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Recruiting & Candidate Development

The Most Critical Skill Set for Recruiters Making Cold Calls is

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terrypetraIn my previous blog post, I discussed the three things you MUST do during a recruiting cold call, and I presented an example of a cold call I received from "Suzy."

Coincidentally, within two days of my discussion with Suzy, I received a recruiting call from a consultant who opened his call in the following manner (identity has been changed to maintain his confidentiality).

"Terry, my name is Charlie Brown, and I recruit senior-level managers for the staffing industry.  Would you be interested in hearing about an exceptional opportunity that would allow you to leverage your career while dramatically increasing your income level?"

The first thought that crossed my mind was, "Why" is he calling me?"  When I asked him this question, he stated the following:

"Because several of your peers told me that you have the exceptional skills and experience my client is seeking."

After several follow-up questions on my part, Charlie had to admit that he knew virtually nothing about me and that he was recruiting on a Branch Manager's position for a staffing firm that planned to open an office in the Twin Cities area.  In fact, he had not discussed me with my peers (whoever he thought they might be) and did not know that I was the owner of my business.

If Suzy and Charlie's calls were indicative of their usual approach, unless they receive proper skills development training, I suspect neither one of them will enjoy long-term success in our business. Without my prompting, neither would have been able to engage me in a two-way dialogue.

Just as significant, neither of them were able to credibly answer the basic question, "Why are you calling me?"  Unfortunately, there are many practitioners, both rookie and experienced, who lack the same skill sets.  Their words may be different, but their results are the same.


 The most critical skill set to develop is not getting people to listen to you.  Rather, it's the skill of getting them to talk with you, to open up, and to willingly share the specifics of their individual situations.

How well developed are your skills in this area?  If you have any questions or comments, just let me know.  Your feedback is always welcome.

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Recipient of the “Harold B. Nelson Award”, Terry Petra is one of our industry’s leading trainers and consultants.  He has successfully conducted in-house programs for hundreds of search, placement, temporary staffing firms and industry groups across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, England, and South Africa.  To learn more about his training products and services, including “PETRA ON CALL”, and “BUSINESS VALUATION”, visit his web site at:  Terry can be reached at (651) 738-8561 or e-mail him at:


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