Cold Calling Techniques to Access the Hidden Job Market

Cold Calling Techniques to Access the Hidden Job Market

It is said that 80% or more of positions are filled through the hidden job market. The hidden job market is where a position is never advertised but is filled by someone who is known by the hiring person or hiring company either through a direct or indirect referral.

There are several ways to tap into this market but this article will focus on cold-calling techniques as one approach to tap into this market.

The experts at have come up with their list of some tips to use when cold-calling companies:


Plan Who You Will Call

There are literally thousands of people you could speak to, but be organized and know your limitations as to the number of calls you can make.

Make a list of companies that you’re interested in applying to. Be area, company and/or industry specific.

Set goals for yourself

Calling one person once a month for 6 months is more effective than calling 20 people only once.

Do It On Your Time

The golden rule here is: “Do it on your time, not on your boss’ dime.” Take time off work if you need to.

Also, plan on making your calls when and where you won’t get interrupted.


Don’t be Shy!

The first call will be tough. Not too many people are really comfortable with making a cold call. Practice what you will say before calling with a script if necessary.

Ask Questions

On the call, ask questions to get the other person to talk. You learn more by asking questions than by hearing yourself talk.

Keep the Call Short

There’s nothing worse for a busy employer than to be kept on the phone longer than is required. Pick up on non-verbal clues that the person has to get off the phone (e.g. they’re distracted or they’re typing on their computer).

Ask for an Informational Interview

An informational interview is a time for you to get some information that will be helpful in your search. This can be either in person or over the phone. This is an opportunity for you to speak with the employer on a more casual basis to gather information about the company or the career you’re looking for.

Ask for Referrals

Always ask for referrals from anyone you speak with. Referrals turn cold calls into warm calls very quickly.


Follow-up, Follow-up and Follow-up

Following-up is extremely important.

Assume before you even start this process that you’re going to get “Sorry, I can’t help you” or “We’re not hiring”. However, by the third, fourth, fifth tries, the person will start having an idea how you can help them and that you’re persistent.

Use some kind of method to follow-up with people, whether it’s a manual system or automated system.

Calling is more effective than email

Talking to a live person or leaving a voice mail is more effective than an email. If you leave a voice mail, speak clearly, spell your name if necessary and repeat your phone number.

Don’t call too often

Depending on how large the company is or how much turnover there is in that department should give you an idea of how often to call. Use discretion. There is a fine line between having credibility and being a nuisance. Don’t cross the line.

1 comment:

Brayden said...


In cold calling first defining characteristic of a successful cold callers is their persistence. Recent research showed the enormous mismatch between what most sales people thought was a sensible amount of persistence and how many rebuffs prospect really give. Forty three percent of the sample said they would give up calling after the very first rejection from the prospective customer.