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How to give yourself the winning edge as a recruiter - Part 6

In the sixth part of ‘how to give yourself the winning edge as a recruiter’, we discuss the next steps for defining your success strategy. The aim of this series is to give recruiters specific, tangible techniques that will improve their job performance.

Step 16 – Second interview – prep client (trial close)

If you remember from part 5, we trial-closed the candidate with a specific figure. However, in step 16, we’re going to explore alternative methods. Rather than trial closing the client on the how much they will offer, we are going to focus on timings and there are two ‘whens’ you can ask about.

1. “If the interview goes well with the MD tomorrow, when will you be making an offer/decision?”

2. “When do you want them to start?”

Don’t worry that you will have already discussed these timelines when you took the job brief. In fact, that is exactly why we are asking this again – to see if anything has changed.

Step 17 – Confirm second interview

This step is almost certainly the one that took Tony Byrne’s process from 29 steps to a much snappier 30 and is often not required! But it does remind that even cosmetic things are of value. Would Tony have been as successful with the ‘29 steps in the placement process’? So don’t underestimate the value of reviewing even superficial issues such as the words and phrases that you use when dealing with candidates and clients. Are there certain words or phrases that you should start or stop using that, whilst cosmetic, still have a strong influence upon how you are viewed?

Step 18 – Debrief the client (close)

This is a small, but significant shift from the hypothetical trial close that we have used so far, to a more committed close. In short, we are not going to close the candidate on an offer that we don’t yet have. Instead, we are looking for their commitment to give us a degree of control or authority on their behalf at this critical stage of the process.

So you may therefore want to start by asking a trial close such as ‘So, if my client offered you this job at £45k, would you take it?’

The scenario would then ideally play out like this:


Followed by the close: “Great, in that case, can I accept an offer of £45K on your behalf?” or “Great, in that case, if they offer at £45K shall I tell them to put it in writing?”

The main aim here is to have your candidate as committed as possible before you make them the offer.

If you found part 6 of our Winning Edges series helpful, be sure to watch out for part 7 next month! Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding the topics discussed in this article, give us a call on 01264 360 234 or email We'd be happy to help.


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