2 March 2022 | by Louise Archer

Recruitment training costs time and money.

And when multiple retained recruitment coaches and courses are vying for your attention, it can be tempting to go for the option that promises to solve all your problems for the least amount of money, or in the shortest amount of time.

But, before you fall foul of these ‘too good to be true offers’, take a read of the two horror stories below which are based on real experiences some of our members had in the past.

Horror Story 1: Why John avoided working Retained for years.

All the bells and whistles were recommended to John.

Video interviewing, psychometric testing, software, the lot.

It was 100% necessary, said the retained trainer.

John even managed to sell a few, promoting these shiny objects.

But the trainer did not give him enough support …

And retained has a lot of moving parts.

With one client, John’s lack of knowledge blew up in his face.

He wasn’t protected by his terms. John had no idea.

A candidate supplied by another agency ended up in the mix.

It got messy and massively hindered John’s chance of delivering.

He failed.

This was twelve months ago, and John’s confidence was shot.

He avoided ‘retained’ like the plague.

Horror story 2: How Sophie lost her confidence in Recruitment

Sophie submitted the shortlist.

She’d done a meticulously thorough global search.

No stones were left unturned.

But the client didn’t act on it.

They sat for four weeks before proceeding.

Two of the three candidates pulled out because they had taken other opportunities.

The client decided they wanted a full shortlist to benchmark all the candidates together.

The problem was, there were no more candidates.

She didn’t have the right terms to protect her from this happening.

Nor the support from the trainer who could help her to deal with the situation.

She felt like she’d failed.

It hurt for a long time.

In both these examples, the Recruiters had so much potential to successfully win and deliver retained search projects – but they were let down by the lack of knowledge and support from their retained recruitment trainers.

To help you avoid making the same mistakes, we’ve put together a checklist of key things to look for when choosing a retained recruitment trainer.

  1. A track record of success

When I’m considering buying something online, the first thing I do is check the reviews section – and I recommend you do the same when it comes to picking a recruitment trainer or course.

Most trainers will have reviews on their website or social media channels. If you can’t find any, it may be a warning sign. If that’s the case, ask them to send you a couple or share the details of someone who has completed their course.

Good trainers will gladly share testimonials or put you in touch with people who have completed their training. Even better trainers will send you reviews that are specific to your situation – for example, they’ll share a testimonial or the contact details of someone in the same market or location.

Make sure to take note of not just the reviewer’s opinions of the trainer or course but also the tangible results that were achieved. For example, if the course guarantees you make 10x your investment in 4 weeks does the review back this statement up?

As well as looking at reviews do your own independent research – do you know anyone in your network who has worked with this trainer in the past? What was their experience like?

Research a variety of sources and don’t purchase based solely on one review.

  1. Ongoing support from your recruitment trainer 

Once you’ve watched some reviews or have been able to speak with someone who has worked with the trainer it’s time to investigate the course in further detail.

The first thing to look at is the level of support you will receive both during and after the course.

Some recruitment training programmes will include scheduled time with the coach, where you have an opportunity to ask any questions relating to a specific situation you may be faced with. There may also be a private community where you can ask your questions and the coach and other members will pitch in and offer advice and support.

The course may be a blended learning programme, where online videos are reinforced with coaching sessions in smaller accountability groups. Or it might be completely self-serve where you get your login to the online portal and it’s up to you to implement your learnings.

When reviewing the level of support, it’s always good to think about your needs too. Do you want accountability and feedback? Or would you rather go through the course at your own pace? Even if the case is the latter, it’s always useful to have some form of support in case you need it – like a private group or weekly ‘drop-in’ session where you can ask questions.

Many courses will offer this level of support when you’re doing the course – but what about when you’ve finished the course? If you’re doing a 4-week programme on Retained Search and you’re implementing your learnings as you go you may win a retainer in that time but be mid-way through the delivery. It’s important when learning something like Retained Search, which is an ongoing journey, not a destination, to make sure you have ongoing help and support for as long as you want it.

  1. Coaches that have done it and walked the path

You wouldn’t sign up with a driving instructor who knew the theory of driving but couldn’t drive – and the same thing goes when it comes to selecting a recruitment trainer.

Ask your prospective coach about their experience. Have they pitched Retained Search before and if so, who to? Have they followed a rigorous process to deliver on a Search? What have they done on projects when things haven’t gone to plan?

An experienced trainer will gladly answer all your questions and will likely have many stories they’ll want to share with you.

  1. The retained search course gives you everything you need

The Retained Search course you choose should equip you with EVERYTHING you need to sell and deliver retainers successfully. For instance, pitch decks, terms, example email approaches and pricing structures.Also, the programme should include training on delivery (not just how to sell retainers) and the mindset you need to succeed.

Don’t be tempted to purchase a course that doesn’t have these fundamentals as you’ll end up spending more in the long run.

  1. No bullSh#t

As we said earlier, training is an investment of your time as well as money. And as a recruiter your time is already in such short supply that if you’re to commit several hours per week to a course on Retained Search it needs to deliver on its promises. When we understand the theory behind why we do things, it is easier to implement our learnings. However, the programme you choose should not be solely theory based but also include a bulletproof guide of how to go from your current stage to your desired stage

For example:

If you’re a contingent recruiter who has never sold a retainer before the course, you should have a clear set of instructions on how to sell and deliver your first retainer.

If you’ve sold retainers before but are looking to increase your win rate, the course should include guides on how to overcome the most common objections and how to perfect your close when pitching.

The course and trainer should be clear and concise. Not telling you what you should be ‘thinking about’ in each situation, but actually how to deal with it.

Our final thoughts

These points should help you weed out the rogue recruitment trainers, however when it comes to finding the ‘best’ recruitment trainer or course ultimately the decision is down to you, your situation and who fits with your values and personality.

If you don’t fully believe in what the coach is saying or feel your personalities will clash it won’t work, regardless of how good their reviews are. By following these key points though, you should be able to make a more objective decision.

Louise Archer

Louise Archer

Louise has worked on the front-line of recruitment for twenty years. Having been a contingent recruiter before transitioning to retained she understands the struggles that consultants and companies face, operating on a contingent basis. Louise started training Retained Search four years ago, and since then has taught hundreds of recruiters to move to Retained.

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