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How to break the defensive line and convert your next placement

The Six Nations Championship Kicks off on Saturday with Ireland looking to defend their title.

The Six Nations Championship is the oldest rugby championship in the world, dating back to 1882. Originally held between the four United Kingdom countries England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland joined in 1910 and Italy joined in 2000.

In a rugby team, the defensive line consists of a number of people.  Within the world of recruitment, the ‘defensive line’ would include Gatekeepers. These are like forwards in Rugby in terms as they act as the 1st line of defence.  They will do anything in their power to prevent you from getting access to hiring managers (backs). It is a recruiters job to break this defensive line and target the hiring manager community.

So how do we do this? There are 2 ways of doing this:

1. Lots of phone calls, emails and gathering information. These are used to gradually break down the defence, much like a ‘pick and drive’

2. Getting around the Gatekeepers and using the information gathered on previous calls e.g. the Gatekeeper may have advised you they were going on holiday or they are out the office.  This is a perfect opportunity to break through and speak directly to the hiring manager (it is gutsy but extremely rewarding).

Once you are through to the hiring manager your next job is to make sure you are not wasting the hiring manager’s time and building a strong, long standing relationship.  Explain how you can help them, send some spec CV’s to discuss the quality candidates you have and make sure you have a real understanding and shared passion for their business.  From here you can arrange regular meetings going forward.

The next step is get the ball out to the backs (your candidates).  Once you have an opportunity it is essential you sell the right opportunity to the right person (there is no point in passing the ball to a prop and expecting them to out sprint a winger).  If you sell the opportunity correctly to the candidate and this matches the hiring manager’s requirements, this is a perfect scenario.

The final step is prepping the candidate to pass the interview.  This can be done in a number of ways, but always requires building a fantastic relationship with both candidate and hiring manager.  Talk to the candidates about the hiring manager, about the company, about the type of interview and reassure them they are perfect for this role and they deserve this role.

By prepping the candidate correctly this will create the overlap the attack has been looking for. The defensive line will be broken and this will allow the candidate to run under the posts for a simple try (job offer.) If you follow these steps you will continue to convert lots of placements.

If you require any help in breaking down barriers please call me on 01179440600 or email

  • Feb 03, 2016
  • Careers , Culture
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Scott Osment

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