Talent Acquisition

12 Sales Tips for Rookie Recruiters

Picking up the phone can be a daunting task for a newbie recruiter. Needless to say, it’d be fairly harsh of an employer to task a rookie with winning new clients before they’ve even got a feel for their new role or market, but there is something to be said for throwing them in the deep end. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

New recruiters should be given the warmest introduction possible, so needless to say, a great balance needs to be struck between careful coaching and letting them get a feel for things themselves. We recruited our panel of industry experts to offer their advice to new recruiters tackling new business development!

Lisa Jones


“Network, network, network. Don’t be afraid to call clients and ask them questions about their sector. Have a chat with them and THEM, not you. And do more with LinkedIn Groups – share decent content and comment on others’ content to market yourself effectively. But in all cases – spend as much time on the phone and with clients and candidates as possible. Oh! And remember their birthdays!”

Lisa Jones is Director at Barclay Jones.

Bronwen Hann

bronwen-hann“Be persistent, be persuasive, and never give up. Once you start having lots of conversations, you start having lots of leads. Pick up the phone and have as many conversations as possible. Find a way to make every one of those conversations valuable in one way or another. If you’re talking to a candidate who’s just left a job, find out what the job is. Work to get referrals. Have conversations about what people are seeing in the market – without expecting it to turn into a job order right away. You’ll build leads, but you’ll also build relationships and learn about the field you’re recruiting in, which is the best thing you can do for long-term success.”

Bronwen Hann is President & Senior Partner at Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting

David Morel


“Two tips – do your research on the client beforehand – look at their website, look at any past dealings your company has had with the client, etc. The more information, you can draw upon in the conversation, the more credible you will sound. Secondly, don’t be too salesy. There is nothing a client hates more than a hardcore sales call. Finesse your approach.”

David Morel is CEO & Founder of Tiger Recruitment

Billy Smith

billy-smith“Don’t cold call for the sake of hitting call volume targets. Conversations are so important in our industry and will help recruiters learn key market intelligence enabling them to build their desks quicker instead of having random pointless conversations because of KPIs. Take time to ask about the client and understand their business challenges before trying to pitch services. Only with key market knowledge can recruiters create a specialism within their industry.”

Billy Smith is Managing Director at FGS Recruitment

Iain Hamilton

iain-hamilton-canva“Cold calling only pisses off potential clients! It can be successful but tends to attract clients who are desperate or who will show little commitment. Before you lift the phone or send an email, think, what value can I add? What information can I give away, for free, that they will appreciate? As Jeffery Gitomer says “people do not like being sold to, but they love to buy” and thanks to Rob Malec we know “the idea is to sell more, by selling less”. If you have to cold call then you are not spending enough time marketing. Read Joe Pullizi’s ‘Epic Content Marketing’ for some epic ideas.”

Iain Hamilton is the Founder of People Traction

Adam Glassman

adam-glassman“In much the same way as companies are creating their employer brands, you too should be creating YOUR own brand. Why do you do what you do? What’s your passion, and where’s your niche? What is your methodology for recruiting and where is your proficiency? Use data in many of these points and tell the story of who you are as a recruiter. You’ll start to separate yourself from the pack in this way.”

Adam Glassman is Recruitment Strategies Manager at Alorica

Lysha Holmes

lysha-holmes“RESEARCH. Spend time finding out WHO you are going to call and give yourself a good REASON why you are calling them, not just “have you got any jobs”- talk about their business wins, latest awards/products/services, recent hires, similarities in your background. Above all, be genuine and friendly. Engage with the other human at the end of the phone and LISTEN to what they have to say. Maybe it won’t be a win TODAY but if you handle it properly, it could be a win for tomorrow.”

Lysha Holmes is the Founder of Qui Recruitment

Gill Buchanan

gill-buchanan“Keep the focus on quality rather than quantity.

Make sure you have something to speak about, whether it is an upcoming seminar, a reference, or company news.

Do a little bit every day, track everything you do, and always ensure you follow up as needed.”

Gill Buchanan is Director at Pure Resourcing Solutions

Chad MacRae

chad-macrae“Stop selling.

Learn to build relationships, as slowly as it needs to take. Ask lots of questions, and listen.

Stop trying to be the expert, stop trying to give advice.

Just listen to what your prospects have to say, need, and want.”

Chad MacRae is the Founder of Recruiting Social

James Nathan

james-nathan“Do lots and lots and lots of it. Tackling cold calls and new business meetings can be really nerve-racking for new recruiters, and the only way to get good at them is to do lots of them, analyze everything you do and say, and try to be better the next time. Watch, listen, and learn from the more experienced and successful people around you. Try out their ways of doing things, and take away what works for you. But most importantly try to enjoy them, take your job seriously, never take yourself too seriously.”

James Nathan is the Founder of The James Nathan Experience

Caroline Stokes

caroline-stokes“Don’t look at new business development as new business development.

Look at business development as lifelong relationship management and learn, learn and learn.

From understanding, comes growth.”

Caroline Stokes is the Founder of FORWARD

Dualta Doherty

dualta-doherty“Stop sending generic InMails.

Recruiters need to invest in learning how to specifically tailor their approach online to niche skill types such as developers.”

Dualta Doherty is the Founder of Pro Recruitment Solutions

By Phoebe Spinks

Account Executive at Link Humans, download our 12 Essentials of Employer Branding eBook now.