I’m a big fan of Greg Savage and especially enjoy reading his blog. He recently wrote an in-your-face post about recruiters who don’t want to use the phone, and I couldn’t agree more. Phone usage among recruiters has been declining for a number of years, and I believe it ultimately has a negative impact on placement results. Here are three important reasons why the telephone is still a terrific recruiting resource:
Job seekers are overwhelmed with InMail and other electronic correspondence. It’s gotten so bad in the Land of Spam that even LinkedIn forced a change in its InMail usage. Recruiters with less than a 13% response rate are limited in how they can use InMail. And let’s face it, a 13% response rate is pretty awful … nearly 9 out of 10 people are NOT answering your InMail. There is so much spam, so much low-quality email blasting, and so much poorly-targeted communication that everyone has had enough. It’s not just job seekers. Recruiters get flamed with the same garbage. The phone lines are way less crowded.
The phone can be faster. It takes a lot of time to write an email, revise it, re-read it, revise it some more, and then send it. And then you get a response that may or may not be timely. And you have to respond. Which means even more time to write, revise, etc. And if it’s a conversation with a lot of back-and-forth, those email chains can get pretty tedious. You know what else? You can SPEAK a lot more words in 5 minutes than you can type — especially if you use the “hunt-and-peck” method on your keyboard!
Voice conversations are better for forming relationships. Sure, it’s possible to be successful using a transactional recruitment method, but I believe better results can be obtained with personal relationships. In the natural flow of conversations, you learn real stuff about people — and that stuff forms the basis for relationship-building. It’s also easier to understand the meaning behind spoken words (or to ask for clarification). While email isn’t as formal as other types of business writing, it’s still more formal than speaking. Sometimes that formality can be misunderstood as arrogance, rudeness, or other unflattering characterizations.
It’s easy to think that because a tool is NEW that it is automatically BETTER. Or conversely, that because a tool has been around for a while it’s lost its relevance. The telephone is an oldie-but-a-goodie, a tried-and-true methodology. If you’ve gotten away from telephone calls, I challenge you to recommit. A well-executed telephone call is a thing of beauty. Do you have a favorite telephone tip? Share in the comments below!