Cold calling in recruitment

“Cold calling in recruitment is not effective anymore, those days are long gone”. You might have heard this quite a lot in recent times, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

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. 

But cold calling in recruitment can be tough. Especially if you’re new to the industry, it can be a daunting task to find target clients and close deals. And if you’re an experienced recruiter whose idea of a classic “cold call” is simply leveraging your network, it’s time to try a different approach to prospecting. 

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 challenges of the remote world in a range of ways. 

Before we talk about recruitment cold-calling tips and how to make cold-calling more effective, let’s dig into the common mistakes recruiters make while cold-calling potential clients and how to avoid them. Also at the end of the blog, there are free cold-calling scripts for recruiters to make your cold-calling super effective.

Common mistakes recruiters make while doing cold calling and how to avoid them 

1. Not Preparing Before the Call 

“Practice makes you perfect!“ While that’s true in most cases, when it comes to cold calling in recruitment, you need to constantly level up your game to stay ahead of your competitors. Regardless of your experience in cold calling or recruitment, it’s always a good idea to prepare before making a call. Lack of research and preparation will always reflect during a call and it can set the client off from the get-go. 

How to avoid these mistakes?

Always do thorough research on the company and the buying committee i.e the members of an organization that you would be communicating with to close the deal. In most cases, this might be the C-level executives or senior talent acquisition leaders. 

Good preparation for your cold calls can be as simple as figuring out common interests, previous hiring records, layoffs, recruitment trends, competitor research, and a rock-solid recruitment workflow in place in case the client wants to get a sneak peek into a potential roadmap. 

2. Calling Without a Script

When it comes to cold calling, spontaneity is good, but preparation is better. More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%). Whether you’re new to recruiting or have years of cold-calling experience, you’re not alone if you find prospecting to be the toughest aspect of your job. And not calling without a script can cost you big opportunities! 

How to avoid these mistakes?

Put together a script for cold calling and make a list of things you want to say during the call, including facts about the potential client. A script acts as a savior during the times when the conversation pauses, and at that time you can easily refer to your script and continue with the conversation. 

This minimizes awkward silence and engages your potential clients in a seamless conversation which indeed helps build better rapport. 

recruiting automation software for agencies

3. Selling Numbers, Instead of Your Value Proposition 

Numbers are essential, but in the long term, it is about maintaining a balance between selling the numbers and creating value for a prolonged relationship. If most of these clients leave your agency after a few months because they were dissatisfied with the service, it might cost you referrals and your recruitment agency’s reputation as well. 

How to avoid these mistakes?

When you’re cold calling, you need to understand your buyer’s journey right from the beginning. This will help you identify touchpoints, identify their challenges, assess exactly what they’re looking for, and deliver your value proposition successfully. 

Focus on the benefits and outcomes that you can offer to a potential client to immediately grab their attention, along with details of your recruitment agency. Highlight key pain points and explain how your services fit into the picture – share social proofs, testimonials, and previous results for clients in similar industries. 

4. Not Addressing Your Client’s Concerns and Doing a Hard-Sell

Focusing on your goal is good i.e., onboarding more clients but in the process, you might forget that while your goal is to sell more, it is also to sell better, which essentially means building relationships and value while trying to make a sale. You want to set the right expectations with the client and change the route of the conversation as per the client’s concerns. 

How to avoid this mistake?

If you build relationships, even if you don’t close the sale immediately, recruitment cold calls are still successful as they might give referrals to their network. Spend time learning about your prospects’ challenges by asking them open-ended questions and giving them ample opportunity to share. It’s also worth sending a follow-up email after a call to ask for feedback and share more information that you couldn’t cover during the call. (ready-to-use recruiting email templates)

Not only does this help you prepare for the next call or meeting better, but it also acts as a reminder about the conversations you had with potential clients so you can always stay on top of things!  

5. Asking permission to speak

Asking for permission during a phone call can often be counterproductive, leading to undesirable outcomes. The closed nature of such questions, with only a YES or NO response, increases the likelihood of getting a negative answer. When individuals receive cold calls, they tend to lean towards saying NO, as it is an instinct for consumers to be cautious and guarded.

Furthermore, the caller’s lack of personalization and the apparent use of a scripted list of calls can leave prospects feeling unimportant and less receptive. When people don’t feel valued or unique in prospecting, they are more inclined to reject further contact altogether.

How to avoid this mistake?

When making cold calls, always aim to make the prospect feel incredibly special and valued. Genuinely express your excitement when you finally connect with them because you’ve been diligently seeking to get in touch for quite some time. Each prospect is unique, and let them know that they are not just another entry on a list; they are someone you’ve been eager to reach out to.

