Maybe it's just me, but my Sales 101 class told me that if you leave a message 80% of the time you're not going to get a call back. Rather than listen to our team lament about how people don't call back I decided to ask a few pointed questions. Question one was "are you making more than one attempt?" and their answer told me I didn't need to ask any more questions. So I implemented a procedure using our ATS to increase our call back hits & wanted to share it with you.

First off, we follow up any call with a SHORT email, something that gives them a reason to call you back but doesn't lay all your cards on the table. A simple "I noticed that you were looking and just left a message about a full time position on our staff" will do. If you want to get creative you can throw in a "This is an exciting opportunity with a top-shelf employer" or other HONEST and COMPELLING statement about the job and then ask them to call you back. Don't attach a full-blown job description - you're only opening yourself up to giving them a reason NOT to call you back. Remember your 8th grade english class? You need to grab the reader's attention. If you get their attention they'll act - people are naturally curious. If you take this step you'll get yourself to 50% call back as opposed to 20%. Good enough, right?

WRONG! You need to be persistent without being a pest. Time to employ the ATS and schedule a follow up call for tomorrow. Don't put it off. Call them again, they won't mind. Really - it's ok. If you get the machine again it's time to fire off one more email. Don't use the same verbiage as before, but continue with the "less is more, you're getting curious aren't you?" tactic. That will get another 25%-30% of the people you want to talk to responding. So now you should be closer to 75-80% response. Not bad for not much extra effort other than to press a few buttons. If you have templates set up for your emails in your ATS this process takes literally no extra time, load up the email while you're listening to the VM message.

Ok, so how do you get the other 20-25% to respond? Simple. You don't. Be persistent, not a pest. There's going to be a percentage of people who ignore 4 contact attempts. That's fine - you don't want to hire people like that - imagine your customer making 4 attempts to contact your company with no response. Your customers will probably only try to connect with you once and you want people who will be responsive.

Views: 82

Comment by Nancy Ford on April 23, 2008 at 10:58am
EXCELLENT!! This is the framework that I use with my candidates and find that a mixed email/phone approach works very well. Lately I've been texting candidates also - and have achieved about a 95% call-back/contact success rate.


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