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If you could ask me anything about maximizing your personal or team’s sales performance, what would your biggest question be?

Whether you’re a recruitment consultant, manager or recruiting firm owner, this is your chance to get my help with your specific challenges at no cost.  Here’s how it works.  Just post your questions below in the Comments section.  I’ll be selecting the top questions and creating a personalized recruitment training video to answer each one.

I honestly don’t know how long I’ll be doing this for, it’s kind of an experiment.  To have the best chance of getting your questions answered, go ahead and post your questions today!

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    1. Hi Mark

      I have recently started a recruitment Consulting firm and would like advice on a recruitment metrics to ensure I am successful. I would like to know what is the best number for calls in a day, how many interviews, how many send-outs etc so that I could plan my day better.

  1. What is the best way to use. A researcher? Do u have. Make calls to screen. Or just pull names to help a bus. Desk

  2. Hi,

    I have worked as an internet researcher and candidate side recruiter for 7+ years now. I am thinking of starting my own firm, specializing in the IT niche. Is it possible to work only from home, not visit clients, not do in person interviews with candidates, and still carry out my IT recruitment business in the US? I have very limited sales experience as a recruiter, so I am not sure as a novice on Sales side of recruitment, how would it work out.

    The other questions I have are:
    1. IT is a huge vertical. I will probably start as iPhone and Android developers niche. Do you suggest starting US wide, or do you suggest concentrating on a small geography and then expanding?
    2. Or, I could work on all IT reqs within a certain geographical area (north east USA). I guess what I am asking is, is it better to limit my niche, or is better to limit my geography when I am starting out? Cuz if I do not limit either the niche or the geography, I would be quite overwhelmed, and if I limit both, then I am being quite restrictive, ain’t it?


    1. HI Mandy,

      Congratulations on starting your own firm – exciting times! Wow you asked a lot of questions:

      1) Yes you can work from home

      2) While it’s not necessary to visit clients, I would certainly recommend it as the best way to build long term relationships

      3) Interview candidates via Skype or similar video platform. Next best thing to face to face. Plus you can record a 1-2 minute segment (with candidate’s permission) and let your client see the clip – great value add.

      4) Sales is the key to your success. Focus on developing your selling skills as a priority.

      5) Yes android and iPhone developpers sounds like a great niche in that it’s a growth sector. You could do that nation wide.

      6) That depends. Don’t become a generalist IT recruiter for your local area – it’s much better to be a specialist, in my opinion. Specialists tend to out-bill generalists. So are there enough companies in your niche within your geographic area, or are they spread out all over the USA? If there’s enough business, running a local desk has big advantages – for example, you can visit your clients as I mentioned above. But if there’s not enough business locally, then expand geographically rather than widening your niche.

      Good luck with your new recruitment business!



  3. I’d love to learn more about how to find and use good researchers overseas to help me find the employers who hire people in the niche I am researching. Also, how much specific direction do they need from me? How much will that cost?

    I love this idea, Mark. I hope it works out well for you!

    1. HI Susan,

      Thanks for your kind words! That means a lot to me.

      Hiring researchers is not something I know a whole lot about. I do however have a lot experience outsourcing overseas. One site I’ve used to hire freelancers is You can post your projects and get quotes from people around the world. I also feel confident in recommending because I use them a lot and have been very happy with the quality of their work. If you contact them, please ask for Amit Rai and tell him I sent you!


  4. Hey Mark, What steps would you recommend an experienced recruiter to take that has spent 12 years in a specific industry and took the last 5 years off doing something different? I am wanting to return to running my own desk, but find myself a little rusty and concerned if I can just pick up where I left off. The industry I left was experiencing massive lay offs at the time (2007ish). I recently read that there is ans will be a lack of professionals as more years go by and the baby boomers retire. What would you recommend this old dog as far as new tricks to learn? thanks

    1. Hi Bart,

      Old dog, new tricks? Absolutely! The only new trick is social media. I would encourage to immerse yourself and get up to speed quickly on how to use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for marketing and recruiting. I know plenty of old dogs who have become avid social networkers.

      The good news is that the old-school (maybe classic is a better word) skills and techniques have not changed. The core skills of being a successful recruiter such as relationship building, networking, negotiating, qualifying, closing – those are just as important today as they ever were. So if you combine old school skills with social media, you’ll have the best of both worlds.



    1. HI Gary,

      “We have a PSA (Preferred Supplier Agreement)”

      This is definately one of the most common objections that recruiters encounter when marketing for new clients. It’s also the ojbection that recruiters fear above all others.

      Fortunately, there are some ways around it. In fact one study showed that 83% of companies with a PSA have recruited from outside their PSA in the last 12 months.

      You can read the article I’ve already written on this subject here:

    1. Hi Felicia,

      I have 3 tips for you:

      1. Get referrals from existing clients who may have international offices.

      2. If you’re expanding your geographic reach, you need to narrow your niche and become highly specialized.

      3. I suggest a candidate-led approach. In other words, which countries does your MPC (Most Placeable Candidate) want to relocate to, and what are the market leading or fastest growing companies within your niche, in those locations?

      Good luck building an international recruitment practice!



  5. I have a challenge with clients who show a keen interest in our candidates but take their own time to get back to us on interviews or offers. I have tried the method of educating them on the fact that good candidates don’t stay on the market but still encounter the same response. What else could I try?

    1. HI Candace,

      I’m sure recruiters everywhere will relate to your question! The key is:

      1. Test for URGENCY before you start recruiting. Ask the client: How important is this role and why? What is the cost of this vacancy remaining open? What’s the impact on your company/department? How does it affect you personally? Who else is affected by this? How urgent is this search? What makes it so urgent? When must this position be filled by? What the consequence of not filling it by that date? What would be the cost to your business? If they don’t have good answers to these questions, don’t work the job.

