Cold Calling in Recruitment
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Recruitment is sales, and sales is always about getting out in the market place, finding clients and closing deals. Cold calling is frequently a key role in sales work and is especially important in B2B sales like recruitment. Most consultants, especially new ones, will start with no clients.

No cold calling means no sales, and no sales means you chose the wrong career eventually leading to loss of revenue. Cold calling is a tough but unavoidable part of life as a recruiter. If you’re new to the industry, its one of the first things you will have to learn to do. But if you an old hand, you are bound to have some anecdotes, both good and bad.

What is Cold Calling?

Cold calling is the practice of making telephone calls to attract potential clients or candidates who are not expecting to hear from you. In addition, these are people with whom you have no prior connection or have not spoken before. It is essentially contacting somebody who has not requested that you do so. In recruitment sales this can be broadly split into two areas, candidates and recruiters.

So called ‘cold calling’ is when you approach an employer without knowing whether there is actually a job available. It is important for job seekers because most experts agree that only 30% of all new jobs are ever advertised. That means that the majority of opportunities never make it to the job boards. And typically, the more senior the position, the less likely the job is to be advertised. From the recruiter’s perspective it is an opportunity to pull in business. However, from the employer perspective these calls are really annoying when they come from job agencies!

With increasing competition and more opportunities than ever before in the recruitment market, understanding the magnitude of cold calling can effectively attract more candidates. Cold calling, in general, may seem outdated but it’s not so at least for recruitment. According to LinkedIn’s hiring statistics, 89% of candidates mention that being contacted by a recruiter can make them accept a job offer faster.

Why is Cold Calling Important?

It’s important to cold call recruiters to grow your business, revenue is generally generated from recruiters and if you don’t have any then you don’t have a business. If you only served your existing clientele (who would probably only exist because of cold calling) this would significantly impact on the ability to grow. It sounds like a relatively simple process, but it can be one of the hardest things you’ll have to do whilst working in recruitment.

In most recruiting agency environments, cold calling is an untapped opportunity to get new leads and win recruiting projects. Though the approach of cold calling has changed over the years with more focus on using automation and personalization, at the core of it, continues to be on building strong relationships with potential clients.

A LinkedIn report reveals that 57% of respondents are making more phone calls and 44% of them said customers’ sales cycle has increased. And recruiters are rising to meet the challenge of the remote world in a range of ways. For one thing, a majority of recruiters are using recruiting software for agencies to take greater control of how their team does the cold calling. Plus, recruiters are putting together data to work before the sale.

With automated tools like recruitment CRM that help recruiters scale their cold calling efforts, agencies are embracing modern recruiting software, to do the heavy lifting for them, while they focus on nurturing strong relationships with clients. Successful recruiters are not only leveraging recruitment technology for winning deals, but also taking a more holistic approach that addresses the client’s pain points, highlights the value proposition, and puts their recruitment agency as a differentiator in the market.

How to write a good cold calling script

Reaching out to potential clients and candidates over the phone is still a great way to make contact and start the ball rolling towards getting them to work with your recruitment agency. But instead of a sudden phone call without any build-up, you want to warm your prospect up before you speak, so they’re a lot more receptive to what you have to say. Before jumping into how to cold call, let’s review the definition of this particular type of sales call.

Cold calling is a sales technique where a salesperson makes first-time calls to leads who have not expressed interest in their product or service before. Even though the lead might not be aware of the salesperson’s brand, a good cold call is made to someone who is likely to have an interest in or benefit from the product – specifically a lead who fits the rep’s ideal buyer persona.

Contrary to what you might expect, potential clients are often receptive to cold calls. A study by Rain Group found that 82% of buyers are open to booking meetings when sales reps reach out. Nevertheless, cold calling and discovery calls can be terrifying for many sales reps. Thus, it is extremely important to have a good calling script for any cold call.

What do you say in a cold call?

Below are some tips for how to start a sales pitch over the phone:

Few basic and important points to write a cold call script

1. Introduce yourself.

First, say your name and which company you work for. You need to sound confident and energetic. I can’t tell you how many cold calls I listen to that begin with, “This is Name from Company/ Place.”

The prospect goes, “What? Who??” Right from the start, the call is going poorly.

You don’t need to yell your greeting, but you do need to articulate the words.

After you say, “This is [name] from [company],” pause.

2. Establish rapport.

Now that the call is already deviating from the standard cold call, ask them a question to establish some rapport. Your goal here is to get them talking and prove you’re familiar with them and their company. Here are some sample questions:

  • So, [prospect name], I see you went to [university]. How did you like it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at [company] for [X years]. How did you get started there?

A good question is topical and makes someone smile. If they seem receptive to chatting, ask them a follow-up question.

