4Com research claims HR professionals and recruiters has ‘worst phone etiquette’.

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A study run by business telecommunications provider, 4Com, has suggested people working in human resources and recruitment have the worst phone etiquette in the country. The research explored how well British people do when it comes to phone etiquette, and their worst pet peeves. The research revealed people working in recruitment and human resources are the worst phone communicators in the UK, with one in nine (87 per cent) admitting to demonstrating bad manners while on the phone.

The five worst professions for bad phone manners are:

  1. HR/Recruitment (87 per cent)
  2. Media/PR/Marketing (85 per cent)
  3. Lawyer (82 per cent)
  4. Doctor/Nurse/Dentist (81 per cent)
  5. Accounts (77 per cent)

According to the study the specific telephone faux pas that recruiters and HR workers admit being the guiltiest of, is putting people on speakerphone, while being distracted with other tasks comes in first with almost a quarter (22 per cent) claiming this habit as one of their own. Close behind, 16 per cent admit to eating and drinking when using the telephone, while one in ten (11 per cent) say their worst phone habit is speaking too quietly and mumbling.

On the other hand, the phone habits that recruiters and human resources workers find most irritating are:

  1. Someone playing loud music in the background (58 per cent)
  2. Someone having a conversation with another person in the background (38 per cent)
  3. Someone speaking too quietly (36 per cent)
  4. Being put on hold (33 per cent)
  5. Someone eating their food/having a drink whilst speaking (29 per cent)

In the face of these annoying habits, one in six (16 per cent) HR and recruitment workers will happily put the phone down with no explanation, while three in five (60 per cent) will interrupt them and inform them they’re being irritating and 13 per cent are more likely to just mute the call.

Commenting on the research, Mark Pearcy, head of marketing at 4Com, said: “As a telecoms company, we’re all about communication, so we were surprised to see just how many people admit to having poor phone manners.

“While texts, emails, social media, and all other forms of communication all have their benefits, speaking on the phone is perhaps most effective at passing on your message,” he said. “As they allow you to hear the speaker’s tone of voice, phone calls help to avoid, for example, the risk of innocent phrases sounding passive aggressive, jokes being taken the wrong way, or sarcasm interpreted as serious thoughts.

“Hopefully this research will help people realise their phone habits can be considered rude and make chatting on the phone smooth sailing for recruiters and HR professionals!”

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