How Recruiters Turn a “No” from Their Clients and Candidates into a “Yes” How Recruiters Turn a “No” from Their Clients and Candidates into a “Yes” Skip to content

How recruiters turn a “no” into a “yes”

One word recruiters hear a lot is “No”! It’s never easy to hear, and the more no’s you get, the more frustrating it can be.

So what’s the solution?

You could try avoiding questions that can be answered with a “no” altogether, or, take every candidate’s objection as you would with Jim Trott and know that most people won’t say “yes” before they’ve made several “no’s”.

There’s a reason behind their ‘no’, there might even be several, but knowing the candidate’s objections means you’re half way to bridging them.

Even the talent out there that are perfectly happy in a role with no desire to leave are the prime candidates to start a dialogue with a recruiter.

To help you turn a no into a yes, we’ve shared some advice on what they mean when they reject you, and what to do in each situation.


When no is the short answer to give recruiters

The short answer means it’s often easier for a candidate to say no than to say why, and with 44% of sales people giving up at the first dismissal, it’s often never discovered.

Turning the recruitment process on its head and having them sell what they want, is an easy way of finding out what would unlock a ‘yes’ from a candidate.

Recruiters too often market roles with listicles of what they’re looking for and too rarely ask what they could do for their candidates.

What are they missing, what would they like, what are their reservations?


It’s not no, it’s just not right now!

Recruitment is a series relationships and ongoing conversations that are developed over time and could materialise at any point.

It could be a week from now or two years down the line. A well-maintained pipeline with detailed footnotes on its candidates, means a well-placed call six-months down the line can turn a ‘no’ from yesterday into a ‘yes’ for tomorrow.

The key to changing a no to a yes here, is to keep in contact. We don’t mean bombarding them with new job opportunities every week. We mean emailing or calling them twice a year for a catch up.

  • Ask how work is going for them
  • Remember personal information they told you last time (e.g. family events, personal accomplishments, etc.) and ask them for an update
  • Only suggest roles that you know are truly a match for their experience, skillset and requirements


When a situation gets in the way

You can narrow the chances of the rug being pulled from under you by doing your due diligence on a candidate and checking their online footprint.

A quick browse on their social media might flag up a reason not to call, or a well-kept footnote in your CRM might notify you that they’re more likely to be tied up with their upcoming wedding then take a well-received call from yourself.

Having a handle on the recruitment process and knowing that if a decision to relocate needs to be made, it doesn’t rest solely with them, will also go a long way to anticipating their objections.


It’s not for me, but I know a man…

It might be the right role, and they might acknowledge that, but sometimes it will still be a no.

Whether it’s an aversion to rocking the boat or a lack of understanding, sometimes people are unwilling to listen to a good thing, no matter how clear the benefit is.

That said, by the time you’ve exhausted your objection handling and sold the role, they’ll know merits of the position and could potentially open the door to a referral.

The best pipelines to talent are built through well-nurtured networks, which is why every candidate should be treated as a touchstone to another potential candidate.


Never taking no for an answer does not involve hard selling

The days of hard selling in recruitment have all but disappeared, but that’s not to say that a recruiter shouldn’t be practicing their ABCs with every point of contact.

If you imagine the sales process as a timeline, every interaction with a candidate and client should be nudging them further into closing. Whether it’s as granular as liking a post on social media to remind them of your presence, to testing the likelihood of accepting an offer.


This article was originally published on Sept 20, 2016 and updated Mar 15, 2018

Take advantage of contract demand

  • Find out how to remove the red tape in recruitment factoring
  • Discover the best way to equip your agency for contract demand
  • Learn how much it costs to set up factoring
  • See how you can secure funding in minutes

Sonovate is the only financier to combine technology, finance, in-house timesheets and an integrated app.

This website uses cookies. For more information about these please click here.
By continuing to browse you consent to the use of cookies

We use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content, provide social media features such as sharing and analyse our traffic using Google Analytics.

Click below to consent to the use of this technology during your visit.

Find out more

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.