‘Cold calling’ is the challenge of every recruiter’s day. Getting through to the decision maker is one thing. Having a meaningful discussion is another. Try these strategies to remove some of the heat from those awkward conversations:-
Identify your prospective client
That’s the easy part if you work with 8LEGS. We carry out a Boolean search based on your keywords to locate every open job available on company job pages. Using our technology saves time in (a) finding the job leads and (b) confirming whether they are still live or not. We revisit sites every 24 hours to ensure our information is relevant.
Do your research
Don’t go in cold. Experience tells us that HR prefers to hear from recruiters who have done their homework. A quick search on LinkedIn or the company’s website will identify who’s responsible for the vacancy but it’s worth confirming before you launch headlong into your pitch.
Prepare your intro
You get one chance with HR. Make it concise and to the point so the person on the other end of the line knows where you are calling from and why. Don’t be too pushy or salesy. Show you’ve done your research on the company, not just spotted a job posting on their website. Every other recruiter will do that. Where can you add value that others can’t?
Present a candidate
The ideal way to grab a hiring manager’s attention is to present a candidate who is a perfect fit (or a close match) for their job from your database. Failing that, demonstrate your industry knowledge by discussing the biggest challenges to finding talent. CV Library recently published a list of the sectors they predict will be busiest for recruiters in 2017. Design, leisure and tourism and catering have already seen significant rises in applicant numbers. Candidates in STEM sectors are likely to be in highest demand again this year – and in the shortest supply. Use your insight to engage with your prospective client.
Prepare for objections
We’ll cover this topic in more detail in a future blog post but be prepared for typical objections including ‘we have a preferred supplier list’, ‘I have a meeting in five’, ‘we’ve completed initial screening’, or the inevitable ‘send me some information’.
Body language counts! Slumped shoulders, leaning back in your chair or sitting with your head in your hands will reflect in your tone. Be professional and smile while you speak, especially if the hiring manager is abrupt and clearly objecting to your call. Leave a positive impression. You may have just caught them at a bad time.
Check your client history
If you’re calling an existing client, refer back to your last contact with them, either with your colleague or yourself. If it’s a vacancy you’ve located through 8LEGS, the chances are it will be a new company. In which case, first impressions count.
Agree a follow up
Whether it’s an e-mail, a follow-up call, agreement to forward candidates (after you’ve agreed terms and your fee) a meeting to discuss potential vacancies or a big red line quietly drawn through the client’s name – don’t end the call until you know what the next steps will be.