Recruiting to Win

Recruiting to Win

A Truly Commercial Introduction to the World of Recruitment

A straight forward, real world introduction packed with step by step tips, secrets and advice. Take control of your market and become much for successful today!

Secrets the others won't teach

Recruiting to Win

Learn the secrets of recruitment the others won't teach!

Real world learning - helping you to make more money more quickly. Available in paperback and eBook formats for all devices

You will learn….

Getting started the right way

Doing things right from the start. Learn about the industry and how things work

Dozens of tips and trade secrets

The highly commercial tips and techniques others won't teach

Developing a highly successful business

Great business development tips and techniques that really work

Building great relationships with your Candidates and Clients

Learn the secrets of rapport and control, running successful meetings and how to pitch

Handling and filling jobs

Everything from taking the initial specification, to handling offers and making placements

Great time management

How to get the most from your day, whilst managing a busy portfolio

Samples from the book



Chapter IX

Once an interview has taken place it is really important that you understand the thoughts and motivations of both parties so that you can control and maintain as smooth a process as possible. As with most things in the world of recruitment, information is power.

Taking feedback

Taking interview feedback is a really important part of the job process. It will assist us hugely in subsequent offer management (covered further in the next section) and will help us advise our clients as the best next courses of action.

Giving useful and accurate feedback is an area that consultants are often criticised for, especially where feedback is negative or following an unsuccessful meeting. It is never fun telling a candidate that they have not been offered a job they really want. You need to develop an honest but sensitive approach and this comes with thought and practice.

Offer Management

Offer management is not just something that happens once an offer is made. It is a process that begins at first contact with a candidate, and continues when first discussing an opportunity with them, through feedback, subsequent interviews, salary/package negotiation, to acceptance, resignation from current role and start.

It is the key part of the entire recruitment process when all your hard work on both candidates and clients is turned into actual fees.

Critical success factors

Being well-informed of positives and negatives throughout the process will reduce the number of times you are fighting to save desperate situations rather than enjoying smooth, confident and successful conclusions.

Chapter V

Business development is a vital part of what we do as recruitment consultants. Unfortunately, it is the part of the job that many people have a mental block with, and many others treat as a chore. But, it really shouldn’t be that way.

BD  (as it is usually called) can be one of the most rewarding parts of what you do.

Building relationships with new contacts and winning their business, as well as building stronger relationships with existing clients to become preferred suppliers are the things that make the difference between an average job filler, and a real business builder.

Some people call BD cold calling. But, phoning people is only a small part of what we do.

Why people buy

People buy things for many reasons. In order to sell well we need to really understand the individual person we are working with. We need to ask questions, and build a strong understanding so that we can provide them with the right solution.

Much is written around this subject, but for simplicity I am going to break it down into some small chunks.

Why we buy anything

- We actually have a need for it
- We perceive that it offers value for money
- We have convinced ourselves that we need it
- People like to buy things
- Because we like the salesperson!

People buy things and especially expensive things because they perceive value. Think for a minute about why someone would buy a Rolex watch for £5000 when a Casio would do the same basic job for a lot less!

We are unlikely to buy something unless we have convinced ourselves that we need it. The key to any sales, is therefore, the motivation to buy.

Chapter III

Commercially it is very important that we keep the best candidates exclusive to us. This stops our competitors placing them (especially with our clients).

Trust and respect are everything

In order to gain exclusivity, you will need to gain the trust and respect of the candidate, as well as the understanding that you have the market covered for them. If you get this right, then they won’t feel the need to register with other agents.

Initially in the candidate interview you will have asked them who else they are registered with. If the answer is none, or none yet, then a simple “are you happy to leave it with just me?” should do the trick.

If you have gained their trust and respect, the answer is usually yes.

However, if the candidate is keen to register with other agents, then you will need to sell the benefits of sole registration. Examples include:

“You are unlikely to miss any roles through us, as the majority of businesses would use us to recruit”

“We can guarantee control of your CV, in that it will not go out to a client without your express permission, to ensure confidentiality”

If they are already registered elsewhere, try to limit any further registrations.


The world of recruitment is a truly fantastic place and one in which it is very possible to build a wonderful and long term career.

My story is very similar to many others. Shortly after qualifying as an accountant, I looked to leave the profession and considered my options. I loved the business side of accountancy and the interaction with clients, but didn’t see myself as a Partner, and wondered what else the world outside offered. In-house Accountancy? No, too similar. Something completely different? Definitely. I needed somewhere to use my commercial background and business skills, but somewhere I could be myself, learn and grow. Somewhere I could be rewarded for hard work, and build a great career.

I happily discovered recruitment (a little by accident as many in those days did), but I like to think that recruitment found me, and it was love at first cold call.

Things have happily moved on a long way since then. Not only is the technology a world further on, but we also have a profession in which people actively seek a career rather than happen upon it. Recruitment is now regularly a first choice for university graduates, and a sensible alternative to anyone looking to build a career outside of their initial chosen profession. Long may this continue.

