Do you remember the days when we picked up a phone to communicate with each other? When e-mail, text messaging and social media were nonexistent? Despite the role technology plays in today’s business world, recruiting is still very much a phone business. As a Managing Partner for a preeminent recruiting firm, I’ve observed many people gravitate towards strictly communicating via e-mail. While e-mailing may seem less daunting and time-consuming, character and personal expression becomes lost in the whirlwind, creating barriers in building personal and long-standing relationships and connections. I always suggest speaking with job seekers and hiring employers in person, on the phone or if need be, over Skype—e-mail should be the last resort for communicating.

So, why does picking up the phone matter? Most of all, it helps build rapport easily and is perceived as more consultative. Job seekers and hiring employers are using recruiters as a resource; but, much can be lost in digital translation. It’s better to get to know your audience through a phone conversation versus the typical back-and-forth e-mail chain. This not only allows you to get acquainted with them on a more personal level but also helps foster and create deeper connections. Further, e-mailing can actually stall the recruiting process. In many cases, individuals take up to 72 hours to respond to an e-mail. On the contrary, if you are able to get them on the phone, you can have a conversation much easier and quicker.

While e-mailing should not be the preferred form of communication, there are some instances in which it is appropriate. For example, if you are trying to confirm an appointment or decide on a day and time to meet, emailing may be the best method. Otherwise, when in doubt, pick up the phone. If you notice a job seeker or hiring employer prefers e-mailing instead of speaking on the phone, try to break them from the habit early on in the process so you can move forward and create more personal conversations over time.

With over 10 years of recruiting experience, I see many new recruiters try to do everything by e-mail. I encourage them to step out of their comfort zone, pick up the phone and keep their recruiting practice personal. It’s amazing to learn how active job seekers and hiring companies are refreshed to hear a voice on the other end of the line rather than receiving e-mail communication.

Have you had a recruiter contact you via phone in the past? Was it a breath of fresh air or do you prefer e-mail communication? Share with us below.