Voicemail Primed to Join Telegraph as Communication Relic
In today’s world, can you imagine using a telegraph to communicate? It is hard to believe, but not long ago this now archaic communication tool revolutionized long distance communication and helped to transform the world. It was once a novel notion to leave someone a message, hope that they receive and interpret it correctly, and then respond accordingly in due time (sounds oddly familiar to a newer form of communication technology…). However, with the progression of technology, came the introduction of breakthrough forms of communication tools that allowed for more efficient, clear, and immediate forms of communication. Now, telegraphs have become little more than relics of centuries old ingenuity, all but obsolete for practical use.
In this light, the story of the telegraph sounds eerily similar to that of voicemail. Think about it. When was the last time that you checked your voicemail and actually listened to the saved recordings? If you can remember a time, was listening to those voicemails a good use of your time, or was there a more efficient way those messages could have been communicated?
Voicemail Abandonment Trends Transcend Millennials
For years, the idea of voicemail becoming obsolete has been discounted by its association to millennials (they are kids, what do they know?). However, based on recent trends, it appears that voicemails may become a thing of the past at a much faster rate than most had imagined.
According to phone service provider Vonage, “year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%“, and people who actually listen to voicemails dove 14%. Experts assert that the reason for these plummeting numbers is that there are simply other forms of technology- such as email, instant messaging, and text- that allow people to communicate with far more efficiency. The below quote by Michael Schrage, an author for the Harvard Business Review summarizes this sentiment perfectly:
“A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper”
Voicemail – A Critical Observation
When you critically observe all the time and effort that goes into communicating a single message over voicemail, it is no wonder that people are choosing other forms of technology. Just to get to the point of leaving someone a voicemail, you must wait through a 35-second ringtone plus a 10-second greeting message. Additionally, on the receiving end, you need to navigate to your voicemail, possibly enter in an access code, and then hope to comprehend everything communicated from a verbal message in one try. If the message is longer, convoluted, or hard to hear, you will need to go back through the message and listen at least one more time. For both ends, this is a major time sink and the user experience is incredibly poor.
Professional World Leaves Their Message, And It Is Loud and Clear
Even in the professional world, where voicemail has long held a sacred place, there are indications that it is quickly being phased out. Just look at JPMorgan Chase (along with several other major banks) and Coca-Cola. Both of these multinational corporations have introduced widely adopted plans to eliminate the lion’s share of voicemail services amongst their employees.
Voicemail, which typically costs these companies $10 per employee per month, has become an unjustified cost. With the proliferation of more efficient communication lines, many employees simply no longer have a need for voicemail. And don’t expect the efforts to be isolated. These companies recorded significant savings by eliminating voicemail- JPMorgan Chase saved over $3 million. Even more interesting however is in the case of Coca-Cola. Their savings were only $100,000, and according to one spokesperson, the cut-back “had more to do with simplifying work than trimming costs”
Job Candidates Prefer Email Communication
For recruiters and hiring managers, the above trends have serious implications for communication tendencies with job candidates. Beyond being phased out in the professional world, voicemails can be incredibly detrimental to the candidate experience. Imagine if every job that you applied for was accompanied by voicemails from recruiters and hiring managers at that company. Going back and listening through all of these voicemails would be a massive time sink. Keeping track of all of these different voicemails and following up with the right people during appropriate work hours would be an outright nightmare.
According to reports, job candidates prefer email communication throughout the interview process and at overwhelming rates (data below). Taking this into consideration with the fact that email is far more practical than voicemail, the majority of your messaging with candidates should be carried out through email.
So as an employer what can you do?
Considering these findings, it is clear that email is your best friend when corresponding with candidates. However, when you have multiple positions open, drafting emails to keep up with your inflow of candidates can end up taking the entire day. Add in tracking these different email chains and following up with everybody and there goes your week.
Fortunately, there is a better way. Newton’s applicant tracking system allows for smart and simple management of all email communication. Through our personalized email templates, you now have a recruiting assistant at your fingertips. Automate the composition and distribution of any standard messages so that you no longer have to waste time with tedious email activities. Furthermore, through future-send capabilities and our integrated scheduling tool you can plan out your entire interview agenda with a few easy clicks, all via email. Job candidates prefer email communication, be sure that you have the tools in place to meet them where they are at.