3 Ways Recruiters Can Turn Client Rejections Into WinsPosted almost 4 years ago by Nick Boulton

If you’re in recruitment, no doubt you’ve heard these responses a lot lately:

  • "We're not hiring."
  • "We're making redundancies."
  • "We're focused on bringing back furloughed staff before we hire."

These sound like flat-out objections, but could there be an opportunity for recruiters in there somewhere?

If you think I’m about to deliver a silver bullet for how to win business in the toughest market most recruiters will have worked in, you need to consider two things:

  1. We are officially in a recession , the first for over a decade. These statements could be genuine answers, not just fob-offs, so you need to be empathetic
  2. The recruitment landscape has changed. Gone are the days of ramming average candidates down your clients’ throats, and them thanking you for the privilege. You actually need to work smart for you successes in this market.

With this information at the forefront of your mind, how do you navigate your way around these types of rebuffs?

Some of this stuff might sound obvious, but the amount of recruiters I hear who don’t get anything from a call with client, and just come off the phone saying;

“Another shit call, no one’s hiring, they don’t know when they will be either, this market is rubbish.”

For the love of god, grow a set! At least get something from the call. Here are three ways I’d go about handling rejections.

  • Client objection No 1: “We’re not hiring”

You need to find out why , as the reasons could be far and wide.

No budget, no growth plans, downscaling, we don’t have time, we don’t want to work with you, you’re just the 100 th person to ask me so why don’t you just @#$% off?!

What you need to find out is, is this situation a long term view? Do they have any strategic growth plans? Even if they are not hiring now, how big is the current technology team? Most tech firms churn 18%+ of their staff every year, so even to stand still they will need to hire some people in the year. Work that out and you have a reason to call them back.

Building your network and long-term relationship with them, starts here.

  • Client objection No 2: "We're making redundancies."

This can be a very difficult time for a business both emotionally and financially, so tread carefully….

Here’s a novel idea: Why don’t you ask if you can help?

Why not become their consultancy partner and offer to find re-employment for their recently redundant staff, at no cost to them. Genius! No, just good recruitment consultancy practice. You can even offer to come into their offices, or do it over video at the moment, and offer career advice, CV advice, salary bench marking.

“Who are these strange recruitment super heroes?” I hear your client ask.

It’s all about building rapport and long term relationships, so when the market or their hiring plans change, who do they call first? Yup, you guessed it little Joey, YOU!

  • Client objection No 3: "We're focused on bringing back furloughed staff before we hire."

This requires a combination of the first two responses and a little finessing…

Ask questions like:

  • “Are you bringing everyone back from furlough? If not can we help them find employment?”
  • “Great news you are bringing back people from furlough, hopefully that means business is improving, how does that look?”
  • “What are your plans over the next 3 months, 6months, year….? What strategy are you adopting to adapt to current market conditions?”

All the responses to client objections should be aimed at trying to build long-term relationships and future-proofing your business. If you take the approach, you are in this for the long term, are here to help them with their needs, whether that is hiring, redundancies or just some market intel, they will start to trust you and you will see you working relationships with clients flourish.