How Impactful is Your Approach to Communication?

Clicks recently hosted another great PM Hangout moderated by Colin Ellis. The theme was Project Management horror stories. Although I’m a recruiter and have never been a Project Manager, I found it pretty interesting to see how many of the horrors have probably been encountered by all of us at some point. Many of the stories had a common theme that gnawed at me and motivated me to share some of my thoughts. It’s the theme of Communication.

With the advent of social media, mobile applications and devices, communication has changed in so many ways. It wasn’t so long ago that not everyone had a mobile phone. If they did, you tended to shy away from calling it since it was usually reserved more for personal/family issues or emergencies. Now, many of us carry multiple phones and don’t even have a landline at home.

I can remember when text messaging started to take off and I couldn’t figure out how to type on the numeric keypads. Nowadays smartphones come with QWERTY keyboards. We are also much more globally connected than we were just a few years back; it’s not uncommon to communicate exclusively through texting with friends and family who live far away. I have a friend who “communicates” frequently throughout the day with her mother in the United States. They communicate so often and share so much of what is happening each day that my friend rarely complains of feeling homesick for her family. Yet, they speak at most once a fortnight over Skype. I on the other hand, religiously Skype my parents, who live overseas, once a fortnight. We usually just catch up on bigger news and events, so it does sometimes lead to feelings of homesickness and a disconnect from my family.

Clearly today’s technology has made staying in touch so much easier, but is it all a good thing? Are we becoming so reliant on instant messaging that we communicate more often, but less effectively?

Think about this… how many times have you received bad news over an email or text message? The passing of a loved one, a friend moving overseas, or worse – being dumped or fired. I’m sure the majority of us have received some type of bad news over an email or message. However, is that right? Haven’t we just become that much less personal by sharing information that should be personal in such a generic and impersonal way?

Colin made the point that all communication should be face to face, or at least Skype / phone, only emailing to confirm and follow up. I would go one step further and say that we should look at all the different communication options that are open to us, and decide which ‘level’ they are suited to. Instead of jumping straight into sending an instant message, why not first try to pick up the phone and make a call? I’m not saying we should never send another text, but we should try to use the right channels in the appropriate sequence. Taking the time to deliver your message effectively can have a huge positive impact on the recipient.

At Clicks we pride ourselves on maintaining the human touch. There are so many automated recruitment tools on the market that make it impossible for job applicants to ask questions or talk to a real person before applying for a job, and even during the recruitment process. We believe in using technology to support our personalised service, not replace it.

If you would like help in reviewing your recruitment processes to more effectively communicate with candidates, please email or call me on 03 9963 4824.

Jeff Bonnin, Senior Account Manager.

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