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Recruiters Accept but Don't Expect Rejection

We get used to the word “no” in our business. Eventually.

If you ask enough questions, you are sure to have your fair amount of knock backs, but they come particularly fast and furious when you aren’t entirely in control of results. There are a million-and-one reasons why clients might not want to hire a particular candidate. There are also a million-and-one reasons why a candidate might not want to join a client. Recruiters obviously do our utmost to minimise those reasons on both sides, but ultimately even the very best theoretical matches sometimes fall short for the most trivial of reasons.

It is just the way it is. We take it in our stride, and we move on.

However, there is a big caveat here. We never expect things to turn out this way. With every relationship, there are always many ways of reaching a goal, and the goalposts themselves may also be changed multiple times. Expecting rejection gives you an excuse to shut up shop and move on sooner rather than later. Accepting rejection on the other hand only happens after the very final nail in the coffin, but only after a bumpy journey to get to that point.

It is so much easier to mentally expect rejection and move on to easier pickings.

If a search looks impossible on day one, a decent recruiter will never give up as they know that it only takes one (maybe slightly left-field) candidate to change the scenario totally. They fall in love with the company, and the company adjusts its expectations to fit the candidate. Equally, a company might only need a minor change of heart from the management about the scope of the role, and a whole new field of candidates opens up. If you don’t entertain the thought of possible rejection (and failure) until the very end of the process, there is always hope for a successful conclusion.

Until the role has been filled, there is always a chance for you to fill it. If it is filled by someone else, or if the company has decided to restructure, then that is fine, you’ve done your best, and you accept that this wasn’t your time. Until that point, you simply have to do everything in your power to find a suitable alternative. This often means finding creative solutions, and never means bashing your head against the same door. It nearly always means developing a close relationship with your clients (who after all really need someone in the role). Getting to know each other better along the journey is one of the most rewarding parts of our job.

I’d like to think that this “tenacity” is why clients work with LMA and many more of the better recruitment firms out there. One of the main reasons why we won the “Recruiter of the Year” at the recruitment awards was the testimonials from our clients saying that we never give up. For me, expecting rejection is as good as giving up. We owe it to our clients and candidates to keep fighting for them.

Rejection isn’t welcome here until there is no other option.