10 reasons why calling is better than emailing candidates

Last updated:
December 14, 2020
December 16, 2021
min read
Tania Miranda
Reasons why calling is better than emailing candidates
Table of contents

Technology has made recruiting easier than ever. Instead of having to call various individuals, you can email candidates to tell them whether they got the position.

There are some benefits to this digital approach. You can organize your sent emails in folders or archive them in case you need to refer back to them later. Emails also give you a chance to edit and proofread precisely what you want to communicate. You can even track the emails you send out to see if your candidates have read them. It is easy to include necessary information about the open job position in an email, as well.

However, there are some definite downsides to using emails. One wrong push of a button and you can accidentally send derogatory, private notes you make about a candidate to the candidate himself.

That is just one example of why calls are a better way to communicate.

Below are 10 other reasons to call rather than email candidates.

Calls help you stand out from the competition

Thanks to social media tools such as LinkedIn, more and more recruiters are relying on digital messages. Many especially prefer to use automation tools that allow them to send out multiple emails in a short amount of time.

Your top candidates are likely receiving numerous recruitment emails a day. Over time, the candidate will instinctively just delete these messages. Phone calls are less common and thus differentiate you from your competitors. This makes it more likely the candidate will listen to and accept your offer.

Calls are harder to miss

Our spam folders are great at weeding out those junk emails advertising pest control companies or meal delivery services. Yet this system is not perfect. Sometimes, it accidentally flags important emails that you want to read.

If you email candidates, your messages could easily get labeled as spam. This is especially the case if you are contacting a person for the first time. Unless the candidate checks his spam folder regularly, he may never see that carefully crafted email you send him.

A call is different, however. People nowadays bring their phones with them wherever they go. When you call your candidate, they may instinctively answer the phone. Even if the candidate does not pick up the phone right away, you can leave them a voicemail. Either way, they will know that someone is trying to contact him.

Calls are more memorable

Emails, especially automated ones, can all appear the same after a while. Therefore, when you email candidates, they may just glaze over the message before hitting the delete button. This is especially true if the email seems impersonal or cold, as many recruitment emails do.

Phone calls are a lot more memorable. Your candidate may remember the call days or even weeks later. This increases your chances of successful recruitment.

Calls are more efficient

Most people do not open an email as soon as they get it. Some even allow their inboxes to fill up with hundreds or thousands of unread messages. Yet many individuals answer their ringing phones or check their voicemails right away. You should thus get a quicker response when you make a call.

Picking up the phone saves you time, as well. After all, it only takes a few seconds to dial a number. Writing a message to email candidates can take a while.

Calls are more personal

It is often hard to decipher a candidate's personality via email. When people write messages to a recruiter, they usually stick to formalities and a strict structure. Phone calls allow the candidates to be themselves, especially if you give the conversation a warmer, more relaxed vibe.

Phone calls thus help you determine whether a candidate is a right fit for a particular company and role. Many times, the candidate's attitude is more important than his actual skill set.

Calls lead to fewer mistakes

Have you ever tried to get your point across in an email, only for the recipient to misunderstand what you are saying? This can often lead to time-consuming and frustrating email chains where you attempt to clarify your message. When you talk to a candidate over the phone, it is easier to clarify your statements quickly.

Similarly, if you email candidates, they can easily misinterpret your tone. The candidate could get upset and may no longer want to work with you. Phone conversations allow you and the candidate to determine the true intentions behind each statement.

As mentioned above, emails can also lead to paper trails that accidentally end up in the wrong inbox. If you stick to calling your candidates, you ensure that any notes you make about their performance stay within your company.

Calls allow you to show your authority

While emails and instant messages are becoming common, they still do not convey the seriousness or authority that a phone call does. By calling your candidate personally rather than sending them an email, you are emphasizing how much you care about the candidate and their job search. Once they realize that you're taking the process as seriously as they are, they will not want to work with any other recruiters.

Calls let you judge the candidate's communication abilities

Choosing to email candidates does allow you to see how well each person writes. Yet many jobs require strong verbal communication skills, as well. Calls allow you to judge that aspect of the candidate. You can see if the person easily carries a conversation and responds to your questions directly and appropriately. This will help you conclude which jobs are best for the candidate.

Phone calls let you build relationships with candidates

Throughout the hiring process, you need to develop a strong relationship with your candidates. You must learn to trust each other. You also must understand the candidate's specific strengths and weaknesses.

Eventually, you can meet the candidate in person to truly develop a rapport. In the meantime, however, you should find the optimal way to communicate. Because digital messages are overly formal and often lead to lengthy chains of emails, it is hard to truly get to know the candidate unless you talk to him over the phone.

Phone calls have fewer barriers

As a recruiter, you aren't always at your desk when you try to email candidates. You are constantly on the move attending meetings and visiting clients. You thus need to find a place with Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection in order to access the internet and send emails.

Relying solely on emails doesn't just create barriers for you. Candidates who are visually impaired or live in areas with poor internet connections may not be able to access email easily. However, nearly everybody is capable of receiving phone messages. As long as your candidate doesn't live in an underground bunker or on a remote island, he should be able to answer your call.

Digital messages have their benefits. Yet they are not suitable for every occasion. As a recruiter, you want candidates to know you are contacting them and respond right away. You also want an easy and efficient way to communicate with potential hires. That is why you should call rather than email candidates.

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