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It’s often been said that elite sport is
primarily played between the ears. I don’t know what research there is on the
topic but for anecdotal evidence, you only have to read Open  , Andre
Agassi’s entertaining and revealing autobiography in which mid-career coach, Brad Gilbert, played a pivotal
role in changing Agassi’s mental approach, relaunching his singles rankings
from 110 in 1997 to number 1 in 1999.


It’s certainly
the same for recruitment as well.


One of the
most common sources of failure for recruiters is their mental state,
specifically self-belief. Far too many recruiters automatically adopt a
subservient position with their clients, prospects and candidates, especially
when it comes to timekeeping and punctuality. And what’s worse is that they
don’t even realise how easily they are defaulting to the subservient role.


See if you can
recognise any of these:


Client, prospect or candidate is annoyingly late
for an agreed meeting or interview with you. They apologise and you say ‘that’s
okay’, when clearly it isn’t.  
Don’t say anything; just give them a small smile, or nod of the head to
acknowledge their apology and say words to the effect of ‘let’s get down to
business’ or ‘let’s get straight to it’. In this way you have sent a clear
message that you are not impressed and you are clearly in charge of this

You are at the premises of the client or prospect
and they are running over 10 minutes late without an appropriate explanation or
apology – you just sit and wait as long as it takes.  
Ask the receptionist whether he or she will be any longer than another 5
minutes as you have to go to another appointment. If the person you are
scheduled to meet does not show within the 5 minutes nominated then leave.  

The real decision maker, who agreed to meet with
you, doesn’t attend the arranged meeting and, instead, sends along one of their
minions to ‘pass on your information’. Your reaction is to proceed with meeting
the minion as requested.  
Politely, but firmly, tell the minion that there is no point having the meeting
as there are important questions that you need to ask Mr Decision Maker and the
meeting was   agreed to. Tell the minion you can wait 10 minutes more for
Mr Decision Maker to get himself to the meeting otherwise the meeting will have
to rescheduled.


Yes, my
recommended approaches are going to give a few of you a real challenge to
execute but don’t you value your time? Isn’t it basic manners for people to
attend meetings and attend them on time, when they have been committed to?


If you don’t
stand up for yourself and the value of your time, then you are automatically
adopting a subservient position and that’s both demoralising and directly
undermining your credibility and professionalism.


Related blogs  

Are you sold on yourself?

Who not to hire as a recruitment

Are you a passive or assertive


Most recent blogs  

Are you ‘touching base’ … and
tipping your credibility down the toilet?

How much time could you save with FAQs
and information sheets?

The endless questions and dilemmas
about consultant commission schemes


  1. Laurie Williams on 11/12/2015 at 11:41 pm

    Ross, your comments as usual are spot on! Bad behaviour has become "normal" because too many people let the culprits get away with it. I encourage everyone to try and implement Ross' suggestions as it will make a difference!

    • Ross Clennett on 13/12/2015 at 11:02 pm

      Thanks Laurie – you are right. Poor behaviour of the type I have detailed becomes the norm and recruiters think they have to put up with it. You get what you tolerate is a version of an old saying and very true with respect to this issue.

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