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Recruiters, do you still use the phone?

If your answer isn't a resounding 'YES' then we think you're missing a trick.

Yes, email is handy, yes, social media is too - but the best dialogue is still a verbal one.

Added on 01.03.2013

It's true that in a telephone call you might not 'cut to the chase' as quickly as you do when communicating in writing, but this is actually a benefit rather than a drawback; it gives you the ability to develop a rapport with the person concerned.

Two other fantastic advantages to phone conversations:

1: Instantly clear up any misunderstandings or clarify any issues

You can go backwards and forwards by email for ages when a quick 5-10 minute call would have you both certain that the other person knows what you mean.

2: Gather little tit-bits of information that get left out of emails

There'as far too many advantages to this point to list them all, but these can include

  • gathering personal information - allowing you to create 'ice-breakers' in meetings and not just develop rapport, but demonstrate it to others, and
  • getting a better 'feel' for the person you're communicating with - with all the advantages that brings a professional who matches people to roles and environments.

So, if we've hopefully convinced you of the importance of using the phone, here's some advice on making the best of a common situation...

Leaving good answerphone messages for your potential candidates and clients

Some surveys indicate that up to 80% of phone calls end up on voicemail, so if your prospects don't want you to call you back then you're missing a trick or two.

Follow these rules to leave a message that maximises the chances of getting called back.

Contact details

Start and end with these - your name, business, phone number.

When are you available?

If you know this then state it - simply, mind!

Make it personal

If you know the person you're calling then this should be simple; if not then mention how you got their details (hopefully mentioning someone else's name).

Leave a hook

Are you calling about a role / person that is a good fit? Then give some brief details.

Write a script - and stick to it

There are probably only a few reasons you'll be calling, so come up with a snappy way of saying this and practice until you have it down smoothly.

Keep it friendly

Sound interested and alert and you'll come across well. A good trick here is to smile when you talk - it will come across.

Don't rush!

Keep your message short and snappy (don't hog the message time) but DON'T rush. Make an effort to speak slowly and clearly. As a general rule, half your message should be your contact details, and the other half what you want to say.