So, you’re sat at your desk checking your emails, work and personal, you recently started using multiple monitors so you can keep networking on LinkedIn whilst browsing the job boards or masterfully navigating your CRM. Your calendars are synced, you use your landline to ring clients whilst texting a colleague to confirm your availability for a lunchtime meeting, that no doubt he booked via the restaurants app and that you’ll uber your way over to.
Okay, you get the picture there’s a lot going on and I haven’t had any non-electronic communication with anyone today, even my lunch was bought by using the self-service checkout, wouldn’t want to pause my podcast, and ordering my coffee via the app makes that interaction last less than 10 seconds.
If you’re reading this and thinking either, this sounds familiar or, hang on Toby, you spoke to the Barista? Why didn’t you just grunt and smile awkwardly? Well, you aren’t alone, according to a study conducted at Swansea University as many as 10% of us are actually addicted to our smart phones, and that’s just in the UK, the US and East Asia leave us miles behind.
So why is this such an issue? In an age where thousands of pieces of information are at our finger tips should we be worried about how much time we devote to the digital world? Or how awkward it feels using post-its to make notes?
Is the intense reliance we have on technology to, both assist, and in some cases, do our work, a misguided one. After all we in recruitment base our whole career around choosing people, yet are we starting to forget the importance of human interaction in the field we work in. despite the ease with which we can manage multiple accounts from the office, home, the gym and even when having a tinkle in Leigh Delamare Services.
It is paramount that we remember those colleagues of ours are human, interact with them and you’ll learn, it’s how we get “Inspired By People,” by speaking with them. With your Clients, don’t relegate them to emails and the odd phone call, if you can try and pop in to see them, it’s the best way to check all is okay, and to remind yourself of that company’s culture, after all, how can you ascertain whether someone is the right fit for a client if you’ve forgotten who that client really wants to be seen as. Don’t let them become an email address with a couple of names and numbers, there’s no people skill with that, only data entry.
Next, and quite possibly the most important thing is, at the very minimum have a proper phone call with any candidate you’re considering, check out their social media and build a picture of this person whose career, their life, you are lucky enough to have the responsibility of changing. Let them complete a Myers-Briggs type indicator or another personality test, but don’t let that be your only resource, use your instincts. You moved into recruitment because you got people, you’ve always been a good judge and know you could link the right person to the right dream. So don’t outsource your gut to machines, and never let yourself utter the ‘their CV seemed okay’ speech, as recruiters our job is to champion our candidates, but as professionals our job is to also do our homework, and one conversation will tell you more than a thousand emails. After all, who wrote that CV? Who penned that cover letter? And who has been feeding lines to your candidate. Meeting them removes this obstruction and allows you to truly paint a picture for your client.
So, my message this week is, no matter how flashy your tech, who doesn’t like seeing that email pop up on their Apple Watch? Convenient, right? No stay on track, this is important. This is my request, let us make a covenant together, for one week cut right down on your internal emails, use them as a confirmation of your chat, but go and talk! BT were so right, “It’s good to talk.” Speak to a human, our business is people and it’s time we remembered that.