Basic Recruiting Tip - Client Objections

Objection 1: 'NO!' or dead silence or a hang up.
One of the hardest. Try calling back and assume a bad connection. If you are still not responded to, send a letter of introduction describing your company. Your recruiting staffing or applicant tracking software resume database should allow a quick natural method for performing this essential recruitment task. Call back in a week and try again. If you are still treated rudely, find another contact in the company. On an outright 'no' or just dead silence, another good tactic is to try to get some kind of dialogue going with a question that demands a 'yes'. 'I can understand your response, recruiters can really be annoying can't they? WAIT, WAIT, WAIT. Then after the yes, 'I am really trying to do a good job, what could I do to at least improve my credibility with you?'

Objection 2: 'No openings'.
First thing here is try to remember that a good manager always finds a way to make room for someone that will improve his performance and make his life better. No one will throw away an opportunity if they can see and feel it clearly! But how do you create the opportunity when the manager doesn't really believe you have such magic? 'I see, does that mean you have all the people you need to perform your job or do you feel you could improve your performance with a better mix or an addition but there is no money to hire?' If the answer is 'I have all the people I need', you have a tougher job. But the general strategy is to try to get a 'yes'. According to the basic universal law, there is always room for improvement; 'It would be nice though if you had a contingency backup, wouldn't it?, I see, but you do agree that things can change or there is always room to improve things, isn't there?'. Another slightly different approach which is a bit more aggressive is to say 'In the event that we come across someone that is a fit for your area and is head & shoulders over the crowd, when should I call you back?' Another question, 'Have you ever made room for an outstanding person?' If there is a budget problem, 'Barring budget restrictions, do you need to add people?' 'When does your new budget begin?' Some way out questions if you have the guts to use them: 'Doesn't the pressure of having to hire sometimes blur the decision process into taking what's available? Don't you think it would be better to have several people in mind, to act on the opening as soon as it occurs?'

Objection 3: 'We don't use agencies'.
The person either has a strong emotional dislike for agencies or her/his hands are tied by the boss or the 'evil' Personnel Department. In either case this is a strong feeling! 'I understand how you feel.' MEAN IT. 'You don't know me, but there has to be some good recruiters that can really add value; otherwise, they would not exist, don't you agree?' What can I do to try and prove that I could just possibly be one of those people that can add value, without taking too much of your time?' Another good approach is getting them to talk about a bad experience. Ask them to tell you about their negative experience and turn this into an opportunity to give you a chance. 'Are you aware of the difference between an Agency and a Search Firm?' Explain that, unlike agencies, you screen both your clients and applicants heavily. You search for the most qualified applicant for each job order you are given. Or simply ask, What happened? Another question which would provide useful information is, 'What can the recruiting profession do to improve our service?'

Objection 4: 'Personnel handles all the hiring'.
'Yes, and I will contact them but now that I have you on the phone, I would like to get the technical aspects first-hand. You are more qualified technically than the personnel person. Also, because this person will be working with you, what would be the intangibles for really being able to contribute to your group?' Another tactic to the above response using a Lead in, is, always ask a question first and always make sure that you are going to get a yes. 'Yes, I can understand your position, if you had to deal with every headhunter that called, you would never get your job done, would you?' Then you could lead in with, 'Well, I'll really try to save your time, since I have you on the phone I may be able to shorten your time with personnel by getting the technical stuff nailed down.'

Objection 5:'We are running an ad (internet or hard copy)'.
You may or may not already know this. If you do, you are doing your job and you are prepared for the response and have the perfect applicant to present. If you don't, something is wrong with the way you're doing your job or the way your department is being run. In any event, your response is a bunch of information questions after getting the first teeny-weenie yes. 'Ads are certainly more cost effective than paying us headhunters aren't they? Do you have someone doing the initial screening? Whose idea was it for the ad? Who wrote it?' 'We run ads too and they do take some time don't they? Do you find, as we have, that most of the replies are not the most qualified? Our purpose of running an ad is name recognition, which helps in recruiting the top-notch applicants. Does someone at your company invest in recruiting by aggressively calling people who have not responded to an ad? We have also found that the top people never respond to ads; they always seem to get their jobs from someone calling them.' How about this, compare your ad response to my one applicant and tell me what you think? We often work with clients who are running an ad, because it costs them nothing to look at our people and it gives them a first hand opportunity to make a comparison.'

Objection 6:'We only use certain agencies'.
This is a tough one; kind of a 'catch 22'. But your best shot is to agree with the strategy. 'Yes, limiting the number of agencies is a matter of survival, isn't it? And when you've got something that is working you don't want to change it do you? But competition is what makes business work, just like you have to compete for your next promotion or job, right?' Chances are you'll get a yes here and the opportunity to use this line, 'I really want to work with your company. What can I do to get that opportunity?' This response really gets the message out that you want the business. Another good reply. Give me your most difficult position, let me do my best.' Then pitch reasons why your company would do a good job; computerized, 10 years in the Biz, etc. Another very effective answer; 'Why limit yourself? We work on a contingency basis; it costs you nothing until our applicant is actually working for you as a productive employee.'

Objection 7: 'No time to talk'.
You're not going to get an interview here unless you have already built up a tremendous rapport, but you can get something out of the call by setting it up for the call back. A response that tries to set up camaraderie is; 'I understand, I know success requires teamwork. Why don't I get back to you at (time/day).' This gets a joint commitment. A more aggressive response, requiring more skill is to just keep on talking and get what you need then go for another time.

Objection 8:'Send resume'.
What if the manager insists on a resume before committing to an interview? Remember a resume is a screening tool used to eliminate applicants, not qualify them. If the manager insists on a resume, here is what you might want to say: Is there something about this man that I haven't told you? What else do you want to know? Do you have a specific opening? Yes, get the job order. Compare your person to the job requirements and resell applicant. No, qualify this 'opening' as a lead, and think seriously about declining to send the resume. This is a hot applicant who will be hired soon. You can't afford the time. He/she is currently employed and is working with us in confidence. He will be glad to meet with you. We have several interested clients but the applicant will not permit us to circulate his/her resume. The resume doesn't show this person's drive, desire and determination. It sounds like you have had a bad experience with an agency. We are an executive search firm and find our people through an extensive network that sifts out only the best. Because of our fees, we can't provide even mediocre people. I have interviewed this man at great length and have a thorough understanding of his capabilities. In fact, many things came out in our interview that aren't even on his/her resume. From my understanding of your requirements, I would like to do this, set up a time, and if you feel after the interview, that he/she was not accurately presented, I'll buy you a lunch and do it your way. Try me out just this once. It doesn't cost you anything to look. I want you to see the caliber of people we represent. Of course, I don't guarantee that you will hire him, but I do guarantee that when you meet him/her, it will be the person I described to you. How about noon tomorrow or is late afternoon better?