Give Your Fingers a Rest: Why Contacting Job Candidates by Phone Is Your Best Option

posted in: Blog | 0

First impressions count. Can an email even make one?

First impressions. A job candidate wants to make a good one with you, but have you given much thought about the first impression you’ll make on them? Let’s do a reality check: even the most successful companies don’t always have the best and brightest talent lined up outside the entrance hoping to be hired.

You’ve got to show a job candidate you want to attract—right from the start—that they are important. Important enough to pick up the phone and call them, instead of throwing them an email or tapping out a txt msg.

Seeing or hearing

You already have an intuitive understanding of the difference between written and oral communication. It might be difficult, though to sum it up in a concise way. Try this on for size:

  • Writing is precise and deliberate. It’s controlled and one-sided.
  • Speaking is expressive. There are multiple levels of communication because of intonation, inflection, pitch and volume, and even pauses.

Which one provides more opportunity to create a first impression of your organization? And, because a telephone conversation happens in both directions, which one offers more opportunity to get a first gauge on someone you’re considering as a future employee?

Spoiler alert

You will encounter few statistics in the rest of this post. It’s more about common sense. What follows are reasons why you should step away from the keyboard and pick up the phone when it’s time to contact a job candidate about an opportunity.

Calling someone makes a statement about the kind of person you are

By association, it also lets a job candidate know about the kind of company you work for. A telephone call immediately shows a certain level of respect. During the time on the phone, both you and the job candidate are giving each other your undivided attention.

Emails, and especially text messages, have a level of calculation to them that don’t lend themselves as a way to introduce yourself. Was this email a template you pulled up, and the only thing you had to do is make sure you got the email address and the salutation correct?

There’s no guessing or assumptions

Telephone conversations allow a candidate to hear the tone of your communication. Email messages just sit there on the screen, with no help from your voice. A phrase—or even a punctuation mark—you might not even give a second thought to can be completely misconstrued. You hear what you write in your head. An email recipient doesn’t have that luxury. Nor does a text message.

We appreciate short emails. Just the facts, and nothing else. It’s an efficient method of communication between people who have an established relationship. Each can match the text of the email with past experiences of conversations. Sometimes, though, conversational context is crucial. The same can be said for text messages.

Here’s an example of what can happen when you send an email or text message to someone you don’t know. The candidate reads, “I only have next Friday open for an interview.” They could interpret that as inflexibility or suboptimal interest. What they don’t know is that you’re very interested in exploring this opportunity with them. Any other time, you’d give them several options for interview appointments, but you’ll be heading to Hawaii for a long overdue 2-week vacation.

A telephone conversation allows you to take advantage of the fact that we can read only about 225 words per minute, but we can listen and process 500 words per minute.

We’re social creatures who react to the human voice

Voices belong to people. Words do not. A phone conversation can’t be replicated, which makes it special. The human voice also causes us to stop and pay full attention. People seldom read emails. They skim them.

A telephone conversation requires a high level of honesty. Few people are capable of concocting lies on the fly. You’ll hear the honest response from a job candidate when you call them. For the same reason, you’ll also receive more candor. You’re not trying to catch a job candidate off-guard, but you do want to gauge their interest. Their response to your email will be calculated.

There’s a conclusion

Email threads can go on forever. Conversations by text message can be worse than the slimy creature in a horror movie. You’re sure it’s done and over. Doink! It’s baaaaaack.

It’s impossible to misinterpret the end of a telephone conversation.

So, pick up the phone. Punch in those digits, and strike up a conversation. It’s how a relationship should get started.


At Mankuta | Gallagher, we take the time to really talk to people, representing our clients’ opportunities with a real voice. Contact us today to find out how our unique approach to job recruitment can create meaningful conversations with the best talent.  ~