Catalyst Sale

Episode 49 – Working with Recruiters

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Listener Question – What are some best practices to consider when working with recruiters?

Mike Conner is back this week, he and I tackle a listener question from Max in California.  Max is interested in our perspective on working with recruiters.  Specifically best practices, best approach & some ideas around what has worked for us in the past.

On this week’s podcast, Mike & I discuss some of the following considerations when working with recruiters and how to identify a great recruiter.

Recruiters – The Key to your Success?

Recruiters can be the key to a successful job hunt, or perceived as a barrier that prevents success.  Keep in mind, the objectives of the recruiter, from my perspective.

  • Identify the right candidate
  • Identify someone who will be in the role for at least 12 months
  • Keep their customer happy (happy customers lead to more business)
  • Make the process easy on their customer
  • Filter out those who are not the right fit
  • Build a network of viable candidates

The recruiter is not there to get you the job.  They identify prospects for a role, qualify the prospect, determine fit/feasibility, and help you navigate the interview/hiring process.  The most successful recruiters I’ve had an opportunity to work with approach their job as a sales professional working on behalf of their customer.  This could be their employer, or they could be a freelance recruiter.  The comp structure changes in each scenario, but the objective remains the same.

In previous episodes we also discuss hiring sales reps, finding your next sales role, and our sales process in general.

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Common Mistakes & Some Best Practices

We also discuss some horror stories we have experienced as part of a hiring project we are currently working on.  It is amazing how early career sales professionals (and even those later in their careers) can miss the easy things, like personalizing their email/cover letter.   Some of the most common DO’s & DONT’s when it comes to working with a recruiter follow.



  • Make you “getting the job”, their problem.
  • Pester the recruiter – just checking in/following up is a bad approach.
  • Spray and pray.
  • Expect them to do your job
  • Diminish their value


  • Personalize your communication
  • Deliver information in context
  • Deliver value in each of your engagements (customer news, news about the recruiter, something informative)
  • Help them establish fit
  • Be clear about your objectives, what you enjoy doing, what you want to do, why you want to do it
  • Be Realistic
  • Treat the relationship like you would treat your most important relationships
  • Leverage your network
  • Your Job – finding a new company to work with or identifying a job (when you decide to do so) is likely your most important sales cycle.
Finding a Good Fit

Identifying a couple of go to recruiters has been critical to our success.  Building a relationship is important, and takes time.  It also requires cultivation.  You should treat this like you would any other complex sale you have managed.  Remember the recruiters’ objectives.  Be transparent about yours.  Keep the recruiter updated on how your career is progressing.  Stay in the know about how their business or their career is progressing.  They are not just a vehicle or a roadblock to your next opportunity.  They can be the oracle that brings that next opportunity to your attention.

Please let us know if you would like us to have a recruiting expert join us on a future episode of the Podcast.  A good recruiter can be worth their weight in gold.  If the foundation is not based on trust and clear expectations, how can you expect them to execute?

Thank you

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Also, thank you for listening to this week’s podcast. Please send listener questions and feedback to or contact us directly on twitterfacebook or LinkedIn.

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Catalyst Sale

In every business, in every opportunity, there is someone who can help you navigate the internal challenges and close the deal. There is a Catalyst. We integrate process (Catalyst Sale Process), technology and people, with the purpose of accelerating revenue. Our thoughtful approach minimizes false starts that are common in emerging markets and high growth environments. We continue to evolve our practice based on customer needs and emerging technology. We care about a thinking process that enables results versus a process that tells people what to do.

Sales is a Thinking Process.

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