On the train into the work this morning, I got chatting to a couple of ladies in their late 60s / early 70s. Lovely they were, smart ladies who used to be professionals – the conversation started from their amazement at my iPad – and it got them onto how they “worried about the internet world taking over”, and “Facebook and all that” will cripple communication and “kids will stop talking to each other”.
I stood up for the accused, naturally. I retorted kindly, that actually the internet means that kids and adults alike can talk to more friends and people, as a consequence of the internet – allowing them to reach people they would otherwise never have the opportunity to do so – just through different methods – and different levels of conversation and communicative dynamics. Why does face to face have to be the `only` form of communications? In the past, connectivity was dependent almost solely on letter writing and message carrying. The written word has enormous value in the future communications also. Just with less ink…
I think they got my point, to my amazement.
On the subsequent tube journey I chuckled to myself (hopefully not out loud!) how it reminded me of conversations I have with recruiters on LinkedIn, and otherwise.
The `Dinosaur Recruiter` will stand puff-chested, and pronounce “I want to have conversations with actual people, on the telephone and in face to face – not on social media platforms, to faceless people!” – well, I say – go ahead. Go ahead making call after call to HR Manager answer machines, developing those touchy relationships you have with her electronic voice on the machine, and the net result of a day? – 10 actual connections including 7 who politely or otherwise saying `clear off`, maybe a meeting, and maybe conversations with a few candidates – and lots of answer machine messages. LOTS of answer machine messages.
You are welcome to that, thank you very much – but mind out for the Ice Age…
I unashamedly use social media as my primary communications channel. I also want to have conversations with actual people. In fact the stats tell me I do! – mentions, RTs, conversations, replies, and my own comments. Twitter mainly, partially LinkedIn & Facebook, and increasingly Google+. Every tweet/comment I send has a potential reach of 1000s… either directly, subliminally or indirectly. They take me to other communications formats. I meet more clients face to face than I ever did in the stone ages, and communicate with far more people on a day to day basis than I ever did. Social Media is a contact creator, not a deal maker – but it creates more contacts than a telephone ever will.
The problem with the `Dinosaur Recruiter` is that they think only about now. Usually that’s not their fault – those who pay the wages are the problem – demanding instancy and interest in numbers that equate to ££s. Business building isn’t just about that. It’s about marketing the brand, being visible and accesible, it’s about forging relationships that last through mutual interest and sharing gems of information, and it’s about building reputation – which in turns into the simplest form of business gathering – recommendation and referral.
I’m not talking about kicking in the `old` and leaving it behind – I’m talking about embracing what’s good about the past, and applying it to the way the customer is moving, and the market with it – being multi-dimensional. All good recruiters have `dinosaur tendencies` – the best ones prepare and adapt through the changes in climate.
Come on recruiters, if a couple of elderly ladies can `get it`…?