A Wake-up Call

Good morning.

I’ve written about this subject what feels like hundreds of times. But this time is going to be the last.

That last sentence may not be true.

Working as an agency recruiter is almost always categorised as a sales role.

The other skills needed to do the job, like organisation, research (thanks Kamran), content marketing and people management rarely get a mention.

Look at most agency recruiter job ads and you’ll see the same hackneyed clichés trotted-out about needing passion and determination – all softeners for the fact that the job really involves making 50 cold-calls a day.

Which brings me to my first point.

Cold-calling isn’t selling, it’s prospecting.

Selling is what happens when you’re sat in front of someone with buying authority and you actually have something definable to sell. You know, in exchange for some money.

So once again, recruitment agencies that only work on contingency don’t have anything to sell, apart from vague promises and maybes.

“We’re experts in your field.”

“We have access to the best candidates.”

“We’re confident we will fill this job.”

Yeah. And you’ve got talent pools as well, right?

The vagueness of these statements are mitigated by the agency recruiter’s ultimate close:

“You only have to pay us if you hire one of our candidates!”

You can’t sell something that may not happen or might not get delivered. That’s not sales, so you’re going to have to find another name for that. Ask Jordan Belfort.

The other day I saw a R2R advert with this as the opening line:

“Delivery Consultant wanted – Do you love recruitment but don’t like making 100 cold calls to clients a day?”

Putting aside the utter inanity of the “100 cold calls to clients a day” line for a moment, what this sentence is really saying is that the recruitment agency world has got its collective head stuck up its arse.

It must be dark up there.

So dark that many agency recruiters are labouring under the delusion that selling is what they do with hiring companies and that the candidate part of the job (aka ‘delivery’) doesn’t involve making prospecting calls, or selling.

The reality is of course that the Delivery Consultant role is probably more about sales than what the ubiquitous New Business Developer does. In particular, the New Business Developer who only brings in contingency work.

Unlike the Business Developer, the Delivery Consultant actually has something to sell.

A job.

A job is important. It’s real, it’s tangible and it needs to be sold in much the same way any other product might be sold. In fact, a job can even be life changing.

The only difference being that selling a job to a prospective candidate doesn’t involve the candidate spending any money. Or shouldn’t, unless you’ve done the Jordan Belfort seminar on selling.

So, if you’re one of those recruiters who think they want to get away from sales by either being a Delivery Consultant or by going inhouse, it could be argued that those are the places where the real selling is happening. Especially if it’s a company no one has heard of.

My advice, if you don’t like selling, is to keep cold-calling companies looking for job vacancies you probably won’t fill.

This wake-up call has been delivered black, with no sugar.


BTW… MRL are looking for Delivery Consultants – although we call them Account Managers. That’s recruiters who sell jobs to prospective candidates and manage existing clients.

It’s a coincidence, I swear.

Originally posted on Linked IN by: Mitch Sullivan

Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503


Posted on May 27, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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