Let’s face it. We all rely on emails and most of us would be lost without them. Very rarely do we send letters out in the post but recently emails have put recruiters in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
A jobseeker in Kent, UK, received an email confirming an interview for a job she applied for to find derogatory comments made about her describing her as an ‘oddball’ and a ‘mushroom forager’ by someone from the company.
The company was forced to apologise to Anna Jacobs and unsurprisingly she declined the interview.
Writing comments about potential candidates is something hiring managers and recruiters do quite often as they often receive hundreds of applications. This is one way they can keep note of who they are likely to progress through the recruitment process but sadly Anna isn’t the only person to read unflattering things.
More recently jobseeker Pedro de Silva from Birmingham, UK, was accused of ‘bulls****ing’ on his CV. Again he was copied in to an email from the recruitment agent which included notes about him and his application.
It has been argued that emails are better than phone calls but as my two recent examples have shown, emails do have a way of letting you down.
So here are 6 reasons using a phone is better than email:
We all know that most people don’t always open an email the instant they get it, unless it’s that all-important email they’re waiting for which isn’t from you. But most of the time people will answer the phone when it’s ringing, or if they’ve missed it they will listen to their voicemail. It’s also a lot quicker for you to call them instead of drafting an email to send to them.
2. You can get to know them (kind of)
This can be vital if you are trying to work out how the person who has applied for the job is like. Their phone manner and the way they respond to you can tell you a lot about that person without having to meet them face-to-face. But with email, most of the time you are sending your message out into the void and hoping the person is at the other end and able to pick it up.
3. Shows more authority
Phone calls tend to hold more authority than an email or instant message as it is a more traditional form of communication. It also shows that you care enough about that person that you have picked up the phone to them. The candidate has probably received hundreds of emails already from recruiters but by taking the time to call them shows them that you are taking their job search just as seriously as they are.
4. It’s easier
In order to send an email you must have access to the internet, or if you’re out and about, you may not have connection to receive and send emails. This makes phone calls much more simple because unless you’re on a remote island or stuck in an area with zero signal, chances are as soon as you dial their number you are going to get through to them.
5. No room for errors
Now unless you’ve called the wrong number, there isn’t any room for any mistakes to be made by a phone call. There is no paper trail for a start, so any notes you have made about the candidate can’t be passed on. You can simply tell them where they are in the recruitment process without worrying about disclosing anything confidential.
6. Better relationships
The relationship between any candidate and a recruiter is key. The best way to form this is of course to meet them face-to-face in order to build that rapport. But in the initial stages, if this is someone you’re having to talk to regularly, you’ll find it much easier to form a relationship with them if it is over the phone. It’s also less formal than sending an email, and you can talk about the issue directly without having to refer to a chain of emails on the same topic.
While a phone call might not always be appropriate, relying solely on email as a method of communication can also have its pitfalls, as the two case studies above have demonstrated. In an ideal world it might be better to use a combination of the two, and better still knowing when to use them would be even better.