By creating a personalized approach, you can build rapport and show genuine interest in their specific needs and preferences. This approach tends to be far more effective than using perfunctory call structures. Additionally, refrain from asking for permission to speak as it could give the impression that you’re uncertain or unsure. Instead, confidently present the purpose of your call and share the exciting opportunities or solutions you have tailored specifically for them.

Also, read our blog on recruiting skills

How to Cold Call as a recruiter: 10 Best Cold Calling Tips For Recruiters to Attract Quality Clients 

1. Nail Your Target Client’s Persona 

Cold-calling clients in itself is a long and tedious process, and it becomes arduous when you are not sure about your clientele. It is essential to understand your target client persona before you can nail it. Data reveals that at least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell. Creating a client persona that aligns with your company’s expertise will help you prioritize closing these specific clients, leading to higher chances of conversion and better-quality deals. Understanding the importance of intent data can further refine your targeting efforts, ensuring that you focus on prospects who are actively seeking solutions that your company offers.

2. Follow a Consultative Sales Approach

You need to admit that no one likes to be ‘sold’ things, but everyone likes to be consulted for their problems or how they can make things better. In the same way, a consultative sales approach in recruitment can convert a cold call into a relationship-building call. The aim is to get the best client but with the right intent. 

To do so, you must do in-depth research on the client, ask the right questions, and listen to and identify their pain points. Develop good opening sentences for your recruitment cold calls because this sets the tone for the rest of the call. The consultative process builds a relationship that motivates the prospective client to move forward with the process. 

3. Connect with them online

Be it in the personal or professional world, familiarity is always preferred and comforting. In the case of cold calling, connecting with your clients on social media before making a call will help you start the conversation with a background and make it less robotic.  

You can simply add them on social media platforms and engage with their content, but make sure you do not come across as spammy. You can like or drop a short yet valuable comment on their post. Given that of all leads generated from social media, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, it is one of the most preferred social networks for recruiters to reach out to potential clients.

4. Research: Make it About Them, Not You 

It is always appreciated and works in your favor when you are well-researched about the client. This will help you gather plenty of talking points to keep them interested and engaged. This step towards recruitment cold calling has become much easier in this age of social media. It is possible to gain a deep understanding of a client’s background, expertise, and probably an understanding of the kind of candidates they look for too by leveraging the social networks they spend time on most. 

5. Prepare a Script

Recruitment cold calling in itself is a monotonous task, so you should try to make it as seamless as possible. Preparing a script is the most underrated, yet effective step in the cold-calling process. Having prepared a script gives a flow to the conversation, avoids any disruption, and helps achieve your goal quickly and efficiently. Even small changes like using “Did I catch you at a bad time” makes you 40% less likely to schedule a meeting, while asking “How are you?” increases your likelihood of booking a meeting by 3.4X.

6. Identify Your Key Differentiator 

The most common question during an interview process is “How do you stand out from other candidates or ‘Why should we hire you?” Similarly, during cold calling new clients, you want to be crystal-clear on how your recruitment agency stands out and how you can be an asset to their company. Differentiation must begin early in the process to set your company apart from its competitors. 

7. Highlight Your Previous Wins

Everyone wants the best for themselves and their company, it is your responsibility to show your best self subtly, without coming across as salesy. It is important to be yourself, speak effusively about your accomplishments, and let the conversation flow naturally. Rather than vaguely saying that ‘you get the best candidates for your clients’, put numbers to your statement to add more credibility and trust. 

8. Leverage Automation to Close Deals Faster

Using automation is one of the most efficient ways to close deals without losing quality. From sourcing potential leads on social networking sites like LinkedIn to building a centralized database, sending emails, scheduling calls, and more – recruitment automation can accelerate your sales pipeline
Also Read: Recruitment Pipeline Email Templates to Enhance Candidate Experience

Research reveals that sales representatives spend nearly one-third of their day actually talking with prospects. They spend 21% of their time writing emails, 17% entering data, another 17% prospecting and researching potential leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls. 

By automating different stages of your prospecting, you can make a seamless transition from the awareness to the closing stage of a client. This is not only one of the most effective methods, but also inexpensive and easy to set up. The amalgamation of cold calling and automation can do wonders for closing a client and building long-lasting relationships. 

A majority of recruiters use 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, such as Recruiterflow to do the heavy lifting for them while they focus on nurturing strong relationships with clients.  

