Tag Archives: Skype

What will you do differently?

What will you do differently in 2011?

For me it’s easy.  I have a poor attention span.  I am too easily distracted.

At any one time I have a countless browsers open, each one with the promise of further engagement, conversation, opportunity.  You can never be lonely as a Recruiter.  The only asset you have at your disposal is your network and I work relentlessly to engage with, communicate with, stay in touch with and grow mine.

Even then I don’t succeed as much as I would hope or wish.  Every connection has a story to tell, something to say that should be listened to intently, is a link to someone, is a door that could open to who knows where.  Who knows when they might need me, or when I might need them?

Phone, mobile, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Skype, this blog, they are all tools for me to reach out to the wider world and I need them.  Indeed I love using them.

So what’s the problem.  Well none of the above, they are all business critical tools.  My problem is email and in particular the multitude of devices I use to check them.  PC, Laptop, IPAD, Iphone (other brands are available!).  I am not alone.

Every ping of the inbox and vibration of the hand-held brings the promise of future riches.  I check (sorry that should read checked) my email first thing in the morning, last thing at night (even in the middle of the night).  I feel a desperate need to respond to every enquiry, question, suggestion.  For me engaging in the conversation is what it is all about.  I can’t resist.

I start each day with real focus and great intentions.  Then those little pings start and my day takes on a whole new path.  Not any more.  I have made a change.  I check my email first thing, at lunch and last thing.  I prioritize those that are critical and leave those that are not.

I need to be proactive and reactive in my day.  The trouble for me was that I was getting to be too reactive and not proactive enough.  Those things that I want to do, that I am passionate about, that I must do, require of me to focus on the proactive.  So that’s my change.  It’s hardly revolutionary but already it’s working.  I feel better and I am getting things done.  I am no longer slave to the latest email.   I have razor focus, I am sharp.  I am achieving.

How long will this last?  Believe me I am committed to seeing this through.  I am a whole 3 hours in to my working day and so far this is working brilliantly!

So what will you be doing differently this year?

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You can’t email a handshake

Yet another thought-provoking piece from the excellent www.techcrunch.com this weekend.   Entitled “The phone call is dead”,  the article, written by Alexia Tsotsis, evidences the following ;

According to Nielsen data, voice usage has been dropping in every age group except for those past the of age of 54. Text is just easier.

“Now, 78 percent of teens recognize the functionality and convenience of SMS, considering it easier (22 percent) and faster (20 percent) than voice calls (though still fun). Voice activity has decreased 14 percent among teens, who average 646 minutes talking on the phone per month.”

http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/13/alexia-phone-home/

There was once a time that I could not conduct my day job as a Recruiter without the telephone.  It was (and in my view still is judging by the number of calls on my call log) the business critical tool.  Is this changing?

Nothing gets done without talking with each other.  We feed off others, we need to communicate.  People love people, evidence the rise and rise of Facebook.   What happens if we simply stop talking with each other?

Think this through however and I realise we are still communicating, we are just finding ever more efficient methods of so doing.

I have recently spent a great deal of time in hotel lounges packed with people conducting business meetings, face to face, talking, engaging, communicating.  Face to face works because we have the benefit of facial expression, intonation of voice, body language that we simply don’t get from SMS or other forms of electronic communication.

However as I reflected on just how my meetings in these venues came about, I thought about the mechanics of how they had been achieved.

The initial introductions were communicated by email and followed up with a phone call.  Meetings were confirmed electronically, followed by SMS or other forms of messaging to confirm arrangements on the day.  Meetings were followed up electronically (again usually email).  All things that perhaps as little as two years ago would have been handled in a telephone conversation.

SMS, email, electronic forms of communication are more efficient, allowing us to get to more of the face to face stuff.  I look at my desk, there is not a dial-up hand – set in sight.  Yes I have the mobile, but Skype is open in the browser.  I don’t need the traditional handset anymore to do my job effectively.  I need to be able to communicate, sure and I fail to see as a recruiter how you can do your job at all well without meeting candidates face to face.  However my ability to stay in touch, to communicate is massively enhanced by the plethora of electronic forms of communication that are right in front of me.

All of this however worries me.  I can name a couple who would sit in the same room and text each (it didn’t last).   Is our increasing reliance on technology meaning we communicate more but talk (and indeed listen) less?   I cannot imagine a time when an interview will be conducted by SMS, Instant Messenger or email.  (Skype is a different story, it already has enormous value).  I cannot imagine hiring someone without the benefit of a face to face meeting.

The traditional dial – up call may well be in decline, but you cannot email a handshake.  Long live the handshake, let’s not let it die.

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Technology is key, Linkedin is the game changer

Historically recruitment was a bricks and mortar model.  That model hasn’t changed for 70 years. 

In previous blogs I have talked of the threats to the recruitment industry.  I have argued innovation is essential not only for our survival but frankly in order that we might evidence our true value for customers by unearthing the talent they need to realise their ambitions. 

The key to the future of the industry lies in Technology.  Take Skype by way of an example.  I have an old business partner of mine who had a great expression, you cannot email a handshake.  I couldn’t agree with him more.  

 I fail to see how you can do your job properly unless you have met and interviewed in-depth and detail the candidate you represent. 

We are dependent on so much more than skills and experience.  The interview gives us the opportunity to use our instincts, to assess a candidate through the essentials of non – verbal communication and in particular body language. 

Historically this would have been done in an office.  In prosperous times as markets were driven by candidate shortages the better recruiters recognised competition and went out in to the market to meet candidates on their terms, in a location convenient to them.  Consequently we have had a proliferation of coffee bar and hotel lobby recruiters and long may this continue. 

However, Skype has taken this on to yet another whole new level.  I can now interview a candidate, with video (recorded if of course I have their permission!) on the other side of the world sat in flip-flops and board shorts if that is what suits them best and I still have the benefit of the face to face interaction that I need to do my job properly.  

This is now so straightforward that I cannot last recall a time when my location was an issue for my customer.  The question has gone back to frankly what this job is all about, can you deliver the talent I need to meet the vision I have for my business?   

The game changer has been Linkedin.  A Recruiter has only ever been as good as the talent he or she is able to attract to their network.  Linkedin allows the recruiter to evidence to the client very visibly the strength of the network from which talent is derived. 

Linkedin does what every good recruiter always did, it asks your network who else do you know that you can refer me to in order that I might continue to grow my network and deliver ever greater calibre of candidate to my client.  Linkedin removes the need for cold calling.  It legitimizes “just staying in touch”.  It allows us to maintain the fine line between an appropriate level of contact with the customer and being a pain the proverbial. 

It allows us to keep candidates informed, staying in touch with them through our updates.  It is the most cost-effective marketing window to the world that we could ever have dreamed for.  It evidences our true value as recruiters, a great network populated with genuine, quantifiable talent.  It evidences in the simplest of ways our ability to connect people, for that is what we do and in that lies enormous value for people and organisations.   

I am stunned to see that there are still recruiters who have yet to embrace the single biggest game changer in recruitment in 70 years.  Job seeker, Hiring Manager, Recruiter, ignore it at your peril.

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