Cold calls might not be the most exciting work you need to do as a recruiter. Calling a stranger who doesn’t expect you to call and who’s probably skeptical about your offer is tough, but you should remember that a telephone is an essential instrument in your arsenal.
Below, we’ll share a few tips as to how you can improve the effectiveness of cold calls that will help you make this process more successful.
Do your homework
Research prospects before making a call
You know it’s an epic fail when a recruiter calls a candidate and addresses them by the wrong name. This is an extreme case, of course, but the point is that you need to know exactly who you are calling. You also want to make sure that you have an invitation tailored specifically to that very person.
If you simply dial a phone number from the list, it’s going to be a very awkward conversation for both of you. Therefore, every time you contact a potential candidate, have some profile notes or their CV in front of you. If it’s unavailable, you can always go to LinkedIn and see what you can get from there. The more you know about the person (within reasonable limits, obviously), the easier it will be to stay on top of the conversation. Studying the candidate, their previous experience, their strengths and weaknesses, and tailoring pitch personally for them is especially important during the recruitment of C-level executives.
Draw up your pitch in advance
During this call, you won’t have much time to communicate your message to a potential candidate. Therefore, take your time before the call and prepare your pitch in advance. It should be one-two minutes long (one is better). Try to grab a person’s attention from the very start. It’s very much like selling the position to a candidate. You don’t have to tell everything, pick a couple of impressive benefits and highlights. At this point, your goal is to take your candidate to the next level, which is usually a job interview.
Pick the right time
We live in the age of social media and electronic messaging apps. People love to have a choice whether to engage in a conversation immediately or put it off till later. Therefore, picking the right time is critical for pretty much every interaction, especially if it’s something as intrusive as a cold call.
You want to not only reach the person but also have a conversation with them, so plan to make a call when a prospect is most likely to answer. You don’t want to be invasive at the same time. For example, if you break through during dinner hours, you might interrupt the person’s social time. In this case, even if you gain their attention, it’s not going to be a positive kind.
Generally, morning and the end of a working day are the most appropriate hours, but again, you never know when you’re breaking in. So every time you contact potential candidate over the phone, make sure you ask if it’s a good time for them to talk. If yes, go ahead with your pitch; if no, schedule a callback to a more convenient hour.
Also, we’d suggest that you leverage the power of social media. It will increase your chances to have a successful interaction. Make the first contact with a potential candidate on LinkedIn; try to convince them to agree to a call.
Make it quick
Always remember your goals for the call. This is your first interaction over the phone, you don’t even know if the person is the right fit for this position, so don’t make it too long. Introduce yourself, do a quick qualification check, evaluate interest, and if it’s all good, start building the relationship. If you realize that this person is not suitable for the position, don’t take them out of the equation immediately. They might be perfect for some other job in your company, or they might provide you with a great referral.
Set up the next steps and follow-up
Here’s another example of a recruiter’s epic fail. You have a conversation, the candidate seems interested, you agree that they’ll send you their portfolio and get in touch later, and you hung up. The exact date and time of “later” were not set. You wait for the candidate to contact you. Hearing nothing from them in a few weeks, you decide to check in. You call the candidate for the second time only to find out that they’ve already been hired by some other company. Ouch.
To prevent potential uncertainties, finish every call with an exact outline of what’s going to happen next and when it should happen. Try to set a specific date and time for a follow-up, and naturally, don’t forget to follow up. It’s the only way to set things in motion.
On a final note…
Generally, it’s better for a recruiter to speak with a candidate by the phone. For example, technical specialists are not always eager to answer the calls. They prefer to communicate through messengers or social networks. However, the call gives an opportunity to immediately feel whether the candidate is suitable for a sales position, to see how one formulates thoughts, whether one has any speech defects, how one behaves, and so on. Many things are not always noticeable in the correspondence. There can be a big difference between the way a person speaks and writes.
If you have a lot of vacancies to fill, it’s a good idea to use automated cold calling software; it helps to call the candidates faster and make the interaction more efficient. The recruiter’s time is spent on the conversation rather than unsuccessful dialing attempts. Besides, thanks to CRM system, the recruiter has all the information about the candidate in front of one’s eyes and the records of previous conversations at one’s disposal.