9. Follow up, without fail

Following up after recruitment cold calling is no less than art! Research shows, surprisingly, that only 20% of leads are ever followed up. In other words, 80% of potential leads are lost without a trace simply due to a lack of follow-up. 

As much as it sounds like a tedious process, it is critical for closing the client. A follow-up is crucial since many recruiters go cold after enthusiastic cold calls, which leads clients to lose interest in the opportunity. 

10. Ask for Referrals 

B2B companies that have referrals experience a 70% higher conversion rate. It’s clear that closing a client when you are referred is a cakewalk compared to reaching out from scratch. When a client refers your recruitment agency to another client, the conversation starts with mutual trust, which makes it credible. But the question arises, ‘How do you ask for referrals from your current client?’ Only ask for referrals from your current client once you have built trust and have managed to achieve their goals. Do not be too pushy if your current client is not comfortable referring. Simply thank them for their time. 

Free cold calling scripts for recruiters

cold calling scripts for recruiters

Script for recruiters while cold calling a client

Script 1: A Script to Build Rapport and Get Connected to the Decision Maker via a gatekeeper

When it comes to getting past gatekeepers, it can be a challenge. However, it’s essential not to assume you have the right to speak to the decision-maker. Instead, it’s essential to focus on building a good relationship with the gatekeeper with a carefully crafted script:

"Good morning/afternoon/evening

This is [Your_name] from [ Your_company name]. I was wondering if you could help me, but before that could you please help me with your name first? I feel it's better to know the person I'm talking to before I ask for a favor." 

(Take note of the gatekeeper's name and thank them).

I checked the [COMPANY] LinkedIn page, but I couldn't identify the right person to talk to regarding the job opening [Position_Name] you have published recently. We have an excellent pipeline of candidates for the same. I'd like to speak with the person in charge of [X] regarding this. What's the best way to make that happen?

With this approach, you are treating the gatekeeper as a person rather than an obstacle, building a good rapport, and increasing your chances of getting connected to the decision-maker.

Script 2: A script to build rapport with the client while giving a reference to a common connection

To warm up a cold call, one effective approach is to mention a mutual connection who recommended you speak with the prospect. Begin by addressing the prospect by name and then introduce your mutual contact.

Hi [Name of the person], I got your number from [ Mutual connection name].  I am [Your_Name] [Your designation] at [Your_comapny name].  Is this the right time to talk?

"If they say yes"

Perfect, During my recent conversation with [Mutual_connection name], I came to know that you have few positions open in [Department_name]. 

We have a proven track record of providing top talent to companies in your industry, and we're confident that we can help you find the right fit for your organization. We've helped companies like [EXAMPLE COMPANY] grow their teams by [RESULT], and we'd love to explore how we can do the same for you. 

If you're open to discussing this further, I'd be happy to schedule a call at a time that works for you.

Don’t forget to say thank you after the end of the conversation.

Script 3: Script for recruiters when they have little information about the client

Hello [Client name]. This is [Your_name] from [company].  Can you please spare two minutes for this call? (Prospect says yes) Great, thank you. We're a [Agency_name] that helps companies like yours hire the best candidates. I'm calling to see if we can provide assistance.

Script for recruiters while cold-calling a candidate

Script 1: Script for cold calling a candidate with reference to a mutual connection

Hi [candidate name], this is [your name]. I’m recruiting for [company name]. Our mutual contact, [connection name] suggested to get in touch with you. Do you have 5 minutes?

If the candidate agrees 

We are looking for a [job title] to [high-level overview of a job], and I think your background would fit perfectly. If you want to explore the opportunity, I can go ahead and share the JD via email so that you have it on hand or want to recommend a contact.

Script 2: Script for cold calling a passive candidate

Hi [Candidate_name], this is [Your_name].

I was calling to speak about the new [Job_title] position at [Company_name]. Is this the right time to talk?

Great, this will be a very quick call. We haven’t spoken before, but I saw your LinkedIn profile and was highly impressed with your credentials.

Our client [Company_name] is looking for a [Job_Title] which matches your profile. Would you like to hear more about this opportunity?

Awesome! I’ll drop you an email with all the necessary details. We can reconnect once you have gone through the details.

Thank you so much for your time, [Candidate_name]!. Have a good day ahead.

Final Thoughts – Cold calling in recruitment

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. 

With Recruiterflow, you can set up automated email campaigns and build relationships with candidates and clients seamlessly. Sign up for a 14-day free trial or book a demo to explore the features and functionalities of Recruiterflow. 

Related Posts

Leave a Comment