February 2nd, 2021

How to overcome objections in recruitment

In the recruitment world, there are tons of objections a recruiter can encounter on a daily basis. Just like your utility bills, taxes, grey hairs, they are bound to happen. They are inevitable.

Objections in recruitment come from both candidates and clients. Here we list down a few of the most typical ones so you can make sure you’re prepared to face whatever you come up against.

Objections from the client:

  • We already have our PSL
  • We don’t have the budget for a recruitment agency
  • We are on a much cheaper rate with other providers
  • We have a strong internal recruitment team

Objections from the candidate:

  • I am not interested right now
  • I am happy with my current job
  • I prefer to keep my details confidential
  • I want to know the salary budget first
  • I want to know the name of the company
  • The role is too junior for me

And the list just goes on and on.

The thing is, once we have the opportunity to speak to them or sometimes meet with them in person, we need to make sure we make that count. Do not let their first impression of you fall flat. You need to make them see and eventually realize that you are the go-to person in recruitment.

In general, probing questions would be the ideal way to start. On the first call or meeting, you are basically laying down the groundwork to further establish your relationship with the other party. Hence, the below key points are crucial:

Building rapport

At this point of contact, first impressions will make a massive impact. You need to come across likeable, trustworthy and an expert in your field. The first 5-10 seconds of your introductory statement dictates how the rest of the discussion will go. Be warm, credible, and professional. You do not want to overshare as it could make you sound too salesy. Add a personal touch to your tone and words to make them feel that you are interested in them and not just because you need something from them.


Understand their objection and find out what is stopping them from speaking with you further. It could be a lot of things – perhaps they’re busy at the moment, what you are offering is not something they are looking for, they are not the right person to contact, and so on.


This needs to be a statement of what you can offer that it will not come across as inflammatory. Every “no” has a story to it and that is what you need to find out to phrase an effective comeback or answer. If the person you’re speaking to is not the decision maker, try to find out who is. If the client has a PSL set in place, find out how their experience is with them. If a candidate is not interested in looking for a new job, ask why. And of course, citing an example of a successful deal you made can help you establish your credibility.


After you have laid all your cards on the table, leave the conversation in a way that you can still revisit the discussion at a future date. Appreciate their time invested in you and make sure you leave a mark in their minds so they remember to reach out to you when the time is right.

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