We had some terrific speakers at our recent Global Conference in Long Beach, California. Scott Wintrip, Mark Tortorici, and Jenifer Lambert all delivered top-notch tips and advice and were well-received by our members. I walked away with several “a-ha” moments from each speaker, but something Jenifer said really spoke to me. Jenifer is the chief revenue officer for TERRA Staffing Group, a large organization in the US Pacific Northwest. I value her perspective as a speaker because she is running a successful recruitment/staffing firm every day, including hiring, training and managing staff. Jenifer stressed the importance of using the right recruitment tool at the right point in the process, particular as it relates to communication. Her advice about which medium to use, and when:
TEXT … when you need to set up conversations or appointments, to coordinate logistics, or to confirm interviews.
If time is urgent and the topic is one-sided or doesn’t require much of a response from the other party, text is a very effective recruitment tool. It’s fast and people are highly likely to respond, especially if the response is very short, like ‘yes’ or ‘3PM.’
EMAIL … for information or document exchange, or when you need to create a paper trail.
If you are sharing a resume, your fee agreement, or some other presentation, email makes sense. If you need to establish a paper trail because you need a specific conversation documented for later reference, email makes sense. However, there is often an over-reliance on email, which can be problematic in many ways. First, a LOT of email never gets delivered. I’m not talking about email that the recipient finds later in their spam. I’m talking flat-out never gets delivered, doesn’t generate an error message, and isn’t marked as spam. Email the recipient may never have known was coming. Email deliverability is getting worse as efforts to combat spam increase. If the recipient didn’t know an email was coming, and the sender didn’t know it was never received, that is a perfect storm of bad communication. Second, sometimes email is long. Too long to hold the recipient’s attention, so they don’t read it carefully. Third, sometimes conversations are more nuanced that can be easily communicated in a written format where you don’t have the benefit of body language or oral clues to help interpret meaning. Fourth, some conversations are difficult or uncomfortable, and those just really need to happen via the phone.
PHONE … use the phone for EVERYTHING ELSE.
Note that “everything else” is likely the MAJORITY of the communication you need to have, whether it’s with a client or a candidate. You’ll find that the phone is faster, with less follow-up and real-time opportunities to clarify meaning or ask the next question. How many times have you asked a question via email, then waited for the response, only to find out you have more questions! The back-and-forth wastes time. Time kills deals. Even the fastest typists can’t TYPE as many words per minute as they can speak. And there’s still that pesky nuance and nonverbal communication that is missing in email.
Don’t get distracted by the newest and shiniest recruitment tool. The phone is tried and true, a trusted resource. Make a commitment to cut back on email in favor of the phone – you’ll likely find yourself more productive!