The Communication Paradox

Our question to you:

Why is it so difficult to speak to people over the phone?

We are recruiters and we love talking to people, but in a world where communication has become so easy that everyone has a mobile phone with multiple messaging opportunities, are we losing the art of conversation or just becoming a society dismissive of verbal contact? Welcome to the recruiter’s communication paradox !

So what’s behind this communication mystery? Have we lost the personal touch? Are we getting ruder? More impatient? Or, do we just not want to talk anymore? In days of old (before caller ID was invented) no one knew who was calling – let’s call it the telephone lottery – back then (and it wasn’t that long ago) despite not knowing who might be ringing, everyone still picked up the phone.

As recruiters we are writing this piece not to be sneery, but out of frustration as professionals trying to our job in a world that no longer wants to hold a conversation. We’ve identified a few categories of those who choose not to hit the answer button:

  • People that won’t answer a number they don’t know – you maybe a little apprehensive, but the perfect job could be waiting for you at the end of the phone…
  • People that never answer – if you’re looking for a new job, not answering your phone sends the wrong message to a recruiter wanting to let you know about a great role. Take a chance and take that call.
  • The “I only text” phone owner – it’s good to talk, try it every now and then, you might like it!
  • People who never call back – could be considered a little rude? If your CV is on a job board and you’re not looking for your next role, remove it and the phone calls will stop.

People post intimate details of their private lives across social networks, informing the world they’ve just had the best fish and chips, they’ve just drank a great pint (with picture of a beer attached), they’re in the cinema, or they’ve just checked-in to Cannon Street station – we know more than we need to – but try to hold a real conversation, one that doesn’t involve a social network, has more than 140 characters, or doesn’t have “lol” at the end, and it seems to be an impossible task.

However, an alternative explanation could be that over the last decade the mobile phone has become a very personal item and is considered an extension of one’s self, thus, to call someone without an introduction or little message to ask if it’s convenient is considered a direct intrusion into one’s life. Is this what we might call modern mobile phone etiquette? Do phone calls now need to be introduced? Have we become our own personal assistants, screening every call for its worth or level of intrusion?

We really hope that the world is not becoming a ruder place. We like people and people should communicate freely. Friendship, good communication and a sense of belonging was what kicked-off the creation of societies and here at Holden Jones we want social cohesion to develop and continue for many millennia to come!

If you’re a jobseeker, your CV is on a job board and you are of the ilk that would rather not take a call then let recruiters know the best time to reach you by leaving a note on your profile or CV. You won’t get unsolicited phone calls and recruiters will know when you’re happy to talk about suitable opportunities. At the very least please have the professional courtesy to at least respond via email to tell us you no longer need our help.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for some genuine professional advice or assistance why not beat us to the punch and call us at Holden Jones, you might be surprised by what a friendly bunch we are.

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