Recruitment Training: The Rules Of Recruitment That Nobody Teaches

Recruitment training is all well and good and many recruitment managers will teach all the basic stuff like; prospecting, finding good candidates and clients and selling. These are tangible skills that all high billers are expected to embrace and master. But what about the other ‘stuff’ that few people teach? I wouldn't call them life skills and yet the truth is if you want to have a successful team of consultants who consistently hit billings these ideas could be useful.

1. Be Flexible in your thinking

This might be advanced for some people and yet being flexible will enable you to get better results. Period. Many of you know I am a fan of N.L.P because it works. One premise they talk about is whoever has a range of choices generally gets improved results. Developing flexibility is one way of developing choice. To get the most out of life you have to open up your mind and your world. Because at some point things will all go belly up! And for what appears no logical reason. In case this has not happened to you or your team trust me it will.

Look around you those people that have more flexibly are not crushed by a candidate pulling out at the last minute, or another frustrating thing that happens to them. Some patterns are good to have in life others are not. So how do you break patterns and become more flexible? This might sound strange and start by taking a different walk to work. Get off the tube one stop early.

If there is an opportunity to do something different take it embrace the change. If you want to know how flexible you are here are a couple of tests. Are you reading the same books you have always read? Or said something like, “I don’t know anyone like that?” If the answer was yes perhaps it’s time to take the shackles off and broaden your thinking.

2. Don’t dwell on the past

Might seem a strange one for some and yet so often we do dwell on the c…. results we had in the past. Making the wrong assumption that if it happened once it is bound to happen again. I was carrying out some in-house recruitment training with a group of consultants. I found it hard to believe how many of them were using the past pour results as a predictor of what was going to happen in the future.

The reality is what happened in the past is exactly that. The only way we can create what we want is by taking action now. That then gives us the opportunity to develop a different set of results. It is fine to look back and reflect as long as it is done with a detached eye. Every day is new. So we can make that the best it possibly can be. Think about it. It really is a fresh start. Having this mindset and new skills will make a huge difference to your results.

3. Return to base

In the fast paced world we all live in it can be easy to forget why we started our career in the first place and along with that the excitement we all felt. I know many people say they ‘fell ‘into recruitment. Yet the truth is if it wasn’t something that filled a need in you then you wouldn't have continued. We all have a why you see. A reason why we do things and a motivation that drives us. When we first start that is very clear and it moves us forward at speed. Then stuff happens and things get in the way. Many a good recruiter will improve their performance if you get them to reconnect and go back to basecamp where it all started. Where they had that drive and desire. For many they just need to reconnect with what they wanted then and what drove them. This might have changed slightly though the essence is still there. Perhaps initially it was all about climbing the ladder and cash. Maybe now it is about cash for school fees and a new kitchen. Similar motivators. There is a saying that base is where you were before you got lost. Ideally go back and navigate a new path and destination.

4. Know when to let go

This can be a tough one. Let me clarify a few things first. There is letting go and there is giving up both are quite different. Letting go is full of power and will actually increase you energy and drive. Giving up just eats away and brings back all our old fear patterns about not being good enough.

Letting go is powerful and deep down we know when it is right. The truth is it might not be forever. In recruitment we encourage persuade and influence. Yet with all those skills sometimes a candidate just won’t take that job. Or a colleague just doesn't get our point of view. Letting go and walking away means you are exercising control and good decision-making powers.

You are making a choice rather than letting something else control you. In the bigger scheme of things there are always other options that probably will take less time. Just think about some of the energy and frustration you have put into one candidate and client when around the corner that might have been a whole host of others that were just waiting for your call.

The reality is as your communication influencing skills improve you will be able to spot whether a candidate, client or colleague is engaged and just needs more contact with you. There are classic signs and your gut instinct will often be right. On the other hand if there is no connection from the start and just no warming up the signs might not be good for a quick result. Let go and leave it to another day.

If you would like to access more articles and FREE resources on recruitment training and excelling as a recruiter, visit our website at centredexcellence.

Views: 1415

Comment by Rebecca B. Sargeant on March 13, 2013 at 6:49pm

Nicky you hit the nail on the head with your blog. 

We can train the basics all day, every day but, if you don't have a positive out look the little disappointments will kill you in the end. 

Comment by Kerry Skemp on March 14, 2013 at 1:58pm

Sounds like basic life skills, but relevant for recruiting as well!

Comment by Stephen Hart on March 15, 2013 at 4:36am


I quite agree with you. Once I went through my NLP course I realised how important the 'motivational/emotional' side of things was. It was really life changing for me and I find that by blending NLP principles into traditional sales training it can make a real difference to the individual as well as making the sales side more effective.



Comment by Recruiting Animal on April 5, 2013 at 10:49am

Most recruiters go into the business to be able to help people. So next time you have a fall-off just remember how many times you've helped someone move from a project manager to a plant manager role and you will feel re-missionized and ready to leap the next hurdle.

Comment by Fred Elmore on May 2, 2013 at 8:15am

I agree that communication and passion are essential life skills needed to be successful as a recruiter.  And as a Hiring Manager, have you recently assessed your recruiters and/or recruiting agencies to determine if they are “in it” for the right reasons? 

A recruiter should give you choices of several great candidates, care about you, care about the needs of your company, and consider the career goals of the candidate.  When a recruiter truly wants to help all involved, everyone wins.  It is time to evaluate your recruiter to determine if they have the soft skills required to be effective!

Comment by Natalie Prigge on May 13, 2013 at 7:58am

Nicky, you make a great point that many recruiters “fall” into recruiting.  I don’t believe anyone wakes up wanting to be a recruiter.  Yes, a fireman or the President of the United States…but honestly, I have never spoken to a child who told me he wanted to be a recruiter. 

Let’s face it, recruiting is tough and in many cases it can be thankless.  However, the truth is that good recruiters truly make a difference.  On a fundamental level they help many individuals find steady income so they can pay their mortgage and put their kids through college; but more importantly, great recruiters enable candidates to obtain opportunities which will keep them fulfilled in their career and achieve personal growth objectives. 

And from a “partnership to companies” standpoint, awesome recruiters enable companies to be successful in executing their core business because they deliver talented new team members who sincerely enjoy their jobs.   

I agree that nobody teaches this!

Comment by Nicky Coffin on May 29, 2013 at 4:44pm

Hi Guys thanks for all your comments on this one. Stephen I agree when I studied N.L.P. it totally transformed the recruitment business I worked in because of the way I then approached everything.


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