June 25, 2019

Better Cold Calls = Better Candidates: Five Ways to Plan Your Direct Dial Strategy

by Chris Winterboer

Having trouble sourcing the “right” candidate for your opening? You have:

  • Posted the advertisements on job boards
  • Tagged it on all social media platforms
  • Called previous applicants in your database
  • Boosted employee referral bonuses
  • Sent emails to people in your professional network looking for ideas

Still, you cannot find the people you want. What’s missing?  One strategy that is the key to Capstone’s success is cold calling.  Nothing replaces picking up the phone. Direct solicitation is powerful but also unnerving which is why many companies treat it like a last resort option.  With the right plan of attack our team believes it’s your most powerful weapon in the game of recruiting. So, suit up and arm yourself with these ‘smile and dial’ tips!

1. Tell A Compelling Story

A fundamental flaw in technology is that job postings cannot convey nuance, intrigue or character like a personal call.  When you contact a prospective candidate have 2-3 key differentiators on your notepad that makes the job sound different from any other opening on the market.

2. Battle the Competition

It’s a candidate’s market with far more openings than available workers. You must assume your prospect is engaged in other conversations. Under that premise, exploit weaknesses while showcasing your strengths. This can be in a myriad of ways:

  • Your compensation is top notch
  • The company is passionate about resources, training, and development
  • You’re proud of the rich PTO and employee benefits package plus flexible work schedules and relaxed dress code

3. Refer to Hiring Managers by Name

Personalize the engagement process by sharing the names of hiring managers this person would work with. People do business with people, not companies, and that same thought tracks during the interview process. Referencing specific names accomplishes the following:

  • Builds trust and insight between you and the candidate
  • Reveals personal information about the company, team and hiring process
  • Allows candidates to do their homework before engaging
  • Invites candidates to connect with the company on social media

4. What Am I Signing Up For?

People are busy and expect a quick, efficient process especially when you’ve contacted them. Describe your process, A to Z, in the cold call. If their response is to apply for the job, then you know they’ve agreed to the entire process. It’s easier to paddle downstream than upstream. This avoids a lot of unnecessary surprises, backouts and frustrations with interview engagement.

5. Be Genuine

Your cold call is like a conversation with an old friend


Act now! These steak knives are only $19.99 for the next 20 minutes!

Your call will sound like a sales pitch if your only goal is to get someone to apply. Timing is everything. Capstone places tons of people we’ve met 12, 24 and 36 months earlier. A ‘no’ is more like ‘not yet’ but you can still get great stuff from the call.

  • Ask for referrals
  • Ask for feedback on their thoughts regarding the role
  • Ask for candidates to share the job on social media
  • Ask for permission to circle back about future career opportunities
  • Ask to personally connect on social media

Bottom line – Cold calling is an art not a science. It’s an instrumental, back to basics approach to recruiting that we’d love to help you implement as a part of your recruiting strategy.  Message me for more details on how to get started!


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