“I will send you that now. What is the best time to speak when you are away from your desk to talk about the contents of the email”. 

“It shows that you are targeting the right people.” You need to explain that it is better using us because whilst it is a directors or an internal recruiter’s job to get the candidate on the lowest amount of money, it is our job to get them the largest amount of money. Find out why they didn’t have that conversation with the company directly, or why they weren’t interested. 

Find out where they are up to with them. How much did they speak? Did they meet?  

Find out what they thought of the business 

Qualify whether this is the job they now have or they may get promoted too. If they already have it then find out what they may be interested in if they were to leave. If they are getting promoted to that opportunity then it is always better to go with our opportunity as it already exists.  If you are unable to really convince them say 

“That’s great, you are obviously being well looked after because you are very good at what you do which is a rare commodity today. I would love to get to know you more so when the right time does come for you to leave you know who you are and you know what you are looking for allowing for a greater level of accuracy in the move” 

“I’m keen to understand why. I don’t want to be representing companies that aren’t the best in the market, saying this, I must be honest, I have only heard good things about them. You do represent other businesses that you may be interested in, one of which is looking for ….”  

Often a bad perception of a business is given when people leave the business and say negative things. Unfortunately it is hard to survive in a high performance business, the expectations are high and not everyone can cut it. As no one ever thinks anything is their fault, they will inevitably blame the business.  

I appreciate that you are at your desk, I can call you after work to understand what would be of interest in the future, this way I wouldn’t have to call your desk phone again.  

I don’t want to keep calling with positions that may not be of interest to you, what would interest you more.  

If you can learn what they would look for you can be a lot more targeted.  

The package is very flexible, you have broken budgets for the right people before and you are financially incentivised to help the candidate earn more money. The package originally talked about was for the average however my client is more than happy / would rather pay more for some who is better than average, just the other day you placed someone there on twice the original budget.  

You are relationship builders and therefore not just looking to place people that are looking to move today, you are looking to expand our network and get to know our market better but mainly the people within it. If you do this when you do go to move you can do it with an agent that knows you well, you trust and can guide your career with more accuracy.  

Even if you aren’t looking right now isn’t it always interesting to see your competition and see exactly what they’re all about? I know I would love the opportunity to see the insides of my competitions offices.  

You have a role that is already at this senior level, why wait to see if you may get it where you are now? You are quite clearly very good at what you do and therefore someone that I want to network with.  

You want to stay close to people like this as they may not get promoted / find it a lot harder than they thought once they get promoted. It will always be someone else’s fault why they cant hire the right talent, get their team to perform or something else.  

“I appreciate that, this is a common thing you hear. There are millions of business each with a different style of doing business. It maybe that you aren’t a huge fan of the style of business rather than industry itself. I’d be keen to explore this further.”  

I would want to qualify first and foremost; do they hate the business they work for or the industry they work in. Bear in mind that a lot of businesses brain wash their staff in order to help retention. They tell them horror stories about the competition in the hope it will deter them from moving in the future and it often works. 

I would create a contrast with an opportunity that I currently have, again you can only do this by properly qualifying what the prospect doesn’t like.  

“If I were to be able to offer you this opportunity and to solve all your issues, I take it that you would be more than happy to meet with them to find out more?”  

Qualify when will this end if ever? 

Why is it heavier than ever and are they the only ones in the company feeling this? 

What benefit does the candidate get from this heavy workload? 

Qualify what is heavy? Or does the candidate just like to moan 

The prospect must take action at some point, if there is never going to be a good time to move then every day they stay will hurt them even more 

If the prospect is still reluctant tell that you will plan career management for them, you should have a conversation for the future but you could help educate them on the market and its goings on. Worst case scenario they have built a relationship for the future.  

Qualify what a “jumpy CV” looks like. As you wont approach individuals that aren’t placeable on occasion an individuals perception maybe different to the reality.  

Find out if there are genuine reasons for leaving 

Find out the pros of staying 

Demonstrate that no one should move jobs with the thought they may move again in the immediate future, therefore will in 5 years times at the new firm your CV look jumpy. 

Staying in a bad job may damage the CV even more, it will bring into question ambition, drive and standards, leaving for the right reason is acceptable.  

If the candidate is no longer learning where they are, they are no longer gaining knowledge and therefor value. A candidate not moving up in value is in fact moving down, and this time in 6 months the seniority and specialism of the role you are approaching the candidate about may no longer be available to them.  

Remind the candidate that you are the experts and therefore know when a CV is jumpy, and if you didn’t think their CV is attractive you wouldn’t approach them in the first place.  

Qualify what makes the candidate think that the this job is too junior? Find out what the right level would be and directly ask “if you fixed the level, would you be interested in the opportunity?”  

Remind the candidate that of course there is more than 1 job with the client and you are more than happy to explore other more senior options if applicable.  

Often the businesses you work with can be flexible and therefore can make the job more senior for the right talent  

You also work with more than 1 client so can discuss many more opportunities at many more businesses with them.  

Qualify where and offer our own international solutions. 

What is the time scale of when they are going? 

Why are they going?  

How long have they been planning for this? 

How much research have they done into this move and are they legally applicable to move (a lot of people think its easy to move abroad but may struggle to earn visas for various reasons.  

