Sep 27, 2023 — Allie Barshinger

Cold Calling In Recruitment: Do’s and Don’ts

Cold calling may seem like an outdated recruitment strategy, but it still holds the key to attracting top travel nursing talent. While cold calling in recruitment can be overwhelming, if used correctly, it can be a powerful tool in the recruitment process. Here, you can convert passive candidates into the solution for hiring manager’s needs.

In this blog, we’ll examine its importance by reviewing cold-calling successes. We’ll also offer some techniques to improve your cold outreach, so you’ll see greater success.

Keep reading as we address challenges you often face and share some tips on how you can overcome them.

Cold Calling in Recruitment

Cold calling is often your first step in the recruiting process. In fact, it may be the first time a prospective client hears about the job. It’s often your chance to inform nurses of the job opportunity, address any questions, and build a relationship with them.

Through direct communication with them, you’ll also be able to gauge if they’re the right fit for the job, eliminating some of the time spent searching for candidates.

While it may be a great start for you, it doesn’t always hold the same meaning as a potential candidate. It’s important to keep your target audience in mind when starting the cold-calling process.

Success with Cold Calling

Sure, cold calling can be a crucial first step, but you know that doesn’t always mean your efforts will be successful. However, you shouldn’t be too discouraged, as there is still lots of evidence that cold-calling efforts are effective.

First, consider these tips that have been found to make your efforts pay off. According to a study by, asking a prospective client about their pain points can lead to closing a deal. Additionally, the study found that opening with “How have you been?” and offering the reason behind your call can greatly boost success.

The process can be easier than you think. In a recent study by the RAIN Group, they found that the most effective prospecting strategy is to call existing clients. Putting yourself out there and building a pool of nurses provides you with applicants you can always revisit when another job opens up.

It may seem that in today’s digital world, even if you employ the aforementioned strategies, recruitment cold calling is still outdated. However, according to the Harvard Business Review, even today, it’s still the most effective way to get an appointment with leads.

You may face a lot of rejection, but it’s not always hopeless. The RAIN group has also found that 69% of prospects have accepted a call from someone new in the past 12 months. In addition, 82% of these leads have accepted meetings after a series of contacts beginning with the initial cold call.

These findings demonstrate that persistence is key. Don’t give up; you’re likely to find that your efforts here are more likely to generate potential job candidates than emailing or social media efforts. Even in today’s highly digitized world.

Recruitment Cold Calling Tips

It’s clear that implementing this method into recruitment works. It’s important for you to be able to effectively cold-call travel nursing candidates. Here are a few tips to make the process feel less daunting:

Be Prepared

Prepare for cold call

You should always perform adequate research before making the call. Ensure you know the client persona and how to cater the job opening to them. You can follow a cold-calling script to help you stay on track when making phone calls.

In addition, anticipate any questions they may have and be primed with an answer. If you’re unprepared, you’ll struggle to attract potential clients.

Use a Cold Calling Script

Cold Calling Script

One way to stay organized and communicate with passive candidates is a recruitment cold-calling script. A cold-calling script provides an outline to help structure your call, make sure you address key points, and convey information about the job. This ensures no key points are missed and can be a safety net if you’re unsure what to say.

While this can be a useful tool, you don’t always have to stick to the script. Adjust the script so that it’s tailored to the current client. It’s also important to go with the flow. Let the conversation flow naturally so you don’t come across as robotic or inadvertently prevent two-way communication.

The script can serve as a valuable guideline, but it should not make up the entirety of your meeting with a travel nursing candidate.

Practice Your Pitch

Practice Cold Calling Script

If you choose to use a script, rehearse your talking points. Make sure to start off with good opening sentences such as “How is your day” to foster a connection with your nursing candidates.

The introduction should be compelling and concise and ensure that you communicate the value of the job opening. Hearing it aloud and trying to understand it from the travel nurse’s perspective will allow you to clear up any confusion.

Utilize a Consultative Sales Approach

Consultative Sales Approach

The main reason for rejection is that no one wants to answer a sales call. Yes, cold calls are a part of the sales process, but potential clients don’t want to feel like they’re talking to sales representatives. The best way to achieve this is through a consultative sales approach.

This approach focuses less on making the sale and more on understanding the prospective nurse’s needs. Get to know their career aspirations, preferences, and work-life balance requirements. You’ll then be able to better match them with an assignment that meets their needs, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship.

Respect Travel Nurse’s Time

Respect their Time

Travel nurses often have to relocate for different assignments. If it’s not a good time for them to talk, ask them for a better time and schedule a callback. Scheduling calls demonstrates that you care about your candidate, and they’ll be more likely to hear you out.

Listen Actively

Cold-calling candidates is about establishing a connection and building a relationship. The best way to do this is through active listening. It’s not just about hearing the words being said but also understanding them to discern travel nurse’s needs and concerns. Be sure to ask questions so you can find out how you can be of service.

It can be difficult to demonstrate you’re actively listening over the phone. Using a verbal cue like “I see” can replace a visual cue such as nodding. In addition, you can paraphrase or restate what they were saying to confirm you’ve understood them correctly.

If you want candidates to hear you out, it is important to make sure they feel heard first.

