Advice Column for Recruiters
Radin’s Answers Your E-mail Questions
One problem I am having is getting return phone calls from the
decision makers after I have begun the search and have sent them
resumes. I try and make it clear upfront that communication is a key
to our mutual success.
After a while I become very frustrated. What is the “best” manner
in handling these non-communicators that will encourage their cooperation without turning them off?
An alternative to “submitting” resumes is to schedule a time to
make a presentation of qualified candidates, either by phone or in
That way, the employer is forced to evaluate the candidates’
qualifications on the spot and make a decision as to whether to move
forward and schedule interviews. (You may or may not choose to include
resumes as part of the presentation.)
What you want to
avoid is the scenario you just described, in which the resume, rather
than the solution to a problem, becomes the reason for the
search. By taking the resume out of the equation as much as possible,
it elevates the solution—and your role in providing the solution.
I have job orders that are difficult to source. An ideal situation
would be to have an internal phone directory but even then they quickly become outdated with contractors continually moving companies.
Many large firms have one central secretary for many different divisions and aren’t all that knowledgeable, while getting past other gatekeepers can also be a challenge as they are very defensive. Rather than asking to speak to,
“The Web Developer” or “The Planning Engineer” (what is his name? I need a name in order to connect you? which department?...) do you have any professional scripts that you use for just such an occasion or creative techniques or imaginative tactics that you have found give optimal
Thanks for writing. Unfortunately, there are no simple solutions to the cold-call dilemma
you’re in. The job of getting past firewalls and cold recruiting has haunted those of us in the profession for years, particularly when faced with finding technical people, who are buried deeply within an organization, and fiercely protected by gatekeepers.
However, if you can get hold of a directory—even an old one—you should be a be able to mine it for a great deal of information. If a person has left the company, ask where he or she is now, call the person, and get referrals back at the company whose directory you used.
But recognize that there are no easy answers when making cold calls;
just keep at it and use your imagination.
I appreciate the posting of your tips. I am very new to this business and have purchased your book,
The Recruiter’s Almanac. I have found it to be helpful; however, I am having trouble
“getting my foot in the door”---getting companies to utilize my service. Do you have any statistics - or can you point me in the right direction to finding them - on what it truly costs companies NOT to use the services of a recruiter? I have put together promotional materials citing the risks associated with placing an ad, candidate caliber, etc., but I still hear,
“recruiter fees are too
Thanks for the consideration you give my request.
There’s no secret to the value of using a recruiter—$13 billion in fees were
paid last year by employers, so there must be something to
what we have to offer. Your challenge is to find hiring managers who have a real need
for your services. If the need is weak, you’ll encounter all sorts of
objections, including the cost of your work. Perhaps you’re trying to
sell to people who are too low in the organization to authorize a search or who do not feel the pain from having a position go unfilled. If this is the case, see if you can bump your presentation up
to the next higher level.
Voice mail and gatekeepers. I agree that the best way to get to the hiring authority is after/before hours, however, what
I’m finding is that I can’t get beyond the after/before hours voice mail system. They only way I can do that is if I have the extension of the party
I’m trying to reach. When cold calling, I don’t usually have this information. Any suggestions?
Your situation is common, and difficult to deal with. You might try laying the groundwork in the off hours by trying different extensions and listening to the voice messages. If you reach someone named John Smith at extension #221 who says
he’s in the accounting department, you can call John the next day and say,
"Whoops! I was trying to reach John in engineering. Would you happen to have his number?" in the hope that John
Smith will do a good deed and look in his employee directory for you.
Another approach is to search your files for anyone who has worked for the target company. He or she may be able to refer you to people within the company that might be potential candidates or sources of information.
Cold calling into companies takes a lot of persistence, patience—and luck. So good luck, and enjoy the tapes you ordered!
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