Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of delivering a presentation at the American Staffing Association’s Annual Staffing World Expo in Washington, D.C. I gave a talk entitled, “Going Old School – The Art & Science of Making Every Call A Great Call.”
The basic premise of my program was that recruiting has always been a communications vocation and that while email, texting, and social media are fantastic technologies, there’s no substitute for being able to pick up the telephone and communicate in a thoughtful and articulate manner, especially in a candidate-driven marketplace.
Dale Carnegie, one of the preeminent thinkers on human relations, once said, “There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” For recruiters charged with making introductory or “Cold Calls” to passive candidate prospects, Carnegie’s observation about “what we say” and “how we say it” rings especially true.
When initiating contact with passive candidate prospects, a recruiter’s communications style as well as the content of what is being conveyed, have a tremendous bearing on how he or she will be received by the call recipient. That individuals subconsciously formulate an array of judgments upon first meeting another person, has been well documented.
By extension, we all rely on these same intuitive skills to assess the person behind the voice on the other end of a phone line. And, this is why the notion of, “what we say and how we say it,” are so significant to a recruiter hoping to make effective cold calls. Recruiters can take several courses of action to enhance the likelihood of achieving success in their initial communications with candidate prospects, especially passive prospects. First and foremost, however, it is important to define what actually constitutes a successful call.
Too often, recruiters define a successful cold call exclusively as one in which they are able to immediately convert a passive candidate prospect into an active candidate. In other words, success is defined entirely by the immediate outcome of the call, and “successful” calls occur only when a prospect acknowledges that he or she is open to considering new situations. While some passive candidate prospects may elect to consider the marketplace upon receiving a recruiter’s call, many will not for a spectrum of very valid reasons […]