Have we lost the art of meaningful communication? What does good communication look like when you’re applying for a new role?
Posted by: Jessica Wood on Fri 2 November 2018
On social media, I quite often see people complaining about lack of communication from recruiters. This appears to be aimed at both external and internal recruiters, but I think this ‘cuts both ways’, and we should all work hard to ensure our communication skills are 'on point' as they say.
Do new forms of interacting make us less respectful of each other?
Obviously new tech is fantastic, but today the number of methods of communication are so vast, it’s almost overwhelming. We can be contacted via so many different mediums - our own websites, jobs boards, referrals, email, SMS, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype etc, and probably less frequently via the good old-fashioned telephone.
On a slight, but nevertheless relevant tangent, I look at my beautiful dog Ruby. She’s a 3½ year old choccy lab with a congenital heart defect, but the most loving and snuggly dog I could wish for. Despite us setting up medication reminders three times a day, Ruby lets us know exactly when she needs the tablets for her heart condition - she barks to remind us at the exact time the tablet is due. She definitely doesn’t need a myriad of communication methods, she just knows to bark when it’s the right time; direct and efficient communication!
Are we so lost in the many different methods of communication available, that we’ve forgotten how to communicate directly and efficiently? And more importantly, do we remember how to treat each other when we communicate through these different mediums? If someone has taken the time to apply for a job online through my company, we will in return contact them via telephone, email or SMS to arrange a time to discuss the position they have applied for. Sometimes we get fobbed off initially, sometimes we don’t receive a response at all to this request; as I said earlier, ‘it cuts both ways’!
How did we get here?
What’s caused this? Have we all become unwittingly and increasingly discourteous towards each other because of the sheer number of communication methods available? Has our way of initial communication become so depersonalised that it’s now acceptable to use excuses like “oh sorry, I didn’t receive your email”, or “sorry, I didn’t get your text message”? We’ve learned to not challenge that, but accept it as the norm. As we increasingly initiate contact with each other via email, online messaging and texting, as opposed to actually physically speaking with each other, our communications are becoming a much less personal way of engaging, which results in less commitment. It’s therefore easier to just hit ‘delete’ and move on.
Communication tips when you’re applying for a new role:
- If you apply online for various positions you like the look of, try to make a list of the roles and who is advertising them (if you can). This can, of course, be difficult if you’re receiving alerts via your smart phone; we all know it’s quite easy to just ‘click & apply’.
- It’s not uncommon for a few recruitment firms to be handling the same position, so you may have inadvertently applied for the same position via several different recruiters. If you think that’s the case, and a number of recruiters contact you for this one role, do some due diligence of your own. Check out the recruitment firm’s online profile. Look at their website, read their testimonials, find them on LinkedIn and seek out their Google reviews – it’s so important to have the right recruiter in your corner, they are representing you throughout this process. Following your due diligence, decide which recruiter you want to go with and email them back, or even pick up the telephone and ring them directly regarding the role.
- In all honesty, I would advocate checking out all recruiters (if you don’t already know of them) when you apply for jobs online. They, rather than you, could be the difference between whether or not you get your next job.
- If after applying for a role online, you receive an email from the recruiter, but you’ve changed your mind about your application, drop them a quick email to say so; just let them know.
As a more seasoned recruiter, I still believe good verbal communication is at the heart of what we do. We engage with you, listen to both your personal and career aspirations and help you achieve what you’re looking for in your career path; whether that’s in the early or later stage of your career.
What’s the best way to achieve this? Communicate directly and efficiently…like Ruby!