Cut Through The Communications Chaos

  By Chris Heinz  |    Tuesday July 26, 2022

Category: Expert Advice, Productivity, Recruiting



Communication is everything!  Communication makes the business world go ‘round.

But this isn’t your grandparents' era of communication!  As they say, “back in my day,” communication entailed only a couple of methods.  Your communications tools evolved from the telegraph to the mail to the phone to the fax.  Then, in the mid-’90s came a revolution:  email.  It was NEVER going to get any better than email, right? Wrong!  Then came text and then social media.

We can all agree that there are almost endless forms of communication tools in today’s environment.  Heck, some of them can even be automated where you don’t have to do anything after you set it up!

So, how do we cut through this chaos and stand out in our messaging?  How do we make our message matter? 

Let’s dive into several ideas that can help you with your communication methods. Why several? Because there is no “one” technique that will work every time. You need to try and utilize several techniques to cut through!

 

The Phone

Yes, the phone still works!  Far too many believe that making phone calls, whether it be for business development or for talent acquisition, has gone the way of the dodo bird.  Some believe that you will come across as antiquated by calling someone out of the blue.  I say they are wrong!  Does it take a lot of calls to get someone live, yes…do you have to leave a lot of voicemails, yes. Once you understand these elements, you can stop believing the phone is dead.

 

Email

Some of the same circles that believe the phone is dead also believe that email is an ineffective tool.  Yes, email has turned into the modern-day form of junk mail.  I just love it when I get an email that starts out with “Hello {first name}” don’t you? Yes, there are forms of email that are 

 

Text

Texting is part of our lives, whether it is for work or with your family.  And, if you have teenagers like I do, trying to decipher what the heck my kids are texting is like trying to interpret coded messages from the CIA!

From a business/recruiting standpoint, texting is one of the most effective forms of communication today.  But, texting is not for long, drawn- messages.  It is for short bursts of info.  If/when you need to send more details, that is when email comes in with a “shot” of text, such as “I just emailed you more info.”

While texting candidates is a regular action step, texting with hiring managers can be a little different.  Once you’ve built a connection with them, then the normal rules of engagement are in play.  

But what about texting with a hiring manager you don’t know (and who doesn’t know you yet)?  With all the services available to get cell phone numbers, it is easy enough to find their number.  But should you text them out of the blue?  I recommend calling them first and leaving a short voicemail message if you don’t get them live.  It doesn’t mean they don’t like you if you don't receive a return.  It may mean that they never heard the message.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t listen to many voicemail messages anymore.  Most systems actually transcribe them for you, albeit usually by butchering the actual message.  Just this morning, I received a voicemail from someone, and it was transcribed as “Hi Chris, this is slimy calling…”  I am pretty darned sure her name wasn’t slimy…it was actually Shelly.  You get the point, but I digress.

 

Then, if they don’t respond to your call/voicemail, I would try texting them because it may be easier for them to reply this way.

 

Social Media

From a professional standpoint, we typically talk about LinkedIn when we are talking about social media.  Depending on your target audience, you may also utilize Facebook, Instagram, Reels, Twitter, TikTok, or Snapchat.  But, for this conversation, we’ll focus on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the pre-eminent branding tool for recruiters.  It is also the most used resource for identifying potential candidates for openings. Some purely use it to keyword search possible candidates, send them LinkedIn messages, and hope for the best.

Others will not only source on LinkedIn but will also build a branding plan to post relevant content for their connections and comment/like others' posts (engagement).  I’ve written about this in several articles for EMINFO so if you haven’t read them, make sure to go to my previous articles on the website.

Simply put, the branding efforts are not a short-term process or an immediate gain.  It is part of the long game.  If done correctly, you can build a reputation where you stand out from your competition.

 

Bringing it all together:  A Touch Plan

With all of these tools available to you (some older technologies and some newer ones), how do you use them to cut through the chaos effectively?  Which ones do you use?  The simple answer is YES.

You should use them all because you don’t know which one will work for each individual you are attempting to reach.  Some will prefer emails while others will respond to texts and will ignore all other forms.  There is no silver bullet perfect approach.

The best way to effectively use all communication forms and not go crazy is to build a touch plan.  Plan out your week and your contacts so you can attempt all of the communication styles over an eight-day period.  Round one may be a call with a pre-written email message.  Two days later, you could begin round two (to the same batch of contacts), and in this round, you send them a LinkedIn message and call their cell.  Three days later could be a call, text, and follow-up LinkedIn message.

 

You must use them ALL if you want to cut through the messaging chaos.  Just one approach won’t work.  Only two may not work.  So, use them all!


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