This paper presents the local laser heating process of surface layer of the metal sample. The aim is to create the molten pool with the required depth by laser thermal treatment. During the heating the metal temperature at any point of the molten zone should not reach the boiling point of the main material. The laser power, exposure time and the spot size of a laser beam are selected as the variable parameters. The mathematical model for heat transfer in a semi-infinite body, applicable to finite slab, is used for preliminary theoretical estimation of acceptable parameters values of the laser thermal treatment. The optimization problem is solved by using an algorithm based on the scanning method of the search space (the zero-order method of conditional optimization). The calculated values of the parameters (the optimal set of "laser radiation power - exposure time - spot radius") are used to conduct a series of natural experiments to obtain a molten pool with the required depth. A two-stage experiment consists of: a local laser treatment of metal plate (steel) and then the examination of the microsection of the laser irradiated region. According to the experimental results, we can judge the adequacy of the ongoing calculations within the selected models.