Competencies of a recruitment consultant

4/12 – Sales Opportunities

Wondering what it takes so be a recruitment consultant with professionalism and ease? 

Part 4 of our mini series ‘Competencies of a recruitment consultant’ is going to cover sales opportunities and aid both managers and consultants in the recruitment industry. 

This week we will focus on sales opportunities. The sale act is described in the dictionary as the exchange of goods or services for an amount of money or its equivalent’ and opportunities as ‘a favourable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances’.

So what we want are consultants that make sure that they are in the right place at the right time when an opportunity arises, so as to take advantage of the situation. I used to hate it when I called a client and they would say “Oh, if only you’d called last month / last week. We could have used your services then, but we’re all sorted now thank you”.

After a few of these calls, I got the message and after that I made sure that I asked clients about their future needs for at least 6 months into the future. I’d talk to them about their company projects, their annual trends in business, contracts or business that they were currently going after, what their staff attrition rates were etc. All things that could point to whether they were likely to need my services and when would be the time to call, so that I was ahead of the competition this time… and not too late.


The purpose for a recruitment consultant is to seek business opportunities through confidently assisting clients to resolve manpower issues in every aspect of their business.

Questions to determine sales opportunities competence

   “Tell me about a recent business opportunity that you identified”

  • How did you identify it?
  • What action did you take?
  • What resulted from your action?

    “Give me an example where there has been a client issue or need that you have successfully resolve?”
  • How did you go about establishing the issue/need?
  • What solutions did you offer?
  • How did you show commitment to the solution?
  • What was the impact on your business?
  • What do you still find most difficult about resolving needs/issues with clients?


    “Tell me about how you identify opportunities in the longer term?”

  • How did you establish the opportunity?
  • How long term was the opportunity?
  • How did you use the opportunity to increase the profitability of your business?

    High level of competence shown:

  • Ensures every business opportunity identified and actioned and ensures maximum profitability for each

  • The solution offered uses market / external / internal information in order to increase confidence with the customer
  • Uncovers business opportunities in the short, medium and long term


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About the Author

Angela Cripps is a globally experienced trainer, Managing Director of the Recruiting Gym, management consultant, executive coach, board advisor, mentor and performance specialist who has been working within the recruitment industry for over 30 years.  

Her aim is to make companies more successful and profitable through the development of their people and processes – with a current focus on APac companies. She has worked with over 150 SMEs throughout the world in 16 different countries and her LinkedIn recommendations are a testament to the impact she can have on a business.