How Do You Make a Voicemail Compelling?

By Sarah Freiburger

Any sales professional or recruiter will tell you that a cold call voicemail is part of their business that they are constantly shifting like Goldilocks to make one that is, “just right.” Some argue that white lies and vague statements are the route to go, and others will state that honesty and transparency wastes the least amount of time in the end. What do you think? Please sound off in the comments with your best scripts, and maybe these opinions from other recruiters (taken from various recruiter groups) will help adjust your own voicemail pitch.

  1. Hi there! It’s (your name) … your name came across my desk because I spoke to one of your colleagues. Now, I don’t want to get them in trouble for giving me your information, but let’s just say I spoke to them about a new opportunity and they said you might be interested. Call me back and I’ll get the details to you.
  2. Leave a vm in conjunction with sending a LinkedIn message, and if you have anyone in common on LI , reference that —“ look like we both know X” or “looks like we know a lot of the same people.”
  3. Mention their bosses name and another peer and say that you didn’t know who the best person to talk to was but left voicemails for them as well. Seems to catch their attention and you may also say you just sent you an email as well that’s in their inbox so hit him more ways than one.
  4. “You come highly referred from a confidential referral.” This sentence leaves an air of curiosity with no need to ever let them know who that was. They will respect you not giving an actual name.
  5. I send an email, then a call letting them know I’m interested in speaking with them regarding XYZ. “I sent details to (state email), please take a look and contact me as soon as possible via email or phone” I do this because (1) some people respond to phone, some to email – this gives them the opportunity to respond via their prefered method (2) most people have more than one email…this way, they know where to look (3) it separates me from the spam recruiters – it sends the message that I’m serious (4) my rate of response is dramatically increased by following this method.
  6. Lead with what will sell. Sometimes I lead with benefits, sometimes I lead with pay, sometimes I lead with duration of assignment. Call when others aren’t, after hours, before hours, weekends. Call multiple times a day. You can also try texting (check your local laws about this one). This is what works for me.
  7. Change tactics. Get them all on an email list, create frequent fabulous content – share it regularly don’t sell anything but deliver value. Monitor the open rates, ring the most engaged, they will know you or your company name get them to fall in love with your content that they only want to talk to you, feel privileged when you call.
    Save time. Make more placements. Create raving fans. Recruitment is about marketing now.


As a business development manager myself, I tend to agree most with the last statement, and will follow up with an article on best marketing campaigns next, so be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow along!


Building Vibrant Talent Pools

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Martin Bramall, managing director of idibu, a talent marketing platform that reduces the time to hire and facilitates better relationships between candidates and recruiters.

For lots of recruiters it’s getting tougher and tougher. Rising skill shortages coupled with the possible impact of reduced international talent means it is likely to get worse before it gets better. I believe one way to address these serious challenges is talent pooling. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Recruiting Trends You Can’t Ignore

By Veronica Blatt

image of newspaper representing recruiting trendsThe smart folks at Qualigence have published a new white paper identifying five major recruiting trends that cannot be ignored this year:

Diversity and Inclusion – Qualigence states that 78% of talent leaders rate diversity and inclusion as a top trend. Watch for improved and increased diversity initiatives that focus on gender, race/ethnicity, age/generation, education, disability, and religion. Savvy companies are recognizing that diversity extends beyond gender and race/ethnicity. Cultural diversity takes a broader and more holistic approach that can also include skills, professional experience, language, and more. Diversity can improve retention and also open a wider talent pool – two things that are important to virtually ALL employers in this talent-scarce market. Read the rest of this entry »

Candidate Counteroffers and Fall-Offs: Lessons from the NFL

By Dave Nerz

image of football referee representing counteroffersIf you are an executive recruiter, you have likely been burned. They call it a no-show, a no-start, a fall-off, a counteroffer or perhaps you call it something a little bit more like #%&$!

You have been there. The time has been invested. The candidate has been sourced. The candidate has been vetted. The candidate has interviewed. The employer has offered. The candidate has accepted. The date has been set. And then, the candidate does not show up for the first day of work, they are missing in action, or perhaps they have the guts to call and tell you they are backing away from the deal that you spent months creating. It happens to almost everyone. It is just another reason for recruiter paranoia and pessimism. Read the rest of this entry »

What Does Your Super Bowl Ad Look Like?

By Liz Carey

For the 2018 Super Bowl, marketers paid more than $5 million per 30-second spot to capture the attention of more than 110 million viewers, according to Sports Illustrated. Advertisers vied to win over audiences with memorable messages… similarly, recruiters do the same thing. How do you differentiate your message so yours is the one clients and candidates are talking about at the water cooler the next day?

You want to be talked about and remembered like the Budweiser Clydesdales ads, or this year’s NFL ad with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. performing the choreography from the movie “Dirty Dancing.” If your ad isn’t noticed, you’ve wasted your time and money.

