I was sitting on a train coming back from London last week and it struck me just how much people are infatuated with the devices and gadgets in their lives. I was sitting in a carriage where the only sounds that could be heard were the tapping of keys and buzzing of phones until the silence was broken by one of life’s truly great sounds, a small child laughing. Much to the annoyance of many of the local residents, he continued chatting loudly and laughing with his Dad, which got me thinking about how we operate in our business.
When I started in recruitment, (many moons ago when and our key tools were slate and carrier pigeon) the only computers in the building were for administrators and Payroll, we had a box of client cards, a phone, running sheet and your Google search was conducted in the phone book and yellow pages. The map on the wall marked out your patch and away we went. Long gone are the days where we met every candidate and with the majority of cases hand delivered CV’s.
As recruiters our geographical territories have grown, for many of us to include an International reach, we deal with a vast amount of calls and emails from our clients, but with the advances in technology and the speed & urgency that is assigned to every task that we do, are we missing out on one of the key aspects of the role that I must admit I enjoyed the most, getting out and meeting our clients.
So are we missing a trick and is the relationship we have with our client as strong as it could be? I am not saying we should return to the dark ages, but are we getting too reliant on hiding behind calls and emails, I remember a time when if there was an issue with a client, we used to go and sit in front of them and have a good grovel.
Ask your recruiters a question and see what the response is, if there was a power cut and we lost internet, what would you do? Some would try to make do on their phones, some will ask to go home, how many would grab some brochures & business cards, jump in the car and head to a trading estate or walk up the street to the business centre and go and knock on some doors?
In an age of technology, smart phones, apps and websites, are we missing out on the personal touch, as the old adage is still true: People buy from People.