So, you are in reception, waiting for your client…

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Success in recruiting is all about doing a lot of small things… very well.

Pretty much all recruiters follow the same process. We screen, we interview, we match, we meet clients, and we engineer scores of mini interactions which stitch the whole thing together.

So, experience has taught me that getting the best outcome depends on making sure that you are just that little bit better than your competitors during each step of the process. Believe me, in this business you must strive to give yourself every tiny advantage you can. There are no 2nd prizes in recruitment. You either fill the job, or you don’t.

Let’s take client visiting as an example.

Not the actual visit itself. That is a massive topic, for another day.

But what about the 10 minutes you wait in reception for your client to greet you? Do you waste that time? Do you daydream, thinking about what to have for dinner tonight? Mindlessly read the magazine on the table in front of you? Remember, success is about giving yourself any advantage you can. So what can you do during those 10 minutes that will make a difference? How about these little tactics?

  • Firstly, engage with the receptionist. Have a chat, build rapport. If appropriate, ask a few questions. Maybe you learn that he is a temp. Could that be interesting to you? What other great information will he share as you chat for 5 minutes? Not only that, the receptionist can become your greatest ally. Make sure you get to know her, win her over, and next time you call, you will be put straight through.
  • Pay attention. Listen to the incoming calls. Listen to the conversations of staff members as they walk through the reception. What can you learn about the company, and its culture, and the staff and their interaction? Can that help you during the client meeting itself? Could it assist you in making a cultural match? Can it help you sell the company, to a potential candidate?
  • Read the visitors book. Yes, I know, a little controversial. But I don’t care! I want to know who has been visiting the company recently. And guess what? If the visitors book is full of other recruiters, that’s good news! In all likelihood, that means there are jobs to be had there. Fish where the fish are.
  • Take what you can. No, don’t steal stuff. But yes, do pick up the newsletters, brochures, the pamphlets. Information is power and the more you know about this company, its products, services and its activities, the better. It can only help your credibility in the meeting about to start, right?
  • Read the walls. That’s it. Look for mission statements on the wall, look for awards, read the announcements, jot down the name of the employee of the month. There is so much to be learned. It will help you later.
  • Prepare your small talk. No matter what type of meeting you are about to have, it is inevitable that it will start with a bit of small talk. Prepare yours. Please, make sure it’s not inane waffle about the weather. A good, confident, intelligent start will set up a great meeting. Prepare a couple of comments or questions that are topical and show that you are ‘on your game’. For example, as you walk with your client to his office, “I was fascinated to read you are opening a new branch in North Sydney Mr. Client. How is that progressing?” Small talk, sure. But smart small talk, because guess what? By the time you are sitting down… the meeting has started… and you are driving it.

Information is power. Winning in recruitment is a matter of inches. You just have to be that little bit better to take the main prize. Use every ounce of leverage you can to give yourself an advantage

Even when you’re sitting in the reception.


Subscribe to The Savage Truth, ‘Like’ our Facebook page, and connect with Greg on LinkedIn to ensure you get your recruiting brain-food fix.

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