Recruiters: Stop Emailing and Pick up the Phone…

Why are you emailing the Client or Jobseeker every little question?   I was talking with another recruiter about an open req. and their response was…I emailed them.  My thought was….Why?

I find that too many Recruiters are hiding behind the computer.    Do not be afraid to hear No or an answer you do not want to hear.   Picking up the phone builds the relationship between you and the Client and you and the Job Seeker.  Email can be a useful tool and complimentary tool but I believe your main source of communication should be the phone. 

My challenge to you:  Use the phone for everything for a month, change your habits and see how many more relationships and placements you can make.   Stop hiding and let your voice be heard.

Views: 13818

Comment by Susan Canarick on January 10, 2013 at 2:53pm

I'm ALL for keeping the "human" in Human Resources and wish that live time phone conversations were not so passe with HR folks.  You "hear" so much more when you have a phone conversation as opposed to emailing.  Come out come out wherever you are!!

Comment by Noel Cocca on January 10, 2013 at 3:06pm

So much call reluctance in recruiting currently.  

Comment by Jason Webster on January 11, 2013 at 10:52am

I smiled and dialed for years. There's no doubt that connecting with candidates over the phone is the next best thing to in-person. That said, I do not subscribe to the smile and dial method anymore. I've seen too many recruiters wasting time leaving messages that will never be returned. Here's 3 steps to spend more time in "conversation" with candidates:

  1. Compose a message about the job you are working on, complete with pics or video if possible. Use an email campaign tool to personalize it, and send to your target list. This allows you to see who is opening it and clicking through to the job description. You're warming up the candidates in one swoop, and seeing who to call first.
  2. Use the business day for "scheduled" calls/meetings with candidates as often as possible. They can anticipate the call/meeting and make sure they are in a good place to talk. Most of the candidates you are pursuing are working, and don't want to be cold-called at work.
  3. Be willing to make your cold-calls before and after normal work hours. That is when you will actually get people on the phone. 

You can save time, and give the candidate a better experience employing these methods. Most candidates are skeptical of recruiters. Blindly smiling and dialing can add to the persona that candidates are just a number.

Comment by Jason Webster on January 11, 2013 at 12:23pm

Totally agree Lance. I didn't expand much on what I meant by campaign. They should be timely, relevant, and transparent to as much extent as possible. The last thing you want to be is spammy. I've been testing them for about 18 months. Happy to share examples if anyone is interested.

Comment by Ron Gallagher on January 11, 2013 at 3:01pm

I normally call and if I have to leave a message, I also follow up with an email, just for their convenience and the chance to be able to reach them more quickly. Once the relationship is established I utilize both means of communication depending on what is more appropriate....

Comment by Chuck Klein on January 12, 2013 at 2:05pm

I agree with Jason. 

Jason - I would also love to see what works for you and share ideas. 


Comment by Mat von Kroeker on January 12, 2013 at 2:52pm
I couldn't disagree more-- I'm a Senior IT Recruiter, and every hiring manager I've ever worked with preferred email correspondence--- as well as a fairly large percentage of the job candidates. Developers, Project Managers, Systems Architects, Network Engineers are very busy as you might guess-- they prefer 2 min browsing a detailed job description versus 10-20 min finding out the position doesn't pay enough/too far/not enough C++ experience at the end of the live conversation. Definitely an apples/oranges thing----
Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on January 12, 2013 at 7:16pm

I think it depends on the context of the communication. For clients, I would say verbal (phone) would be most appropriate - especially if you are working to develop a new relationship or maintain contact and status updates on an existing account. 

For candidates, I think many find cold calls (phone) intrusive and inconvenient - especially if they are at work when the call comes through. Unfortunately, people still do answer the phone when they "shouldn't." 

The ideas Jason outlined make the most sense to me. Initiating contact via email allows the prospect to make their own decision about welcoming the conversation and/or scheduling follow-up at a mutually convenient time.

Once their is a reason to converse further, I think either form of communication is fine. For example, if you are merely confirming interview appointments or next steps, I don't think a phone call is required. However, if you are seeking post interview feedback with either client or candidate, verbal would be more useful than written communication. 

Comment by Jason Webster on January 13, 2013 at 11:20am

Here's a quick example of an email campaign we ran to kick off the recruiting process. It went to over 1,500 candidates and had a 49% open rate:

Also, I wrote a blog piece on how you can use the campaign to recruit more efficiently versus "smiling and dialing":

I hope folks find this helpful. I'm seeing it change the way recruiters prioritize their time, and it gives candidates a better experience.

Comment by Ambrish Kochikar on January 14, 2013 at 8:36am

I almost landed my current job because I was able to convince the hiring manager (over a phone call) that I belong to the school of recruiting that lived by the call. The title for your next post could be "Recruiters: Sound like pro every time you pick up that phone." Cheers and thanks for the post!


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