Prepare for Objections

Prepare for Objections

There is often a negative perception surrounding cold calling in recruitment. Potential job prospects will not want to hear your sales pitch. Be prepared for any objections they may have from your introduction to any duties associated with the job title. If you can address any concerns or questions, they will be more likely to consider what you have to say.

Stay Organized

Stay Organized

This recruitment strategy can provide a lot of valuable insight into potential leads. Consider utilizing call recording software to capture every moment of the call.

In addition, keep detailed notes of each call, including the candidate’s responses, any concerns, and potential opportunities. This will not only help you in future calls with the same person but also improve your overall cold-calling technique.

Always Follow Up

Always Follow Up

Follow-up calls can be crucial in getting potential travel nursing candidates to take the next step. Many recruiters start off with enthusiastic cold calls, but if there isn’t a follow-up, the prospective nurse may lose interest. A follow-up call reminds potential candidates of the opportunity, keeping them engaged.

Also, a follow-up to the initial cold call allows you to address any questions or concerns that may have arisen after the first call. Most importantly, it reinforces the prior connection, nurturing the relationship that could lead to successfully recruiting quality candidates.

Overcoming the Challenges Associated with Cold Calls

As you know, there are lots of challenges associated with cold calling in recruitment. Establishing a connection in a limited time, dealing with rejection, and conveying value can be barriers to converting a passive candidate into an interested one.

Here we’ll outline some tips to overcome these common challenges:


Get ready for a possible rejection, as not all cold calls turn out successful. It can be difficult to reach out to a passive candidate and learn they’re uninterested in what you have to offer. You may often feel discouraged and won’t want to continue the process.

To move past rejection, there are a few things you can do. First, reframe your mindset and understand that this is a part of the process. Go into each call with an open mind; if one call wasn’t successful, the next one might be. Additionally, don’t take it personally if the potential candidate is uninterested.

Rejection can be a learning opportunity. Rather than take it to heart, use it to learn how you can improve your recruitment cold calls.

Getting Past Barriers

There are many reasons why you may miss out on connecting potential leads. Whether you reach out at the wrong time or they aren’t able to reach you again, you want to be sure the lines of communication are open.

Once again, this is why preparation is so important. If you know where the client is working or what their schedule is like, you can reach them at a more convenient time.

In addition, utilizing more channels of communication than just phone calls can be helpful. Try using email or text messages to allow potential candidates to get back to you in their own time.

This is another reason why following up is important. Regardless of which party isn’t able to reach the other, it provides an additional opportunity to get into contact with each other.

Building Rapport Quickly

Connecting with a potential client over the phone only offers you a few minutes to establish a relationship with them. To move past the lack of time, there are a few things you can do.

First, you can personalize the call. Make sure to perform adequate research on the potential leads you’re connecting with and make sure to address needs specific to them.

In addition, learning their pain points and showing empathy can quickly build rapport. Don’t focus too much on the end result; focus more on getting to know the person you’re talking to.

Convey Value in Limited Time

You’ll also need to convey the value of job opportunities to potential candidates in a limited amount of time. To attract candidates, they’ll want to know why they should care about the offer you’re presenting.

To achieve this, highlight the unique selling points of the job opportunity. Potential job prospects will want to know what this job offers them. Additional benefits such as free housing or relocation reimbursement will appeal to travel nurses.

Dealing with Uninterested Prospects

Dealing with uninterested prospects is a common problem. Not all qualified candidates are on the job market. Additionally, travel nurses are busy and may not have the time to take your cold call.

To combat this, always thank nurses for their time. This softens the initial impression and sets a more positive tone for the cold call. Actively listen to what they have to say, show that you’re listening and that you care.

Finally, cater the call to their needs. If you have a job that fits what they’re looking for, then pitch it. If they’re not in the market for a job, it’s time to move on.

Staying Motivated

Rejection and uninterested candidates are common in cold calling. It’s easy to lose motivation when dealing with it regularly. However, persistence is key when it comes to this method.

To stay motivated, celebrate the little things. Instead of focusing on the end result, acknowledge small victories such as having a productive conversation, piquing a candidate’s interest, or scheduling a follow up call.

In addition, take breaks and keep a positive attitude so you don’t get too discouraged during the process. Finally, ask for feedback and use the responses to learn how you can do better in your next cold call.

Implementing Cold Calling into Your Hiring Process

As the first step in the hiring process, a cold call introduces you to qualified candidates and helps you decide if they match what the hiring manager is looking for. There are many ways to implement this into hiring.

First, it can be used as the initial step in identifying qualified prospects. By preparing a script and using a consultative approach, you can generate genuine interest in the role.

Next, it’s important that hiring managers find recruitment agencies trained in effective techniques. If the recruitment agency uses scripts and other resources, they will be more likely to be successful in their attempts.

Finally, make sure to provide recruiters with feedback. If they know where they can improve, hiring managers will be connected with more clients. In addition, the better they do, the more it increases the likelihood that a client refers your recruitment agency.

Using Cold Calling in Recruitment

By implementing cold calling in recruitment, you’ll be able to form long-lasting relationships with nurses. These relationships provide you with a cornerstone that you can always come back to when recruiting. In addition, they’ll learn more about open assignments, and you’ll be able to fill openings.

This jumpstarts the recruitment process and allows you to build a recruiting pipeline. While there may be some resistance at first, using the right tips and tricks will help the call be beneficial for all parties involved.

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