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…

Job Seekers: The Phone is Back – 5 Phone Etiquette Tips

Cell, Cellphones, Phones, Pile of phones, Variety of cellphones

Today there are so many ways to communicate with one another:  texting, social media tools, IM etc. Rarely do we have to use a phone to have a verbal conversation….Where I am getting with all this is that folks are forgetting how to leverage the phone for success during the interview process.

For many years, companies would have candidates come into the office from the beginning of the recruitment process…that is no longer the case.  For most candidates the first interview takes place over the phone…but even before that first phone interview is scheduled you need to be aware of how you come across over the phone.

The first impression no longer happens when you walk into the office- it happens with that first initial call.  Here are some phone etiquette tips to make a successful first impression: Continue reading

10 Qualities Employers Search For In a Candidate

Millennials- Here are the 10 ways to impress a future employer with the skills they look for in a candidate, according to the National Association of Colleges & Employers Research: Job Outlook 2010.

  1. Communication skills. Practice them before the interview. Employers want to hear clear and concise answers. For me, it’s easier to communicate all of my thoughts clearly in person. During my first phone interview, those clear communication waves were all chopped up, and it wasn’t the phone’s fault! The interviewer had to reword what I said after. I was horrified! Even if it’s on the phone, think slowly before you speak. Pauses are OKAY.
  2. Strong work ethic. Employers want their workers to be committed to what they do, and get the job done beyond expectations.
  3. Teamwork. Use the STAR method of answering interview questions that involve team projects. Don’t be afraid to give recognition to other team contributors during the interview. Don’t only focus on yourself. Add in how you have used leadership to successfully work in a team setting, and what challenges you had to overcome to get your end results. I recommend giving your results in number form, if possible, to really emphasize what you’ve accomplished.
  4. Initiative. Employers don’t want their Millennial workers to be slackers. Show your enthusiasm for completing any task given to you. Growing up as an athlete, I’ve become a very driven individual, and that’s what employers want. They want to know they can hire someone who can work with little supervision.
  5. Analytical skills. Employers want their workers to be able to identify key issues, do in-depth research for information, and streamline processes. Show up to the interview with company research done, and assess the night before what the company can do to be more successful in the future. Don’t criticize the company, but offer your value for long-term company growth and profit. Continue reading
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