This is a very interesting objection to deal with because people always have big ideas of moving somewhere but in fact have very little real intention of doing so otherwise they would have already of done it. Thorough qualification will tell you whether this is a real objection or just a pipe dream that will never come to anything.  


You actively target the passive market, do you know anyone that may be suitable for me to network with? 

Is there anyone at a competitor that you rate? 

Of course I appreciate this, you have an aggressive referral scheme that goes up to £1000 that you could benefit from. If you do have friends looking they will inevitably look at more than one option, I am sure you would like to benefit regardless of the outcome?  

This does show us that this persons company is hiring and therefore you should try to flip them to understand exactly what they are hiring for and get them on board as client. 



The first thing you need to do is understand why it isnt a good time? The next thing you need to understand is when would be a better time?  


Show that you appreciate this, it is never a good time for someone to leave their job, there is always projects hanging over, bonus owing, or something else holding them back, what you can do is plan well enough that the upheaval is as small as possible when they do go to move. The more time to plan the better, often our placements are made much in advanced because the time isn’t right now. It is important to go through the process earlier and have an advanced start date rather than wait for the planned start date. The advantage of having a start date already in the diary are multiple but certainly involved the increased amount of planning that both client and candidate can do before the start.  


Failing this you can build a relationship with the candidate and learn a lot about the candidate before the time ready for the leave, and when the window of them moving jobs opens, you can be the one that does it. 

Inevitably you have got ourselves in a situation as you haven’t asked the right questions in pre-screen. If the candidate is fully qualified you would know that they didn’t like certain companies or indeed certain types of business which in turn would save us the embarrassment of pitching a client that isn’t suitable. 


You need to find out what the candidate has heard? You want greater knowledge of the market as you only want to represent great clients. The information you get can either inform us or give us a foundation to form a counter argument. 


Who have told the candidate bad things about the business? Ex employees are ex employees for a reason, its apparently never their fault and always the fault of the business. Also, someone will always have something bad to say about any business, people should make their own opinion and meet them. 


The business is more than likely a competitor, so the candidate will want to go and see them just to get market information, also there is nothing to lose.  


Qualify exactly what this means. It could be that the candidate doesn’t like one person that works there. It is impossible and irresponsible to judge a business on one person.  

The business has a good reputation amongst the market so you can interview with them to leverage better offers from elsewhere, it’s important to be strategic with the interview process.  


You must also remember that you have other clients and you don’t want to be seen as just trying to sell the one client that the candidate isn’t interested in. 


Finally, very simply this gives us a great opportunity to understand exactly what qualities the candidate is looking for in a business and then you can sell the common attributes. 

Why? (you should have done a good enough job during the pre screen to be able to sell our solution so well that the candidate is excited by the opportunity). You must find out what you have missed or what the candidate is holding back. Revert back to the notes of the conversation and reiterate what was discussed in the pre screen 


“Great, what more information would you like and I will get this across to you now”. Find out the questions and answer them there and then. Ask if they have any more questions.  

The information you send will never have as much information on them as you will tell them and therefore you can take the request for information as a fob off.  

Send them the information across but gain commitment. If you cant get times and dates because they genuinely don’t have their diary in front of them then arrange a time for you to speak again when they will have their diary. Tell them 

“in the interim I will get your profile made and speak to our clients, that way when you speak when arranged I’ll be able to tell you their diaries and get it booked in the diaries there and then” 

(The candidate is doing something more important).  

Find out what else the candidate is doing? 

Try to work out why the process isn’t higher up their list of priorities. 

Can you ever get the process up the list of priorities?  

You haven’t pre screened our candidates well enough here or sold our solution well enough. If the candidate is truly excited they will drop everything to interview.  

Appreciate the persons thoughts, use feel, felt, found to sympathise with the candidate and their views (“I understand what you are thinking, in fact a lot of the people you speak to have similar thoughts and you actually found that the style of recruitment that the company adopts may not be suitable rather than the industry itself). Find out why the company may want to leave the industry, but make the candidate feel comfortable first.  

What are timelines that you’re thinking of? What are the reasons behind?  

If these reasons aren’t really very important then get the candidate to interview earlier. In almost all cases interview now is the most important thing to do. Of course the candidate could be owed a huge amount of bonuses so they need to stay to collect this, however interviewing and accepting a job doesn’t mean that they have to start right away. Having lots of time between accepting and starting isn’t necessarily as bad thing as it gives time to plan. Use fear of loss that the job may get taken by someone else and use examples of others Feel / Felt / Found. 

You should break down things like notice period and the interview process itself as candidates will often not realise that if they want to leave in 4 months time and they have a 2 month notice period, they should start looking immediately to have any chance of leaving in the desired time period.  

Good talent will always be owed commission or bonus because to put it simply, they are good, and they will always be rewarded financially well. Our clients fully understand that good talent doesn’t come cheap which means they are often more than happy to pay the commission or bonuses owed themselves. You must qualify just how much commission/bonuses are owed, qualify when it is to be paid, qualify what financial impact it has on the candidate if it isn’t paid and qualify with the client if they are willing to pay for this.  


There is always unfortunately a cycle with bonuses and commission, if they stay to get the commission, by the time the commission is paid, more often than not the candidate will be owed commission again for the work they did in the interim. Our job is to end the cycle as quickly as possible. If the candidate isn’t just financially motivated, they must realise that they must invest in themselves financially to improve their current situation.