There’s no secret formula that will transform your recruitment agency into a million pound business overnight.

However, there are some golden rules to stick to when you work in recruitment, which will improve your deals and help to grow your business. We’ve shared them below.


Recruitment is not all about the paper candidate

A first from a Red Brick shouldn’t may seem great on paper, however, it doesn’t mean that candidate should automatically be put forward for a role. Take away their qualifications and academic achievements and ask yourself: are they still suitable for the job?

It’s difficult to dispute an Oxbridge first, but the message to recruiters is to dig deeper than the candidate’s CV to see if they can deliver in the role they’re tasked with.

Google, Deloitte, EY, Penguin and a host of other businesses didn’t decide to do away with qualifications in the application process simply in a display of social equality. It was also good business acumen, as a degree doesn’t automatically equal capability.

When you’re looking for candidates to put forward for a role, you should consider the following:

  • Do they have good interpersonal skills?
  • Do their references mention their personality?
  • Does their LinkedIn have any recommendations that highlight their soft skills?
  • Are they friendly, professional and engaging during your discussions with them?

With some of the worst work productivity rates in the developed world and trailing along the bottom of the G7, there’s far too many candidates in work that are underperforming.


Don’t forget the candidate

Your candidates are just as important as your clients, and you must treat them as such.  Just Google ‘Recruiters are…‘ and you’ll see that the results aren’t pretty. And the main reason why candidates feel this way? Because they have been neglected by a recruiter at some point.

The usual gripes levelled at recruiters often feature the way they’re treated:

  • poorly described roles
  • lack of timeframes around the processes
  • not receiving check-ins on how the process is going
  • not getting timely feedback

Leaving a candidate in the dark even when there’s no news to deliver is going to break the fragile bond that exists. A candidate’s less likely to disappear on you, or, at least, will feel a lot more guilty when they do, if they feel properly supported through the recruitment journey.

Bear in mind that today’s candidate can easily become tomorrow’s client, and can also quite easily leave a stain on your company that’s hard to shake.


Find the WOMAN and secure the budget

When we say you need to find the woman, we do not literally mean a woman.

WOMAN is a continuation of the sales acronym, MAN:

  • Money
  • Authority
  • Need

It means you need to locate the person with money, authority and need to make the decision over a sale.

Add the WO to it, and the acronym develops more

The W stands for finding out:

  • When a hire is needed
  • When everybody is available during the recruitment process for interviews and decision making.

The O stands for:

  • Who are the others involved in the recruitment process? Is there competition, or is this a retained placement?
  • What other decision makers are involved, and how is this going to prevent you from pushing a deal over the line?

Before you get stuck into the recruitment process you need to make sure the ‘Need’ and ‘Money’ are signed off and that you haven’t wasted weeks getting a candidate to the finish line to discover the budget is still waiting to be signed off.


Of course, you should take into account more than the above when working in recruitment. However, these golden rules are there for a reason. And sticking to them will be sure to help you grow your recruitment business.


This article was originally published on April 11, 2016 and updated Mar 1, 2018