When Did the Phone Go Out of Style?


Businesswoman on phone, Telephone and woman, Woman on the phone, woman looking at phone
This weekend on Twitter I noticed an article that was featured by the NY Times entitled “Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You”. The main theme of the article is how no one uses the phone anymore. We rely on other means of communication such as email or texting or updates on Facebook or tweets. After reading the article it really hit me how uncomfortable people are about picking up the phone and talking to one another.

As a recruiter I live or die by the phone. My success depends on how many calls I make a day, how many conversations that I have etc…and how many people I can share my opportunities with.  I do rely on all the wonderful tools out there to do my job, however it is the phone call – an actual conversation where the work gets done.

How many of you have gotten an email from someone saying “is it ok to call…?” instead of just picking up the phone and calling someone – we are actually now trained to ask permission first.  The phone is now perceived as being rude or intrusive versus the vital tool that it is. Think about how much time we waste going back and forth on emails instead of picking up a phone and talking over the topic at hand.  There is many a time I will get an email from a client or candidate and instead of replying I will actually pick up the phone and call then back. I know…..how dare I break the email chain, right?  But I want to grow my relationship with that person and to do what is required for a more personal approach.

I have an 11 year old and he struggles with using the phone. It is awkward for him as he would prefer to text, or not call at all. I make him practice his phone skills. As I train new recruiters, I see them struggle with making calls, it is hard for them to build that rapport over the phone with someone since they much prefer email or texting someone. Apparently that trend continues all over since most people now have mobile phones and smartphones, but according to a poll released by Nielsen, voice spending on mobile phones is decreasing and within the next 3 years text spending will surpass voice. As a society I think we need to practice our phone skills.  I am guilty like everyone else most of the time I will text my friends or ping them on Facebook but it is not the same rush as a good old phone call.  You learn so much more about the person and who they are and what they’re about.

So I challenge you this week to pick up the phone each day and instead of emailing a client, pick up the phone and give someone a call…

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4 Responses

  1. Chernee – I see your points about how the tendency to want to avoid the phone is leading to a real change in how we get work done and how we need to manage our expectations. I have a feeling this trend will continue, as the ‘texting’ generation enters the workforce.

    • Steve –

      Thanks for your comments and so true how communication is changing. I love all the tools that are out there are do rely on texting and emailing throughout the day, but there is nothing like a good phone conversation within someone to open the doors or further develop the relationship!

      Have a great evening!

      Best –
      Chernee

  2. Yes! Wasting time with the email tag. It’s ridiculous. Apparently texting/email isn’t more efficient. So much is lost in translation via email/text because you can’t hear a person’s tone or inflection. Then that leads to more texts or emails to clear up the misunderstanding. I’m more apt to not respond to an email or text. THAT’S a lot easier.

    • Abigail –

      I know what you mean – it is just as hard to get an email reply as a returned phone call… with twitter and texting people are relying on other means of communications. All are valuable and have their place, but I still believe in order to further develop a relationship a phone call or a meeting is the way to go. Thanks for your comments to our blog!

      Best
      Chernee

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