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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Recruiting WITHOUT a Headhunter (2)

Find one phone extension and you can start recruiting

Once you have exhausted that avenue, one thing you can do is to get into the company's voice mail system after hours - many systems have a dial by name directory. Start by calling the extension of your contact (and if you don't have any contacts, try Jigsaw, ZoomInfo, LI etc - there is bound to be at least one person who works in the target area whether they are the right level or not), and listen to the options after you hear the recording..sometimes it says "to be transferred to the person taking calls for ____, press O or an actual extension..." In this case you may get a colleague or an assistant - either way it is valuable information. The next thing you can do is to try extensions in the same sequence - increasingly I am finding companies no longer use the proper sequence for a variety of reasons, but play around...you might be surprised!

Cold-calling options

Once you have a list of names of potential candidates for your open position (even if you do not have all of their titles or extensions), start by calling reception and asking for the exact spelling of the person's name and then "and I have them as the Tax Manager of XYZ area, am I right?" Oftentimes they will correct you and you have everything but the extension.

Another trick you can try is to dial security during the night, as Paul suggested - often it is one lonely person sitting waiting for something interesting to happen - I find they are very helpful and generally have no problems reading to you the entire department list, including titles and extensions.

Another idea is to ask for the mailroom - they typically do not get a lot of calls and you can always call and ask the same thing you asked of reception - especially if they have been trained to be a pitbull gatekeeper - and get results.

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Tara Gowland, Seattle Jobs Examiner, May 22, 2009

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