The Koi Pond: How to Engage You Candidates on Cold Calls

If you are a Netflix binge watcher like me, chances are you have come across and watched episodes of The Office.  If this is one show you haven‚Äôt watched, it is about a crew that follows the lives of employees at a mediocre paper company ‚Äî this mockumentary offers humorous insight into office life and management gone wrong.

Some of the employees in the show are sales people, which can be paralleled to what recruiters do—as your end goal is to sell a position. In one episode in particular, Koi Pond, two of Dunder Mifflin’s sales people, Andy and Pam, are sent out to make three separate in-person cold calls.

Let’s set the scene:

At the first place they go to, the receptionist notices Pam’s pregnancy and assumes Andy is the father. Pam offends Andy by making it obvious to the client that the notion she would have a child with someone like Andy is laughable. They didn’t get the sale because Pam was rude and wasn’t taking the call seriously.

During the next meeting, the client also assumes that Andy is the father, and in an act of revenge Andy harshly mocks the idea, leaving Pam pissed off and costing them any chance at a sale.

At the final place they go to, that client also assumes Andy is the father, and this time they play along with it in order to avoid further antagonizing each other. They get the sale because the client is so impressed with their professionalism.

In the recruiting world these scenarios would NEVER happen (at least, we hope not) but there is something you can learn from each separate cold call attempt to make your cold calls, hot calls.

The do’s and the don’ts of each scene, that you can utilize.

Scene 1: As a recruiter it is your job to sell the position to you candidates no matter what the role is. If your client gives you a janitorial job, then sell it like you would a CEO job. Don’t cold call a candidate and offend them by being rude, dismissive or making them feel unimportant. In the case of Pam and Andy, what Pam did was take it as a joke and didn’t take it seriously. Don’t be a Pam—be ready to sell no matter what!

Scene 2: As a recruiter you will run into people who have no interest in the job you’re recruiting for, or will be downright rude. You could tell them what you really think about their attitude but that will cause more harm than good. This person might not need a job now or might be rude to you because you cold called them at a bad time. Take each cold call as a way to build your own talent network and be as positive as you can to them! Andy should have kept it together in this scene and not have been as rude—maybe they would have made the sale.

Scene 3: What we can learn from this scene is that professionalism will go a long way. When you are speaking to candidates on your colds it is in your best interest to be professional, allow them to ask questions and overall go with the flow. The easier you make the cold call for the candidate the more likely you will be getting their resume on your desk! If Pam and Andy had left their feelings, attitude, mockery, and negativity behind before this call they would have made all three sales.

Though The Office is an outlandish television show, these types of scenarios could happen to you on cold calls. If you can sell a job no matter what it is, show interest in all types of talent, don’t burn bridges and be a caring professional—you should be turning your cold calls into hot calls right away!

Happy hunting!

Leave a Reply