If you’re trying to attract top talent who are already employed (passive job seekers), then it’s critical that you stand out from the crowd. Read the rest of this entry »

Hiring Mistakes Cost – 5 Ways to Avoid Them

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Bill Benson with WilliamCharles Search Group located in Grand Rapids, MI. WilliamCharles is an executive search and professional recruiting firm specialized in finding managerial and executive talent in finance, HR, operations, sales/marketing as well as president/CEO roles. They have a concentration of clients in Michigan but they also work across the US. Bill is the chairman-elect of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.

There is no hiding from hiring mistakes. One HR professional once told me that a controller’s mistake is tucked away in a financial report but an HR mistake is walking around the company. The costs of these hiring mistakes are significant. Just search “cost of a bad hire” on Google and read about the consequences. Most studies indicate that the cost of a hiring mistake for a professional level person is 2 to 5 times the annual salary. So what is the root cause issue? Read the rest of this entry »

How Text Messaging Can Improve Your Overall Recruitment Process

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Ken Rhie, CEO of Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases. Mr. Rhie holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has over 30 years of experience in the software, internet, and mobile communications industries.

The job of your HR department is multi-faceted. From managing benefits for current employees to recruiting new staff, it’s time to improve how your HR department communicates through text messaging. You will be able to recruit more efficiently with SMS, and reach a wider audience of potential job candidates. When you add text messaging to your recruitment strategy, you make collecting information easier. Read the rest of this entry »

Staffing Firms Bullish On Revenue

By Veronica Blatt

Bullhorn has released its 2018 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report. According to the responses from more than 900 staffing professionals, the majority of staffing firms (75%) expect revenues to increase over last year’s levels. An interesting side note is that many of these firms expect their total volume of business to increase while bill rates and margins stay flat or decrease. Nearly half of survey respondents rank the downward pressure on pricing and margins is a top three concern. Read the rest of this entry »

Standard Rejection Lines in Recruitment

By Sarah Freiburger

In the course of day to day recruiting activities, many enjoy the high points of the job, such as informing a candidate they are going to be hired, letting the client know the candidate is accepting the position, or even landing a new search you know you have a few good options for. A standard low point of the job is the rejection line to a candidate. You know the one, where you really got to know them when you thought their resume was going to be an excellent fit but then during the interview your hopes started sinking by minute two or three realizing this was a giant time suck as they just were not the purple squirrel you had imagined you were connecting with. Usually, the client passing on them is an easy out to maintain a good relationship and seek out a new opportunity for them, but what do you do as a recruiter when you realize you will not even end up submitting them for the job you just pumped them up for? Here are some of the best options to take down for a standard rejection line to a candidate.

  1. At the beginning of the interview, let the candidate know you have several other interviews and so they are aware, you will only be submitting the top three that are the closest match to the requirements laid out of by the client. If they are not chosen to be submitted, you will work with them on the next opportunity they may be a match for.
  2. Place the blame on the client. Send an email after the interview informing them that the client has chosen to go in a different direction or the requirements have changed. This way, they do not assume you wasted their time or ask for feedback you would only be able to give with a cringe.
  3. Make it about them. Let them know that after getting to know their goals and aspirations, you just do not believe this is the right fit for what is best for them. You will let them know when you believe their best opportunity is opened to you.
  4. Be a representative of the client, not the candidate. In the rejection email, be upfront as positioning yourself as a representative of the client and needing to find the most qualified match for the company. Mention you will not be submitting them for this particular role but will keep them in mind for other opportunities in the future.
  5. Use a white lie to keep the relationship light. Something like, the opportunity is no longer available or I’m sorry we got in a little late. Tell  them they are on your radar and you will definitely keep in touch. Maybe even throw in a smiley face, you know they are a good person just a poor match.
  6. Finally, the safest and shortest line there is, “The company went with an internal candidate.” The one everyone is sure to groan about but understand without much push back.

It seems through listening to other recruiters share these notes many agree that being up front and truthful without being in a position to turn into a career counselor or feedback loop is the route most strive for. Any of the above options should accomplish this to some extent. What are your best rejection lines that you use?

Run Your Desk Like a Team, Not a Business

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s blogger is Judy Collins with Evergreen Contract Resources, which becomes the employer of record  with complete back office services.  Judy helps recruiters start and expand their temporary and contract placements throughout the US. Evergreen Contract Resources is an NPAworldwide Endorsed Program.

Your Reputation…

Your reputation will make you more money in the long run than a one-time deal. Reputation is built on trust, good judgment, diligence, and attention to detail. Part of the building process is developing good long-term relationships based on these high professional standards. To build these relationships you should treat your clients like they are part of a team and they will realize that you have their best interest at heart. Read the rest of this entry »

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