top of page

Cold Calling for Recruiters


Cold Calling for Recruiters

Planning a Successful Cold Call
A productive recruiting call requires forethought and advance preparation. Here’s what you can do ahead of time to make the most of your outreach:


Identify desired outcomes. Why are you calling the candidate?


Is your aim to fill a vacancy, make an appointment, or offer an interview?


Know the purpose of the call, and set goals before you dial.

Write a script. Everyone gets stage fright, even extroverted recruiters. Effective cold calls should touch on a number of different subjects including who you are, why you’re calling, where you’ll calling from, and validation of your interest in the candidate.


To keep this relay of information concise and organized, work with a pre-written text or plan.

Practice. Alone or with a colleague, rehearsing the call will help you not only improve your delivery, but also your ability to react to the nuances of a real-time conversation. Prepare answers to potential questions, have alternative offers on hand in case of a conflict, and have your recitation of the job description play-perfect.

Get the timing right. One of the more difficult aspects of cold-calling is knowing when to dial your candidate. People are busy during the day, and unavailable at night, so a recruiter’s timing must be strategic in order to gain the best chance at a response.

Warm up your cold call. Dialing a candidate out of the blue runs a certain amount of risk — if your timing, delivery, or judgement of their level of interest is in any way off, you may not get a response, and lose time and energy in the process.

Starting the conversation before you call allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your conversation. Have a look at the candidate’s LinkedIn page, and shoot them a quick email briefly stating your company’s interest in their candidacy, and potential times for an initial phone conversation. 

Executing a Successful Cold Call
A high caliber delivery will make all the difference in determining the effectiveness of a cold-call strategy. Here are some tips to help you orchestrate a flawless conversation with your candidate:


Go for it. Don’t hesitate to launch right into your information download. Let your candidate know who you are and why you’re calling, immediately. A clear statement of purpose and interest will start you off on the right foot.

But be professional. The first thing you should ask is whether it’s a good time to call. Courtesy will help get the candidate on your side, and you should help them understand that they’re the one steering this conversation. Maintain an enthusiastic tone, but allow your potential room to set boundarie.

It’s a dialog, not a speech. One of the worst things a recruiter can do on a cold-call is to exclude the candidate from the conversation. Your job is to keep them interested and engaged, and one of the ways you can leverage your phone call to this effect is by allowing an organic and friendly interaction to unfold. Right away, ask them how they’re doing, try to get an idea of their interest and motivation, and ask lots of open ended questions that prioritize their comprehension of your offer.

Be specific. Let the candidate know exactly why you’re calling them, out of the myriad other potentials in the world. Give a detailed description of the responsibilities of the available position, the unique values of your company, and what makes you think this candidate would be an excellent fit.

Take notes. Anything the candidate says to you has the potential to be leveraged in a future conversation. Maintaining a record of your dialog will help you design a successful second call, and cultivate a more personal relationship with your talent. 

bottom of page