You should make a policy to never send a resume without an agreement in place, but sometimes it seems like you’ve got to prove you have a product before a client will take you seriously.  You need to establish additional value and push for an agreement prior to any resume activity.  You can also push to confirm an interview for a date and time that can be cancelled by the hiring authority if, after reviewing the resume, they deem that candidate not suitable.  People are not resumes – and you’ve got to make sure you can represent your candidates well enough that you can accurately represent their personal and professional goals more so than is on a resume.


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Send a Resume

"Send me a resume and if I’m interested, we’ll talk about an agreement."

The ‘Send me a resume’ concern is often incorrectly viewed as an expression of interest on the client’s part by new, inexperienced recruiters. More often than not, the request for a resume is simply a client’s way of saying “no” without having to handle rebuttals to his or her other concerns. At the very least, clients have found it to be an effective method of postponing a decision.

Using Other Firm

"We are using another firm."

The great news is that you’ve found a company that recognizes the value of using a recruiter!  The bad news is that it’s just not you – YET.  This is an opportunity for you to get an understanding of how they found that firm and why they are using them.  No firm is perfect – so there’s a good chance that you can probe to find some areas of pain – and those areas could be ones that you are able to alleviate. 

We Don’t Use Recruiters

"We Don’t Use Recruiters."

“Don’t” in the first statement is a very strong term – and it behooves you to clarify what the actual objection is.  It is possible that the company cannot afford to pay a fee, however, more often than not, the company has not fully considered the benefits of using a search firm. This presents an opportunity to capture the account by overcoming the concern through selling the benefits of partnering with a firm like yours. 

Call HR

"You need to call and work with HR."

Recognize that this is a typical way to try to shuffle off a recruiter’s call.  Since the position reports to the hiring manager, and the true decision to hire will be made by that hiring manager, they are the one we want to have direct access to.  We can work in conjunction with HR, but there needs to be a cooperative relationship between the hiring manager, HR, and the recruiter. 

No Openings

"We have no openings/on a hiring freeze."

It is possible that this is a valid concern. The company may have all the employees it needs and may not be able to justify any more hiring at this time. Generally though, no company has enough top quality employees. Good managers are always looking for someone who can do a job better than is currently being done, or are considering the addition of a top-notch individual.

Client Marketing Scripts

The Next Level Exchange Library contains client marketing scripts for a number of situations recruiters commonly face. These client marketing scripts include: Notice: Access to this content requires a membership plan. Log in or sign up here to gain access.