Cold Call is Dead

The Cold Call is DEAD!

By: Zach Brown

The cold call is dead.

Drink that in for a moment.

When was the last time that you answered a phone call from a number you didn’t recognize, from a person you have never interacted with before in your life, and then proceeded to make a life changing decision based upon their sales pitch?

I know, crazy right? I am already bracing myself for the onslaught of emails, tweets, and other assorted nastygrams that I may receive for espousing this truth of the modern age in recruiting from the old guard. In fact, I can only think of one recruiter that might have the chutzpah to pick up the phone and call me to discuss her position on this concept, but I don’t expect my phone to ring off the hook with others disagreeing, mainly because…the cold call is dead.

In this moment at the dawn of mass connectivity for the human race we already possess more ways to reach out and contact a person for the first time than I can count on all of my fingers and toes. The phone call is quickly sliding down the top ten list in favor of other means of communicating like emailing, texting, tweeting, instant messaging, and on and on. We have options, options that allow us to begin conversations and start relationships while we ride the express into the city without annoying the other riders. Or options that let us discreetly begin looking for a new job without taking a phone call in our offices and risking being overheard or simply feeling guilty for having the conversation at work in the first place. These options let us choose to respond from a beach in Maui or on a transatlantic flight from New York to London. These options also give us the choice to simply carry on in the direction that we were going without so much as 30 seconds wasted.

Change is the only constant. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this maxim repeated in my professional life (it is nearly as often, if not more so, than anything incorporating the 80/20 rule). It is true in business and it is true in communication, some would even argue it is true in life; change is the only constant. To fight this idea and anchor yourself to one way is to plan your own obsolescence. You have got to be agile.

The agile recruiter is a recruiter that recognizes and embraces change and then leverages it to be successful. He or she is a recruiter that increases and improves on the tools in their arsenal rather than resting on the laurels of past habits. In order to reach the passive candidate that a client is after, the agile recruiter is willing to determine the best way to make the connection with that candidate. Sometimes that means trying new methods of communication or multiple methods of communication. It means not using a form email that a spam filter would love to gobble up. It means creating viable options for that candidate to connect with you on social media. It may mean sending the candidate a (gasp!) text message or an IM. It means not expecting a single form of communication to be the end all, be all answer simply because it has worked in the past.

The speed of technology has been increasing since human beings began inventing tools. Since the industrial revolution the speed of that evolution has increase exponentially over time with serious encouragement from the space age and the advent of the Internet. With it, increases the speed of communication and business. This means that the battle for talent will be fought on more fronts than ever before: the Internet, mobile phones, social media, creative new apps, and whatever they manage to invent for us next.

Don’t get me wrong, relationships are still at the core of all of this, but how we initiate and grow those relationships is changing all the time. Don’t get left behind because the candidate that you are after hasn’t checked their voicemail in two weeks because they were too busy texting.

Zach Brown is a Recruiting Consultant with DBI | David Brown International based in Seattle, WA. He blogs on trends and tools for recruiting and social media for the DBI Blog and Connect with Zach on Twitter | LinkedIn |