I have been really fortunate in my career to have been trained, mentored and guided by some of the most intelligent, dynamic and influential characters in the profession. People who cared deeply about their directors, managers and consultants, people who put all the effort they could into developing their staff, regardless of level, to be the best they could be.

Since having focused my career in business development and recruitment sales training, I have come to appreciate just how rare these kinds of managers are. So often I am astounded at the real lack of training and guidance made available to new consultants. So many are still shown a desk and told to get on with it, and in return a large number of potentially great consultants leave the profession disillusioned.

I want to help change this. I want everyone entering the profession to get the best possible real world training and advice available. The kind of training I received, and have tried to give to everyone I have trained since.

I know that not every recruitment business can afford to hire in-house trainers, and the alternative – sending staff away from the office for off-site training, (with potentially a classroom full of competitor staff) may not be what you are looking for.

Whether you are a sole trader, a small business or working in a very large company, this book is designed to fill the gap.

Who this book is for

I have written this book to be simple, plain speaking and accessible to anyone looking to improve their recruitment, commercial and sales skills within the recruitment industry.

You may be reading this for yourself as an introduction, using it as a refresher, or perhaps looking to refocus and improve your skills. Similarly you may be using it as step-by-step guide for new consultants in your team, to be worked through in conjunction with your in-house or on-the-desk training.

Most importantly this book is written to be a commercially focused and practical guide for professional recruiters. It teaches real world recruitment, something other guides often forget to do.

Recruitment is a sales business, plain and simple. Our job is to make profit by placing people into new roles and helping our clients find the best staff. Of course we help people in the process, but at its core, recruitment is fundamentally commercial.

Choose a chapter

  • Chapter IX

    - Once an interview has taken […]
  • Chapter V

    - Business development is a vital […]
  • Chapter III

    - Commercially it is very important […]
  • Introduction

    - The world of recruitment is […]

Recruiting to Win

A Truly Commercial Introduction to the World of Recruitment

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Selected Chapter Overviews

Chapter II

Candidate Management

The candidate cycle
Sourcing candidates
Candidate updating

Chapter III

Candidate Interviewing

Interview structure
Potential difficultiesAdditional information needed
Gaining exclusivity

Chapter V

Business Development

Why people buy
Features vs benefits
The BD process

Chapter VI

Telephone Techniques

Phone vs email
Making introductory calls
Ad chasing
Lead chasing

Chapter VII

Client Relationship Building

The client cycle
Getting and preparing for meetings
Rapport and control
Closing a meeting
A simple sales pitch formula

Chapter VIII


Taking a job specification
Gaining exclusivity
Writing great advertsSelling jobs to candidates

Chapter IX

Interview and Offer Management

Taking feedback
Offer Management
Problems and their solutions
Handling Buy-back

Chapter X

Time and Portfolio Management

Getting the most from your day
Golden rules of time management
Golden rules of portfolio (job) management

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What recruitment people say about James Nathan and Recruiting to Win

Lucy Hamilton, Consultant - Keystone Employment Group

Lucy Hamilton, Consultant - Keystone Employment Group

"Relevant, informative and up to date"

Sarah Mayo-Evans, Owner - Peach Recruitment LLP

Sarah Mayo-Evans, Owner - Peach Recruitment LLP

"A great read, very accurate insight into today's recruitment industry."

Gary Watson, CEO - Investigo

Gary Watson, CEO - Investigo

"James is one of the most accomplished recruiters I have come across. He delivers and you’ll enjoy the experience too."

Max MacGillivray, MD - Redfox Executive Recruiters

Max MacGillivray, MD - Redfox Executive Recruiters

"James’s guidance has resulted in us winning more profitable business more often. A highly personable, commercially astute and passionate professional. I cannot recommend James highly enough."

Katie Davies, Consultant - HCL Plc

Katie Davies, Consultant - HCL Plc

"I recommend James on so many levels, insightful, intelligent, entertaining and relevant. His training was so enjoyable and really relevant to the tasks that I am doing. 10/10"

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About the Author

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James Nathan is an enthusiastic recruitment trainer, passionate speaker and results driven coach. In addition to being an author, he is the founder of the jne Recruitment Academy and its eLearning counterpart Impact Recruitment Training: training businesses designed to unlock and grow the natural potential of people in recruiting roles.

James is one of the UK’s most experienced and successful Professional Recruitment Trainers, with over 16 years experience in helping people within the profession learn and grow their sales and business development skills.

James specialises in working with both people who are new to a recruitment environment and helping them to learn the basic skills on which to build a broader career, as well as with those with solid experience to grow and develop their skills further and then really take off.

Before setting up his own recruitment business, James spent nearly 12 years of his career with a multi-national recruitment group, where he built and ran a network of Regional and London offices as well as leading on training and development programmes in both the Finance and Legal businesses.

“The best recruiters weren’t born with some special talent, they were trained, coached and mentored. And, anyone can join them.”

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