I have a love/hate relationship with texting. I can’t deny the fact that it’s super convenient to quickly send or reply to a text without having to actually call someone. I mean, let’s be honest — sometimes we just don’t feel like talking on the phone!
Professionally, texting has totally changed the way we are partnering with our clients and candidates. And for me, this is where the love/hate relationship comes to play. As I mentioned, I love the convenience of being able to connect with a hiring manager or candidate via text when I know this is the only readily available avenue through which we can communicate during an otherwise hectic work day.
My concern is that we are gradually finding more and more ways to communicate less and less directly with one another. In previous blogs we’ve examined the importance of “knowing your audience” when determining the most appropriate communication avenue. Texting is quickly becoming the preferred method for communication when I consider the professionals I’m working with (more on the candidate side versus hiring managers), so regardless of my personal opinions about texting in the professional world, I realize I have to jump on the train, adapt, and evolve.
Still, there’s no replacement for having a “real time,” direct conversation. Having the opportunity to speak directly with a candidate over the phone provides me with so much valuable feedback. Those non-verbal cues that I love to examine when I’m communicating with someone in person or over the phone (yes, I was a communication studies major in college!) simply aren’t available in the texting world. As a professional who is working in the staffing industry, this is concerning. When I’m working with a candidate who never answers their phone and only responds to text messages, I worry about our ability to foster a successful partnership based on such a limited communication foundation.
Call me old-fashioned, but when it comes to one’s job search, I believe it’s important to engage in regular dialogue with those trusted professionals who are serving as a resource. Talking over the phone is more personal than sending text messages back and forth. These regular phone conversations help me really learn what a candidate’s key factors are in their quest for a new job opportunity. These conversations give me a sense of the type of work environment a candidate is going to be happy in, the type of management style this person responds best to — basically the “platform” for me to gather all the information I need to help match this professional with the best job opportunity and help my clients craft an offer that the candidate will be excited to accept!
Don’t get me wrong — texting is a great option and something that makes sense for us to use with clients and candidates. I do think it can be overused, however. Whenever an important discussion needs to happen, picking up the phone and having a direct conversation (or even better — meeting in person) is absolutely the best option! The chance of the message being misinterpreted is much greater if you decide to communicate via text. I know the effort of having to dial a phone number and speak directly to another human being might seem like too much work and a bit overwhelming (can you sense my sarcasm here?), but when it involves the future of your professional career, believe me, it’s worth the effort.
Stephanie Miller has been with Aureus Group for 12 years. As a Senior Account Manager within the finance and accounting division, Stephanie enjoys partnering with organizations across Nebraska, providing staffing solutions within the areas of accounting, finance, and human resources. In addition to working closely with hiring managers who are trying to identify talent for their departments, Stephanie finds great satisfaction serving as a confidential resource for professionals who are interested in exploring new job opportunities.
Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in negotiation and dispute resolution from Creighton University. She currently sits on the Board for Central Nebraska Human Resource Management Association. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband, Chad, and their three little girls, Charlotte, Willa, and Cecelia. Some of her hobbies include traveling, doing CrossFit, running, and reading. Stephanie feels very fortunate to have found a career that is always presenting her with new, exciting challenges, professional growth, and learning opportunities.