Cold calling in recruitment is one of the most common and effective strategies recruiters have adopted and has become integral in identifying quality candidates.

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Cold calling, in general, may seem outdated but it’s not so at least for recruitment.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.

How exactly does recruitment cold calling work?

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.

Typically, these people are either professionals, hiring managers or potential job candidates (passive or active). When cold calling, recruiters contact potential job prospects about available job opportunities for consideration.

In fact, a lot of experts might consider cold calling to be dead, however, when done effectively, it’s an extremely powerful method for reaching out to new leads and prospects.

The practice of cold calling is especially important for new recruiters who start off with a limited network or client base.

13 best recruitment cold calling tips for attracting quality candidates

As an agency recruiter, it’s crucial to know certain cold calling tricks if you want to slay the recruitment game. Here are 13 such things to keep in mind—

1. Identify the purpose

Before you begin your cold calling spree, make sure you identify the purpose behind your cold calling and what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.

Without a definite purpose for calling, your cold calling will seem meaningless to both you and your candidates. Identifying a purpose can help showcase your goals and what you are trying to achieve, which works as an excellent strategy to attract and engage your candidates.

For instance, if you’re calling a passive candidate, enquiring if they’re interested in a job change, make sure this gets stated at the very beginning of the conversation.

2. Follow a cold calling script

Before you engage in recruitment cold calling, create a structured conversation by compiling a script. Following a script can help guide you throughout the process.

A cold calling script will ensure an improved structure of your conversation with candidates and help you achieve your goal for the long run. In addition, the more cold calls you make, the less you’ll have to rely on a script.

With passing time, you’ll also be able to improvise around the script to cater to your candidates.

3. Research extensively

Before dialling up any candidate’s phone number, make sure you’ve done adequate research about them in order to understand their background.

Proper research will ensure that you have plenty of talking points to keep them engaged and interested in your offer.

In the age of social media, this step towards cold calling has become easier than ever. A simple social media search on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can provide a deep insight into a candidate’s interests, hobbies, past work experience and future ambitions—which are all essential pointers for keeping them interested.

4. Have an engaging call opening

Developing good opening sentences for your cold calls is one of the most crucial steps, as this is what will set the tone for the rest of the call.

As they say, the first impression is the last impression. Remember that it takes around 60 seconds to make an impression and persuade your candidate.

Cultivating a good opening line for your cold calls inspires the respondent to respond more positively, which can influence your end result. Striving for the right words and sentences at the right time will also impact your conversations in a significant way.

5. Sell your company

The primary motive of cold calling is to attract candidates to your recruitment agency or the position you’re trying to fill. Therefore, never forget the importance of highlighting the benefits that your recruitment agency would bring to them.

For instance, as you fill a candidate in on the vital details, subtly try to sell your agency by highlighting some significant achievements or attractive incentives.

Describe why your client’s company is a favourable workplace and elaborate why they should select this organisation over other job opportunities. This conversation subconsciously builds a positive brand image in the mind of the candidates, which could also influence their decision into joining the company.

Just make sure that you’re not overdoing it or embellishing your own accomplishments. Attracting and engaging a candidate should come naturally and not seem forced.

Ensure that you are being yourself. Present achievements and incentives in an engaging way, and let the conversation flow naturally.

6. Listen to the candidate

As you’re filling in a candidate on vital details, make sure you also leave room for their input.

After introducing yourself and defining the purpose of your cold call, allow the candidate to pitch in. This way, you’ll keep them engaged.

Make sure you’re prepared for questions. You can easily prepare beforehand by thoroughly researching the position you’re trying to fill.

Remember that listening to the candidate isn’t just important for getting insights—it also sets a good impression.

7. Be engaging

Cold calling in recruitment is nothing less than a sales call. Yes, we said it!

Therefore, make sure you don’t sound uninterested or bored on the call. Otherwise, the candidates are (for sure) going to lose interest in your service as well.

To keep the discussion going, make sure that you’re putting in an effort to create an engaging conversation. You can do this by reading up on the topics that the cold call will include and by asking relevant questions.

Again, proper research will make this step much more manageable.

Remember that energy is infectious! If you sound energetic and enthusiastic, the candidate or prospective client on the other end of the call will reciprocate the same energy.

8. Utilise call recording

The call recording feature is incredibly beneficial for new recruiters and even for training other recruiters.

Ensure you utilize a high-end call recording software (such as the ones provided by cloud phone systems) and make use of this resource to train freshers and new employees at your staffing firm.

9. Ask for referrals

As you close off your call with a candidate, ask questions about if they know anyone in their network or social circle who may be interested in this position or anything similar.

If one candidate is not interested, keep your eyes open for other prospects by asking them for referrals.

A great cold call is not only helpful in sourcing for a position but also presents recruiters with an opportunity to build their network of candidates that can be leveraged for future openings.

Also, referrals are a great conversation starter!

10. Follow-up

The cold calling process doesn’t just end when you put the phone down. Make sure you follow up on your candidate to ensure a positive candidate experience.

In fact, 63% of candidates say most employers do not communicate adequately. Therefore, following up on candidates is a great way to provide a stellar candidate experience which improves the chances of accepting a position.

Following up is a crucial step because many recruiters go cold after enthusiastic cold calls, which makes candidates lose interest in opportunities. Along with this, follow-up calls helps build trust and rapport with the candidate.

11. End the call on a positive note

When closing a cold call, add a few words of encouragement and positivity and ask the candidate if they have any questions. This shows that you value the candidate’s time and opinion.

Then, close the call by asking if they are available again and schedule a time and date to follow up with them.

Ending on a positive note also improves the candidate experience, keeping a candidate interested in your opportunity.

12. Schedule next steps

After closing a call, make sure you plan the next steps by gathering vital information for following up on the candidate.

Make sure to email the candidate with the job description and explain the next steps if they are interested. Scheduling these subsequent stages is vital as it will help you keep your candidate in the loop, which increases their chance of considering an opportunity with you.

13. Be polite & respectful

Last but not the least, make sure you set the tone for your cold calls by being polite and respectful.

This simple tip can significantly affect the perception and experience of a candidate. Ultimately, being polite and respectful affects your candidate experience, which will determine how many candidates will be interested in your client’s company. Conversely, impolite behaviour will set a negative perception that a candidate will share with their network, reflecting on your employer branding.

With these simple tips, your recruitment cold calling journey is set for smooth sailing.

Just make sure that you are considerate of the candidate and communicate enough value for them to consume. Candidates will be less likely to drop off the call if you meet their needs.