Why are the smartest companies abandoning cold calls in recruitment?

Photo of Aditya
Aditya Datta
December 5, 2023

Remember the days when cold calling was introduced in recruitment?

It felt like the only answer to reach out to top talent. 

And you weren’t mistaken. In fact, for a long time, cold calling was the go-to method for many leading companies, believed to be the most direct and effective way to reach top talent.

But just as the world evolves, so do recruitment strategies. If you're still relying solely on cold calling, you might be missing out on the dynamic shift that's reshaping the recruitment landscape.

You're likely here because you sensed that change too. 

The Decline of Cold Calling

Impact of Caller Identification Apps

Technological advances, particularly in caller ID, have reshaped cold calling. Caller ID apps like Trucaller, which enable call screening, lead to a high rate of ignored cold calls. 

Furthermore, regulatory changes effective from January 1, 2023, include a ban on commercial canvassing from mobile numbers. 

This trend is reshaping how cold calls are received, with many potential candidates choosing to ignore calls from unrecognized numbers​.

Decreased Effectiveness: High Effort, Low Yield

The diminishing returns of cold calling are evident in recent statistics:

Compared to 2007, when it took an average of 3.68 cold calls to reach a candidate, by 2013, this number rose to an average of 8 calls and has continued to rise since then​​.

Recruiters need to make an average of 18 calls just to reach one potential candidate. 

And 60% of cold calls end up in voicemail, indicating a lack of direct engagement​​.

After contact is made, approximately five successful follow-up calls are required to get a candidate on the interview list.

These factors point to a high-effort, low-yield scenario where it takes ages to fill a single role.

Changing Candidate Expectations

The landscape of candidate expectations and technology has evolved.

Approaches like cold calling are now often compared to outdated tools like typewriters and Rolodexes​.

In the evolving world of recruitment, the key to success now lies in personalization.

The integration of technology-driven personalization in recruitment is creating tailored experiences that resonate deeply with candidates' individual preferences. This approach is not only enhancing engagement but also improving conversion rates.

A survey indicates that candidates who have positive, personalized experiences are 60% more likely to reapply, with such interactions leading to a 40% increase in engagement.

Moreover, personalized recruitment strategies, including customized application processes, have shown a 25% increase in application completion rates, highlighting the effectiveness of this approach compared to the traditional cold calling method.

Regulatory Challenges and Privacy Concerns: 

The landscape of cold calling in recruitment is facing some significant regulatory hurdles in 2023.

A notable change is the ban of certain telephone numbers, specifically those beginning with 06 or 07 prefixes, for commercial canvassing. 

This is part of a broader effort to protect people from abuse and fraud.

Moreover, there are now specific limitations on the timing of cold calls. Calls and unsolicited text messages are restricted to weekdays between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a prohibition on weekends and holidays. Furthermore, a candidate can only be contacted for commercial prospecting a maximum of four times per month​

And for those not adhering to these rules? 

The penalties are steep, with fines reaching up to 75,000 euros for individuals and a hefty 375,000 euros for companies. 

Negative Reputation to Employer Brand: 

In the recruitment world, cold calls are increasingly viewed as a double-edged sword. While they aim to connect with potential candidates, they often backfire, leaving a negative impression. 

Annoyed or frustrated candidates are not just likely to turn down a job offer but are also prone to sharing their bad experiences with others. This word-of-mouth, especially in today's digital age where reviews and opinions are readily shared online, can significantly tarnish a company's reputation, making it harder to attract top talent in the future.

Embracing Modern Recruitment

The need for modern recruitment tools has never been more evident. 

Traditional methods like cold calling are losing their effectiveness in a rapidly evolving job market. To stay competitive, it's essential to adapt to the new recruitment landscape that prioritizes personalization, efficiency, and data-driven decision-making.

Consider Talowiz, your strategic ally in this new landscape:

  • Hyper-Personalization: Craft AI-driven, tailored emails for each profile.
  • Automated Follow-Ups: Keep candidates engaged effortlessly until they reply.
  • Multi-Channel Outreach: Connect where candidates are comfortable.
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: Refine your strategy with 360 talent insights.

It's time to adapt, connect, and succeed in recruitment like never before. Explore Talowiz Now!