Just like making a sales call, getting past the gatekeeper can be one of the hardest parts of recruiting top-notch candidates.
Whether you reach a company’s general receptionist, or a department’s secretary, it can be tough to get through to the candidate. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and be transfered without any questions, but many recruiters are put on the spot when they’re asked the reason for the call.
There’s no sure-fire way to avoid getting turned away or sent straight to voice mail, but the following tips will help you succeed more often:
- Identify yourself. Say your name before the person on the other end has a chance to ask. That projects more confidence and may make it sound as if the candidate is already expecting your call.
- Get casual. Many phone systems don’t indicate whether a call is internal or external, so some recruiters do their best to sound like a co-worker when they reach an admin. Something simple like “Hi, is John in?” can often do the trick, especially if you’re calling a big company.
- Be honest. Another way to answer the gatekeeper is to simply say your call is sensitive and confidential. Some candidates are in positions that deal with confidential information regularly, and the gatekeeper probably won’t want to stand in the way.