Hey Everyone -
I wanted to follow up on the topic mentioned in today's RBC Daily. If you missed it I shared a link to Anthony Tjan's HBR post - Don't Send That Email. Pick up the Phone!
So my question for recruiters is do you rely on email communication too much with candidates/clients/HR/colleagues?
I'll be honest and go first. I have my moments, but I'm aware and usually more do to with time crunch as opposed to avoidance.
Hi Tim, great question. Phone whenever possible, it's just easier and more of a relationship builder for sure. Email for things that need to be documented - for example "when we spoke last week you said you would give serious consideration to an offer of at least $60K annually - has anything changed since then?" I like proof.
Many of my clients are difficult to reach by phone, they prefer email instead of a recruiter calling them all the time. Rather than play telephone tag off and on all day email is normally a quicker way to get an answer. They prefer to see the resume first then will call me or ask me to call to provide more info. As Amy says, things are better documented by email than phone both with clients and candidates. I find email to be more effective due to candidates not being free to speak at work but are able to answer an email from their phone or call me at their convenience. My take is that a lot of recruiters would be better received if they didn't call and drive clients crazy or leave five voice mails. Phone is best used for direct recruiting, interviews and solving problems or negotiating offers in my world. It has to be a balance and knowing when the call is best and when an email is best.
Email has certainly saved me in a few situations as to first referral of a candidate or one hired six months later. The written word is clarification of a lot of things. If i call to set times for interviews or flights i always follow a call with a confirming email.
I liked the HBR article and the first response to it: "If email was invented before the telephone, everyone would be calling each other."
I do both but primarily email for reasons mentioned by Amy and Sandra. It travels at the speed of light and, sick as this sounds, I've been known to email the person I'm talking to on the phone...while we're talking to each other on the phone.
How sick is that? Actually it's quite productive with client and candidate. I'm sending documents, new resumes, evaluations/recommendations, reference check info, revised resumes, etc., stuff we're actually discussing at any given time. So I do both with email dominating because I can email into the wee hours when a phone call is not practical or appreciated.
I use email as little as possible in the recruiting process. Never to recruit - no email blasts.
I search, recruit and present candidates. I do not email resumes for review. If I present or find the candidate they are interviewed - it's in my contract that all my clients sign before I start any engagement. I only present the best qualified and cultural fit - so they get interviewed. No problems with clients with this in over 15 years.
Interview days and times are scheduled and included in my contract up front so I can schedule an interview while sitting in front of a candidate that I know should meet with the company. I have often (while sitting with a candidate) called the admin for the executive and said put Jim Jones down for 2:00 on Tuesday. No problems with clients with this in over 15 years.
In my contract I set up weekly and daily (as we get closer to the interview schedule) telephone times with my clients. Most executives are in their offices by 6:30 or 7:00 AM and still there at 7:00 or 8:00 PM and that is when most of our conversations take place. No problems with clients with this in over 15 years.
If there is an unexpected issue I need to discuss I may email them to arrange a time to speak; but if I call I am usually put through even when they are in a meeting. I know my clients’ schedules and when they are traveling – most are global companies – we have already scheduled times to talk within the confines of where they are. My clients view me as a valuable part of their growth strategy team and understand the need to be available when necessary as I also do. I have all their contact numbers and they have mine.
Most importantly the reason I don't like to use email in my process is that I need to hear the nuances during the conversation. I need to hear the hesitation, hear the tone of voice, hear the excitement in their voice, hear the concern, hear the “whatever”. That can't happen when a lot is done through email.
This works for my practice, may not work for others.