Call Me! The Lost Art of Picking Up The Phone.

Kathy Rapp Audacious Ideas, candidate experience, Communication, Culture, Employee Communications, employee experience, Engagement and Satisfaction, Executive Search, Generations, Kathy Rapp, Leadership, Recruiting, War for Talent

Gen X version:

“Call me (call me) on the line

Call me, call me any, anytime

Millennial version:

“Hey, I just met you,

And this is crazy,

But here’s my number,

So call me, maybe!”

Aside from the observation that Millennials are much coyer in their request for a call (“So call me, maybe!”) and those of us who identify with Gen Xers are more eager (“Call me, call me any, anytime“), what else strikes you about these lyrics?

Exactly. There is a request for a conversation. “Call me.”

Not “Email me” or “Text me” or “Instagram message me” but pick up your freaking smartphone and talk to me.

I’m beginning to think conversation, in general, is on the verge of becoming a lost art.  And yes, I know I sound as old as my grandmother who wonders why my penmanship along with my ability to hand-write letters is crap.

I get it. The most efficient (and at times effective) ways to communicate now involve 280 characters and emojis. Certainly in recruiting, the ease and speed of text (and even Snapchat) is undeniable.

But do we really want a candidate to decline an offer via text? “I’m out.  It’s been real.  L8R.”

Of course not. In that spirit, I give you 12 times picking up the phone as an HR pro should be your go-to response:

  • You are 3 paragraphs into a response to a CYA email
  • Your hiring manager can’t text on his old school flip phone
  • Your employee screwed up “fill in the blank”
  • You are reading an email thread that could end up in a lawsuit
  • You have to cut a candidate loose
  • You need to get someone to your office to fire them
  • You need an immediate response
  • You want to apologize
  • You’d feel better if someone called you in this situation
  • You take customer service seriously
  • You want to surprise someone—in a good way
  • You just need someone to listen to you for a change

Clearly, there are also times when another form of communication is the best approach.  As a general rule of thumb, if a 5-minute conversation will ALWAYS be at least 30-minutes with this person, email away!

Bottom line, you come out looking so much more professional, brave, honest, caring, and competent when you know you should call—and you do.

Let’s not lose the art of communication. Let’s amaze someone. Let’s remember the human in HR.

Hit me in the comments with other times it’s the smart move to pick up the phone.