Talent42 Review - Don't Hang Up! The Art of Telephone Research with Marc Hutto

This was a cool presentation because Marc Hutto, Founder and Managing Principal of Reveal Global Intelligence, actually replayed calls he had made. Most self-proclaimed cold call kings talk in vague generalities – we can’t even get them to share a single script or example. So Marc putting it out there like that was pretty cool. We heard some calls that went well and a couple were cringe-worthy.

What I took out of Marc’s presentation was that phone sourcing is NOT dead (sorry for whoever is selling that these days) and it is certainly better to be prepared before dialing. Before employing this kind of phone identification there are some questions we have to ask ourselves. We have to understand the technical footprint of the role – that alone will differentiate you from most of the recruiters banging out cold calls. Beyond that, do we know the size of the team? Is it a new or existing role? The company where our target works – do we know anyone else there? What are the relevant titles? I recruit Program Managers for Microsoft and they rarely go by the same name at other companies. In other words, do your homework.

Now for the approach. Marc does recommend multiple methods – some candidates will respond to tweets or inmails. Others might not creep out at a text (I would. Seriously. Don’t text me about jobs.) or even a letter overnighted via FedEx or UPS (which I also find weird. And expensive). But of course, the number one trick up the recruiter’s sleeve should be the PHONE.

Oh, but voicemail… the bane of the recruiter’s existence, no? To leave or not to leave a message? That is the question… and the answer is yes. More than once, apparently. In fact, Marc suggests the following formula –

  • Message 1 – vague and brief.
  • Message 2 – purpose of previous call (I imagine to talk about a job, or his/her career)
  • Message 3 – reference something specific – “what I’ve learned about your background…” (hey, Open Web by Dice might come in handy here!)
  • Message 4 (no really, 4) recap and “so I guess I’ll talk to you or your voicemail tomorrow…” (yes because you are a creepy stalker dude)
  • Message 5, 6, 7….

Because most recruiters give up before five. Boom. You just set yourself apart, crazy stalker recruiter! Ok, I jest… a little… I mean I think the candidate would have to be like one of only three nuclear physicists on the West Coast and I was on a retained full 1/3 fee or something. I’m not sure I have the patience to leave that many voicemails. But good for those that do.

I did enjoy Marc’s suggestion on bringing the cocky candidate down a notch or two. If the conversation is going south and they’re not interested, just ask if they’re even qualified for the role. They’ll interview just to show you they CAN, sometimes.

Overall, I think this deep telephone researching is best for hardcore sourcers and researchers who are tasked with building out org charts or even competitive analysis. I’m not sure this would apply to the usual full-cycle recruiter, but I can see the value in it. Then again, that’s why companies like Marc’s exist – call someone else to make those calls for you.


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