Reality calling! Telephony has changed.

Craig Cockburn
2 min readMay 17, 2021


I’m now using a cut down version of this as my mobile answering machine message.


Thank you for calling my public number. I no longer answer calls on this number. This number is because many websites, including job boards, have a mandatory phone number field and don’t let you past unless you put in a phone number. You’ve got that number! For 20+ years my phone number has been on job boards and has through time thus got into the hands of spammers and scammers. No worries though, there are alternatives!

The world (apart from recruiters — yes you!) has moved on.

  • Family use whatsapp (on a private number) or messenger
  • Meetups / Conferences use Zoom and slack
  • Work uses Teams and Zoom
  • Business contacts use LinkedIn. As a recruiter, you’ll have this from my CV
  • Email is also an option.

These methods are much better at blocking spam. Looking at the empirical data from my phone, the only people left thinking that using telephony to make a random unscheduled call and just expect the person to be available is scammers and recruiters. Therefore the phone is permanently on silent and I might check it once a week or so. I really don’t want to be interrupted by scammers and junk callers. Yes, I’m on the telephone preference service.

I’ve had a message like this for 10 years when the world started to change. It’s now changed. This is based on empirical data looking at my phone log of missed calls going back months. Here’s an article I wrote on this topic in 2015.

Recruiters, it’s overdue for you to change your business model. Your offices and your clients offices have claimed for years about the value of meeting people, yet the one thing you yourselves rarely do is schedule a video call to meet the candidate. Telephone call after telephone call with no video. So much for “face to face”! I first worked in an office with no landlines in 2011 and the trend has only been in one direction. By 2026 copper telephony will be switched off, the future is digital.

Use a platform, schedule a call.



No random calls!



Craig Cockburn

Freelance IT Professional, Lean Agile Coach. Wrote UK's first guide to getting online. Non Exec Director. From Dunblane, Perthshire.