would happen if your top three contacts left the industry tomorrow?

If you aren’t doing it already, go out and meet with your clients and ask questions to get to know their business. Like any relationship, the more time you invest, the more return you will get.

5. Don’t forget to qualify

Greg Savage, an established global recruitment leader recently reminded me that the first and most important questions to ask are:

  1. How long has this position been open?
  2. What have you done so far to fill this position?
  3. If you met my candidates tomorrow, could you make an offer?

Never assume that you know the answers to these questions. Getting a job to work on is great, but if it doesn’t turn into a fee, what is the point?

6. Never negotiate after you’ve started the search

This will never go well. Sure, there are some creative solutions, but if you aren’t comfortable in these situations – your creative juices may not be flowing. It can be confrontational and it can hurt relationships.

If you find that you are commonly in late stage negotiations, send over your rates early on and get a signature. It doesn’t have to be your full T&C’s, it just needs to be an acknowledgement that they know you are working on their job. If you can’t get this, you’re probably not working on a real job.

7. Ask for more

Don’t forget to ask for a referral or additional introductions. It’s easier to ask for more when people are happy with your work, instead of when you need it. “You don’t make friends in times of crisis.”

8. Pay it forward

When possible, reward people for working with you.  Lunch, drinks, sweets & treats go a long way. Treat others the way you want to be treated and don’t be in a one sided relationship.

There are a ton of other basic recruitment best practice tips, but these are the ones that would I wish I had to hand when I started in recruitment.  

What would you add to the list? Is there something that would have helped you over the line, that you can pay forward now? Or as a new Recruiter, what burning questions do you have of your peers? Comment or email me at Jon.Russell@bullhorn.com and let me know.

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