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  • Recruitment Training Specialists - When results matter -

    T H E

    s e v e n b i g g e s t m i s t a k e s O F

    R E C R U I T M E N T C O N S U LTA N T S

  • www.zeroentropynetworks.com2


    Defining the role 3

    Recruitment Process - Graduate/No Experience 4

    Recruitment Process - Experienced 8

    Scoring Competency Based Interviews 12

    Competency Based Interview Scoresheet 13

    Roleplay Assessment - Client Call 14

    Roleplay Assessment - Candidate Call 16

    Before They Start 17

    Additional Resources 19

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    Mistake #1 - Complacency

    Recruiters can easily become complacent about their position. Clients that they have, clients they will win, jobs they have and jobs they think they will fill.

    I can name (but won’t here) many experienced recruiters who had good billings (£60k+ per month) but found that when the recession hit many of their accounts stopped hiring. They were then left in a tough situation.

    The Seven Biggest Mistakes of Recruitment Consultants

    Complacency Complacency had meant that they had stopped:

    • Generating leads

    • Conducting business development activities

    • Keeping up to date with the market to identify who was hiring

    An experienced recruiter I know went from big biller to “used to be” big biller in 6 months straight.


    Same number of jobs in, almost the same amount of interviews but the conversion rate had dropped through the floor!

    Reviewing the job orders he was writing it became clear he had a lot of information about the role and the company and all the info to present it to a prospective candidate.

    However, there was detail lacking in two primary areas:

    1. Commitment from the client to the recruiter had started to slip. Less jobs were being closed on interview slots. Less jobs were being secured exclusively.

    2. The recruiter was writing much of the job description. Assuming that with their knowledge of Java they could suggest to the client the level of experience, salary and background they wanted rather than ask them what they would accept.

    A True Story!

    Complacency meant that he wasn’t:

    • Covering off the other steps their client had taken to fill the role

    • Closing on robust commitment

    • Finding out what the client would hire but was telling them what he thought they wanted

    • Understanding the individual clients requirements rather than the markets expectations

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    Mistake #1 - Complacency

    Another recruiter I know had a nice client. A very nice client that recruited a lot of people at good margins. The recruiter loved his client and the client loved him back. Things were sweet for a few years. Suddenly, bang! (actually it was ring ring) – The decision had been made at board level to bring in a Master Vendor. No more line manager contact. No more 20%+ margins. Stiffer competition too - 6 suppliers in the mix almost over night.

    Oh dear!

    A recruiter who thought they had a client for life had lost their golden goose. They still place people at the business but fewer of them at lower rates.

    They are not alone as others have told me similar tales.

    Another True Story!

    TO DO TODAY .....Ask every member of

    the team to complete a

    business plan

    It is vital as a manager you are alert for the signs of complacency within your team.

    Once Recruiters begin to feel comfortable and safe then they are vulnerable to


    Ask each person:

    • Who are their clients?

    • Where are their clients going?

    • What have been their success ratios?

    • When was the last time they secured feedback on jobs not filled?

    • Who do they know and how would they rate the relationship strength?

    • Can they draw an accurate organization chart for the department/teams/company?

    • Where are the gaps? Who do they not know?

    • What is the clients strategic intent regarding the procurement of recruitment solutions?

    • What have they done proactively for them recently?

    • How can they strengthen the relationship that they have with the entire organization?

    Download our guide to Business Planning at:

    What about potential clients?

    - can they answer the same


    Tip 1 - Every quarter do a review of your team’s current client base

    Complacency prevented him from:

    • Developing other business, recognizing the warning signs of a high volume high margin account getting onto the radar of the corporate sales team of the RPO/Master Vendor suppliers

    • Building relationships outside of line management with the C-Suite

    • Identifying that the business was being courted by other suppliers by networking with HR and procurement to develop relationships with the entire DMU (decision making unit)

  • www.zeroentropynetworks.com5

    Mistake #1 - Complacency

    Ask every member of the team to conduct a quality of service call with all of the jobs they didn’t fill.

    What could they do differently next time?

    A business I worked with completed this exercise across all their offices and in the month that followed job flow increased by over 25% from clients where they had failed to fill jobs recently.

    They also discovered what they needed to do differently to be more successful next time. Which is often more important than finding out what you did well when you did fill a job.

    Tip 2 - Review all of the worked jobs for the past quarter

    Tip 3 - Set aside frequent business development time

    No matter how much work a recruiter has today there is always a window of opportunity to make in roads with new clients. In their quarterly business plan ensure that each consultant has set an

    amount of time (even if it is only 1 hour per day) to developing new business.

    Along the way they may even find a new client who turns out to be the best client they have ever had! It may be that they find a client who is better than the ones they currently work with, enabling them to be less reliant on the client who pays low fees and never gives interview feedback!

    No time for business development?

    Ask each member of the team to complete a Time Log everyday for one week. (These can be found in the Appendix at the back of the guide). At the end of the week review

    them together to discover where they could be more efficient with their use of time!

    Managing performance is the most important aspect

    that any manager or team leader should learn.

  • www.zeroentropynetworks.com6

    Mistake #2 - The Path of Least Resistance

    The Seven Biggest Mistakes of Recruitment Consultants

    The Path of

    Least Resistance

    Every day recruiters are faced with choices and decisions. Sometimes the easier choice can be tempting because it’s the easier choice. This is what is known as the path of least resistance.

    Here are some common dilemmas that create the choice between “The Path of Least Resistance” and the “Tougher Challenge”

    Vs Vs Vs Vs Vs Vs

    Go home now and get in early to plan my calls

    Email a candidate from Linkedin about a job

    Email those candidates who look good for the job, go home and see who replies by morning

    Catch up with my current clients (again) and log them as sales calls

    Send an inmail to that new decision maker I found on Linkedin

    Tell them I would normally work retained and settle for contingent exclusive with a discount

    thrown in

    Stay for another 45 minutes and plan tomorrows calls. Come in tomorrow focused and ready to create results

    Call them and present them the opportunity and deal with their potential questions and objections

    Stay until I have found and qualified 3 good candidates

    Do 2 hours of solid new business

    Pick up the phone and engage the decision maker in a conversation

    Pitch a retained mandate and stand tall in the face of client resistance

    I could go on – I think you see the choices. Sometimes they are not dilemmas (that is when there are two choices) sometimes there could be any number of options available.

    Recruiters can sometimes console themselves from this by relying on their old friend procrastination.

    Procrastination can make someone feel like they are planning rather than bottling it. Long term procrastinators are really electing to take the path of least resistance every day.

  • www.zeroentropynetworks.com7

    Mistake #2 - The Path of Least Resistance

    Caving into short-term desires is taking the path of least resistance. Short term desires for recruiters can include shying away from potential rejection, avoiding ‘confrontation’ and, for experienced recruiters, not wanting to be seen to get rejected in front of more junior staff members.

    Having the mental toughness to say no to the easy choices is harder, but will give you long- term success and happiness. This requires self-discipline.

    Discipline is often associated with a lack of freedom, but this is wrong.

    Discipline = Freedom.

    The person who has discipline can choose whatever he or she wishes for their life be- cause they know it’s going to happen sooner or later