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SourceWhale is the only platform recruiting teams need to execute their daily recruiting activities, find pipeline insights and nurture relationships at scale – all from a single place.

In a recruitment world increasingly dominated by LinkedIn and AI technologies like ChatGPT, the phone remains a surprisingly powerful and enduring tool.

In fact, 66% of meetings booked via our platform happen over the phone.

It’s clear cold-calling in recruitment still reigns supreme and is an effective tool for converting target prospects into real opportunities. 

Whether you’re building a talent pipeline, looking to break into a new market or get face-to-face time with a prospective client, the human touch of a well-placed phone call can create stronger connections, establish immediate rapport and ultimately, yield better results.

In this blog, we dive into five reasons why the best recruiters continue to rely on cold-calling.


Let's look at the data

First, let’s take a look at the facts. 

Based on the analysis of over 52 million pieces of outreach sent out across our platform, we’ve found that: 

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Despite this, only 12.4% include a call step in their business development campaigns - why?


Why is there a hesitancy to pick up the phone? 

Cold-calling in recruitment is clearly not everyone’s first choice when it comes to building relationships with prospects. But why is that? 

We asked SourceWhale’s VP of Sales US, Scott Littrell, and here is what he had to say:



“I think the biggest reason people are hesitant to pick up the phone is fear of rejection.

There are a few things that you can do to get around this. The first is to have a plan. If you plan a thoughtful pitch that relates to how you can help the person on the other end of the line, then you should feel confident that you can add value.  Once you have your pitch, the next thing you should do is practice your tonality. 

The way you deliver the pitch is much more important than the content of it. If you sound confident, curious and polite, there is a good chance you can start a nice dialogue. 

Last thing - don't stop dialing. Calling is a numbers game and you will get "nos." But if you keep calling, you will eventually get a "yes." And when you get that yes, keep your foot on the gas and keep going because that is when you will be the most confident.”

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Scott Littrell 

VP of Sales USA 


5 reasons why top billers use cold-calling in recruitment 

Here are five reasons why cold-calling remains a powerful tool in your toolkit: 


1. Competitive edge

With just 12.4% including a call step in their multichannel strategy, making calls can help you stand out from your competitors. The numbers speak for themselves! 


2. Building authentic connections 

Recruitment is about people and there's no substitute for the human touch of a phone call. A call enables you to establish a trusted personal connection with candidates and clients, setting the tone for a strong relationship. It can also help you better build your brand.

It’s 1000% easier to get across your personality over the phone than it is via an email or text message. Show them who you are!


3. Immediate responses 

Unlike email exchanges, phone conversations offer immediate feedback and clarification. Prospects can voice concerns, ask questions and express interest on the spot, significantly accelerating the decision-making process.

Yes, they might not pick up the first time, or the second, but if you can get through that’s a hot opportunity to convert!


4. Emotional context and nuance 

A phone call conveys tone, emotion and emphasis, providing you with insights that text-based communication cannot capture.

You can also use the opportunity to gain market insights, add value that your competitors can’t and most importantly, listen to their pains and concerns so you can better understand their situation and tailor your service accordingly. 


5. Higher conversion rates 

According to our data, the phone is the highest converting channel when it comes to booking meetings with prospects. But, it’s important to remember, that the phone does not stand alone and is most powerful when used alongside other digital channels like email, LinkedIn and SMS.



How to use cold-calling to your advantage 

To leverage cold-calling effectively in your recruitment strategy, consider the following techniques that can turn initial contacts into valuable opportunities. 


1. Timing is everything

Integrating the phone into your multichannel strategy isn't just about making calls; it's about calling at the right time. To reiterate:

  • Calling within half an hour of a prospect clicking or opening an email can increase the likelihood of securing a meeting by 81%. 
  • Calling within 24 hours of a prospect engaging with your message increases the booking rate by 37%. 


You might be thinking, this is great but how can I achieve this at scale? Well, with SourceWhale, you’ll have access to your Live Feed. This feature sits on your dashboard and provides a window into your hottest opportunities. See who’s engaging with your messages in real-time so you can see who to call, and when.


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To learn more about how SourceWhale's Live Feed can become a pivotal tool in mastering the art of cold-calling in recruitment, visit our blog


2. Use as part of a multichannel approach  

Complement your phone calls with personalized emails and LinkedIn messages for a comprehensive multichannel strategy. Our data shows that using a phone call as the 3rd step leads to the highest conversion rate, following an email first and then a LinkedIn connection request. 

Here’s an example sequence for incorporating a phone call into your BD outreach strategy:

Screenshot 2024-05-13 at 14.05.50


3. Lead with value 

Leading with value when cold-calling candidates and clients is crucial because it immediately demonstrates your understanding of their needs and your capability to address them.

This approach not only sets a positive tone for the conversation but also builds trust and interest, significantly increasing the likelihood of a successful engagement.

By offering something valuable right from the start, whether it’s a tailored opportunity or insightful advice, you position yourself as a partner rather than just another caller.

If you would like to learn more about how to conduct the phone call itself or are looking for tips on how to get started, download our BD Playbook: Using the phone, which combines practical takeaways from four industry experts.



To maximize your recruitment success, embrace the phone as the central pillar of your outreach strategy.

With the right timing, personalization and multichannel coordination, you'll unlock the unrivaled potential of the phone to book more meetings, source the best talent and build lasting relationships.



If you would like to hear more about why top billers use cold-calling in recruitment, listen to this episode from The Resilient Recruiter podcast titled ‘Why Modern Recruiters Must Embrace Cold-Calling to Stay Competitive’ with Danny Cahill below! 


Georgie Partington
Post by Georgie Partington
May 15, 2024 11:06:08 AM