No Cold Call Recruitment-Is it possible?

1.Clarification- For the purposes of this article when I talk about cold calling I mean business development calls to prospective clients, not cold calls to candidates.

Everyone hates cold calling, Recruiters’ hate making them and HR hate receiving them. My dog hates them too but that’s because I tell him to. He’s loyal that way.

Over 50 years the cold call has become ubiquitous. Recruiters’ saw their colleagues win business phone bashing and did likewise. However, when you see a bandwagon it’s too late to get on.

However, what is the Solution? The Holy Grail would be HR contacting us rather than us interrupting them. But, how do they find us? Why would they call us? Why are we special?

To be proactively contacted your agency has to be remarkable. It has to be worth making “a remark” about. How do you become remarkable? Podcasts, blogs, employment law knowledge etc are all possibilities.

I opened my new agency in Feb 2010. It’s a bit of a thought experiment. I can’t touch my old clients for six months because my old employer could sue me. So how do I win new business without cold calling? I don’t have all the answers, just a bunch of questions.

Any bright ideas out there?

Views: 627

Comment by Paul Alfred on March 18, 2010 at 1:42pm
Hi Rob, Try this approach ... Target hiring managers and key sponsors - Get some knowledge and background about the company and more importantly their competitors. Also check online about roles that company may have go after the hiring sponsor. The more you can intelligently talk about the requirement and how you have supported it at (Their competitor) the better .... You've got 30 seconds to buy yourself another 1minute or 2 .... Push for a meeting. Any more info and I will have to charge you a consulting fee :-)
Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 18, 2010 at 3:58pm
Find someone who works for the targeted company or someone you know who knows someone. Develop your relationship with that person and ask them to refer you to the hiring manager or the internal recruiter. Indirect selling to a connection who will refer and recommend you results in them picking up the phone and calling you.
Comment by Rob on March 19, 2010 at 5:04am
Thanks guys, I think the indirect approach has great possibilities. Paul I agree the more you know about the company the better. Best to buy time and then book a meeting. Sandra I think you method will work, it is a long term proposition. However, I think it would pay dividends in the end.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 19, 2010 at 11:08am
It's been working for me for 33 years Rob. It doesn't have to take all that long. Think about how long it takes you to get candidate referral from others. That HR manager or hiring manager is just a person who likes a personal referral the same way a candidate will respond faster if you can mention a name or have someone mention you to them before you call. I have never made a cold call soliciting business but i have made a lot of phone calls soliciting referrals.
Comment by Paul Alfred on March 19, 2010 at 11:16am
@Sandra - You have been doing this for 33 years ... Experience dictates approach which you have down and contacts that you have solidified over the years - We still need to arm Rob with tools that will allow him to perfect his game on the phone and every pro has to put his time in with grunt work to become the Diamond in the end ... I do what you do as well but for brand new clients I still do the grunt work I might be smoother at it but it takes years of practice and lots of folks hanging the phone up on you - some of those folks today are my biggest clients ...
Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 19, 2010 at 11:42am
@Paul - I started out that way 33 years ago. It occurred to me that people like to do business with someone they either know or someone that someone they even know casually mentions to them. Sorry but i never made one of those rah, rah cold calls ever. I have found it interesting that HR reps ,hiring manager and internal recruiters call and the first thing they say is..You have never cold called us but you have been mentioned to us by people internally and other companies, would you help us with a position. All that being said. I do a lot of networking in order to meet people who work inside companies that i want to work with. It takes a little longer than beating the phone and pissing half the world off in the process but it is kind of like fishing for trout. You catch the big ones when you put the bait out there and wait for them to take it than you do when you jump in the water and make a big splash. At least that's my style that has worked for me. I have never made a cold call for business..ever. That's how i built and solidified those contacts that have been calling me for all these years.
Comment by Paul Alfred on March 19, 2010 at 12:06pm
@Sandra ... I am not saying what you do does not work ...I do it too .. But guys/girls new to the game don't have contacts in the market place to get a Hiring Manager to say "By the way Bob asked me to give you a call ...with respect to ... "

I just believe that anyone in Sales today (and I have also read the books VITO and Sell like a CEO) need to do the grunt work to hone their skills ....
Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 19, 2010 at 12:36pm
Sure it just depends which side of the fence you want to dig the ditch on. :)
Comment by Paul Alfred on March 19, 2010 at 1:05pm
You are too funny Sandra ... You kill me ...
Comment by Rob on March 19, 2010 at 1:27pm
Thanks, you both make me laugh! I think that getting to know the people in the company can be a real plus. I've used that today actually to pick up a few vacancies so thanks to both of you! It leads to a much warmer call. Do you guys ever put on networking events yourselves or do you just go to other peoples? Also, have you used blogs and podcasts to build credibility in your sector whatever it is? We're having some success with that. Thanks for all your help- BTW- Sandra, you have a killer hat!


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