Avoiding (and Winning Over) Fee Avoiders

With an ever-increasing demand for top talent and the need for it now, companies are consistently turning to headhunters to fill this demand. Yet, despite this dire need for talent, many companies are still hesitant to pay a third party recruiting fee. It is usually one of the most difficult steps in the process; however, your ability to turn a company from a “no” into a “yes” is one of the key criteria for any recruiter.

The ability to overcome this obstacle will increase your odds of success as a recruiter. When a company tells you no, there are two key things that are needed to overcome this objection.

What Is the Objection?

The first is an understanding of the objection.

Before you can move forward, you need to understand what is holding them back. Why don’t they use recruiters? What is their reasoning for saying no? In my experience, a lot of hiring managers just have a first impulse to say no. More often than not, this is without any real reason behind it. Sometimes it is easier to simply say no and go on with your day. However, if you take the time to find out why they are hesitant, you increase your odds of overcoming their objections. Sometimes asking “‘why?” is the first step in converting a search from a “no” to a “go.” If you don’t know the problem, you can’t fix it. Taking time to understand their concerns is the first step to building a work-relationship.

What is Your Value?

The second step of this process is really a simple one, yet it is one that most people forget to do. It is about showing your added value. Once you have figured out why they are apprehensive about using recruiters and you have taken the time to overcome their objections, you have an opportunity to pitch your service. This is your chance to show them what separates you from the competition. Whether they have had a bad experience in the past or simply do not see the value of a recruiter, this is your opportunity to show them why they need you. You need to be able to justify the fee they are going to pay you.

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How will you successfully fill this search? What can you do for them that they can’t do themselves? Why your firm and not another?

Each company has a unique set of needs. Showing them how you are able to fulfill their needs is part of proving your worth to them. Showing your value in the process is very important to winning them over.

The key to winning over those who tell you no is all about a mutual understanding. You need to understand their concerns and address them. They need to understand the value that you bring to the process. Without following these two key steps, you will continue to hear no … and accept it.

Josh Bear is currently vice president at Jivaro, a recruiting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been involved in headhunting since he co-founded Jivaro as the head of its Client Research Division in 1997. In addition to his day-to-day headhunting responsibilities, he also manages multiple teams of recruiters that focus on high tech placements and handles operations for Jivaro?s regional offices.

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