      2. Set ground rules with the client at the outset, again before you start the search. Sometimes this is called a Service Level Agreement (SLA) or an exchange of commitments. You say, “Here’s what we’re going to do for you, and here’s when we’re going to do it. Here’s what we need from you in return, and here’s when we need it.” Get them to agree up front that they will be available for interview feedback, that they will respond within 48 hours to CVs, etc.

      3. Finish every client call by setting an appointment for the next call. Then send a Calendar Invitation immediately after the call. Then hopefully you’ll have to spend less time chasing them!

      Take care,


  6. Prospecting rebuttal advice:

    Earlier today I sent an email to a C-level prospect that I used to work with to inquire about search services. They have a few open positions listed on their website and I also know through a trusted source that this company is having a hard time finding candidates. The prospect responded by saying, “We still have an in-house recruiter, so we are good for now.” This tells me that they want to work internally rather than pay a fee. With all this information in mind, I’d appreciate any suggestions that you’d recommend for me to rebut the “We have an internal recruiter” response and encourage the prospect to pay a fee for my retained search services.

    Thank you,


  7. sir,

    i had started my firm last year and in starting i get 2-3 mnc clients but now they are not giving us proper feedback for the vacant position . so that’s why we had starting cold calling to get more client but its not giving result pls tell me ” How to get more clients” easily so that i can grow my business rapidly. pls tell me the startegy or plan to get more clients . i m totally frustrated. pls revert positively.

    1. HI Chander,

      You need to be marketing for new business every day, aim to speak with 10-15 new client contacts per day. Since you might only reach 1 in 4 or even 1 in 5 people you call, that means you need to have 40-75 calls planned with decision maker names and phone numbers already researched and ready to go.

      My top 3 ways to generate new business:

      1. MPC Calls – Marketing your “most placeable candidates”
      2. Reference Checks – Valid reason to call hiring managers in your niche
      3. Recruiting Calls – Call senior candidates about their career goals, then segue into a conversation about their own critical hiring needs

      Check out my 8-week online course called “More Clients: A Proven 8-Step System for Recruiters to Win New Business” here:

      Good luck!

    2. Hi Chander,

      I offer an 8-week course about “how to get more clients”: Hard to answer in one paragraph! Please see my answer to Chander in this thread who asked a similar question. and read all the other articles on this website. Many of my articles relate to business development. Good luck!

  8. Hi,

    We are a generalist contingency recruitment agency. I would highly appreciate if you can answer the 3 questions below.

    1- What is the average number of monthly placements that a good recruiter should achieve? Keeping in mind that our recruiters are not involved in sales as we have a sales team who generate the leads for them.

    2- We are currently having difficulty finding good profiles with the new Facebook people search and filtering tools. Can you give us some tips?

    3- We are having the same challenge as Candace (see question above). Any tips?

    Many thanks!

    1. HI Dany,

      Thanks for your great questions!

      1 – Impossible for me to answer without knowing more about your business, market sector, average invoice value, etc. Feel free to contact me to discuss this in more detail: +44 131 664 8064.

      2 – Sorry, recruiting via Facebook is outside my expertise. Plenty of social recruiting trainers out there. Check out Johnny Campbell and Lisa Jones for starters.

      3 – Now this one I CAN help you with! You need to:

      a) QUALIFY the urgency up front – if the client can’t tell you WHY this vacancy is urgent, with serious consequences if not filled, then don’t work the job!

      b) Agree TIMESCALES with client up front, with dates to review shortlist, 1st interview, 2nd interview, offer etc. The dates are flexible of course, but the 1st interview dates are pre-booked in the client’s calendar before you start working the job.

      c) Set ground rules, i.e. an exchange of commitments. “Here’s what you can expect from us, here’s what we need from you in return…”

      d) Finish each call with the client by agreeing an appointment (date/time) for the next call.

      e) Market your top candidates to multiple employers to create LEVERAGE and give yourself more chances of placing him/her

      Take care,


  9. Hi Mark,

    I’m about to launch my business in the UK. It’ll be just me to start with.
    Can you advise on the cheap or ideally free way of organising all your database (calls log, Candidate names, incoming CV’s linked to them) please?

    Also, what is the most effective, yet cheap/free tool to store/search your CV database? I realise there are some nice but pricey tools out there, but as a new business I’d rather keep the unnecessary (or is it a necessity?)cost out of the expenses.

    Thank you in advance for your time and help

    1. HI Aga,

      Congratulations on launching your recruitment company. I would consider your recruitment software / database to be an essential tool. Of course, I understand you want to keep start-up costs to a minimum. But I believe the investment in an effective CRM/ATS will pay for itself many times over while saving you a lot of time and frustration. There’s a useful Software Comparison table here: Good luck with your new business!

  10. HI Mark,

    Working as an in-house recruiter, and having been away from BD for about 5 years, I’m now tasked with bringing in new business, so I’m looking for some help/tips in cold calling to generate new business in an extremely quiet market (industry background is Mining & Oil & Gas) so I’ll be targeting industries I’ve not had a lot of experience of working in, so the pressure is on.
    How can I generate new business quickly in a quiet market?

    Thank you!

    1. HI Tracey,

      You can make money in any market but it’s obviously easier if it’s a growth market, as opposed to a mature/declining. Oil & Gas is quite cyclical. Not sure about Mining. But if it’s slow – and I don’t know if it is/isn’t – but if it is, why not pick another market? After all, you’re rebuilding from scratch anyway so you could choose a market where either you have a) experience, b) a sincere interest or c) you believe is growing / there’s high demand / skills shortages.

      Whatever market you choose, the ways of getting business are the same. Rather than me summarize them here, you can download my free eBook here: 7 Ways to Get New Clients Fast.

      Good luck in your new role!