3. Use a positioning statement.

A positioning statement shows your prospect that you work with similar companies and understand their challenges. You’re not talking about yourself, which is what most cold callers do. Here’s a hypothetical positioning statement:

“I work with sales managers in hospitality with five to eight reps on their team. My customers are typically looking to increase rep productivity. Does that sound like you?”

Since you’ve pre-qualified them, they’ll always say “yes.”

8 most Effective Things to keep in mind while approaching Candidates

Candidate experience is a vital aspect of the overall recruitment process. It’s one of the ways you can strengthen your employer brand and attract the best candidates. A candidate who’s still deliberating on a number of job opportunities can be swayed by the strong sense that an employer is engaging with them throughout the process and making them feel valued as a person rather than as a resource being “pushed through a talent pipeline”. As one-time Workable Talent Acquisition Professional Elizabeth Onishuk wrote, “The best way to build your talent pipeline is to care about your candidates. Every single one of them.” Below are few ways you can do this.

  1. Keep the candidate regularly updated throughout the process. A candidate will appreciate clear and consistent communication from the recruiter and employer as to where they stand in the process. This can include more personalized communication in the latter stages of the selection process, prompt replies to inquiries from the candidate, and consistent updates about the next steps in the recruiting process
  2. Offer constructive feedback. This is especially crucial when a candidate is disqualified due to a failed assignment or after an in-person interview; not only will a candidate appreciate knowing why they aren’t being moved to the next step, but candidates will be more likely to apply again in the future if they know they “almost” made it.
  3. It’s important to make sure your hiring team is well-versed on how to deliver effective feedback. This kind of positive candidate experience can be very powerful in building your reputation as an employer via word of mouth in that candidate’s network.
  4. Keep the candidate informed on practical aspects of the process. This includes the pertinent details such as location of interview and how to get there, parking options in the area, timing of interviews, who they’ll be meeting, clear details in the job offer letter, etc.
  5. Don’t leave the candidate guessing or put them in the awkward position of needing more information on these details.
  6. Speak in the ‘language’ of the candidates you want to attract. Nothing frustrates a talented candidate more than a recruiter who is ill-informed on the latest programming languages yet is hiring a top-tier developer, or a recruitment agency who has only a rudimentary understanding of the audits, accounts payable/receivable and other important knowledge bases of a controller.
  7. Understand what recruiting tactics appeal to a specific target audience of candidates. Appeal to different demographics when advertising a job. Consider the diverse range of interests, needs and wants in candidates. It’s a powerful engager when you speak to the different demographic/sociographic/psychographic needs of potential candidates when advertising your benefits.
  8. Keep it a pleasant, two-way street. Don’t be that horrible interviewer in your candidate’s story at their next social gathering. Do open up the channels of communication with candidates and ask them how their experience has been either within interviews or in a follow-up “thank you” survey.

Final Thoughts

Prospecting calls are an important part of recruitment and you must ensure that all future calls you make as a recruiter are well prepared, mutually beneficial that play a broader part in business strategy, instead of just random phone calls. As the industry continue to expand, and the list of growing new strategies continue, honing your prospecting call skills play a significant part in the recruitment business. Lastly, try to make the call as warm and real as possible. Make sure you maintain a balance of listening and understanding the requirements of clients and making them aware of how your company can help achieve their goals. The main purpose of a cold call is not only to close the sale but to maintain a relationship as well.

FAQs on Cold Calling

What is Cold calling

Cold calling is the solicitation of business from potential customers who have had no prior contact with the salesperson conducting the call. It is an attempt to convince potential customers to purchase either the salesperson’s product or service.

How many cold calls should be made a day

If you want to make or even break your sales goals, 60 sales calls per day (including call-backs from prospects) and or 3 hours of talk time

What are the best hours to cold call

Surprisingly, the best time of day to cold call a prospect is between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. their local time. Most people are wrapping up their day and are more open to disruptions than at other times of day.

What is cold calling in recruiting?

Cold calling is the practice of making telephone calls to attract potential clients or candidates who are not expecting to hear from you. In addition, these are people with whom you have no prior connection or have not spoken before.

How to Turn a Cold Call into a Warm One?

By shifting from giving information to collecting information, you take a step away from cold calling and begin warm calling. With that said, there are very simple and practical things that can be done to make cold calls appear warm.

How Should a Recruiter End the Cold Call

Don’t be that horrible interviewer in your candidate’s story at their next social gathering. Do open up the channels of communication with candidates and ask them how their experience has been either within interviews or in a follow-up “thank you” survey.

What is recruitment process

A recruitment process includes all the steps that get you from job description to offer letter – including the initial application, the screening (be it via phone or a one-way video interview), face-to-face interviews, assessments, background checks, and all the other elements crucial to making the right hire.

How do you talk to a candidate

Perform proper research
Ask the right questions
Don’t overuse keywords
Make a good first impression
Show an appropriate level of interest for the position
Be honest
Be prepared to discuss your resume
Say things that are easy to remember and repeat

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