New Kool vs Old Skool

Posted on February 24, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

This is first of my blogs following on from TruLondon 3 initially mentioned in my last blog The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. This piece is mainly aimed at Recruiters but I would also value any comments and views from those in other sectors.

 

TruLondon 3. We are all listening but communicating in a non verbal way as well!

The Good

 

New Kool vs Old Skool was  a track hosted by Greg Savage. Greg is a recruitment veteran from Australia and the CEO of Firebrand Talent Search,  a recruitment business that specialises in permanent recruitment solutions across the Marketing, Creative and Digital sectors.  I could tell you more about Greg and how much I admire and respect his views on recruitment but that would be getting off the point – have a read of his blog The Savage Truth and you will see what I mean.

This was the best track I attended at TruLondon, partly because it was on a subject of great interest to me but largely because it was attended by a great group of recruiting professionals and many of them contributed enthusiastically to the discussion. Unusually there were not any major disagreements in the room but interestingly this didn’t make the discussion any less interesting and thought provoking.

The central debate was about the changing nature of recruitment and the question was posed ‘Are traditional recruiting skills still as relevant today as they were before social recruiting and social media existed?’

By ‘traditional recruiting skills’ in a recruitment consultancy context, I interpret this to mean the following;

  • Communication
  • Influence
  • Judgement
  • Networking

In my view a good recruiter should be a great communicator but social networking has changed this to some extent in that non verbal communication (i.e. blogging, LinkedIn Group discussions, status updates and tweeting) is more important then it used to be and Recruiters can now be less reliant on verbal communication skills. The traditional view was always that recruiters needed to have the ‘gift of the gab’ but social media communication channels mean that knowledgeable individuals with a passion for their subject can influence their market/community without needing such strong verbal communication skills.

Whilst this might be true, the question was posed “what about closing a deal”? The sales skills involved in finalising a successful deal (winning an assignment or making a placement) are largely verbal and this is still the case today – that said I always found ‘closing’ was remarkably simple with clients or candidates who I had a strong relationship with and that relationship could be somewhat built via online interaction these days!

Communication and networking are the foundation for a successful career as a Recruiter. If enough people know you, respect your views and can see that you are very well connected then you are more than halfway to being a successful Recruiter (the rest is down to attitude). In this respect ‘New kool’ online techniques are proving to be very effective, Old Skool techniques still play a part but I would argue that a modern day successful recruiter is evolving into a different animal.

This leads onto some very important questions that recruitment company leaders should be asking themselves;

  • Are we measuring the right KPI’s (Key performance indicators) these days or are we continuing to monitor activities that were more relevant 10 years ago?
  • Are we recruiting the right people or should we be evaluating different skills when employing consultants?

Interesting food for thought!

What do you think?

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8 Responses to “New Kool vs Old Skool”

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I found it to be the most interesting track too Mark, as did most of the Old School recruiters in attendance.

You’re absolutely right that the KPI’s or ways we measured success in the past, simply can’t be used in the same way today. It’s easy to add up fees generated, but counted the number of interviews with candidates, CV’s sent and cold calls just doesn’t cut it, especially when expert recruiters are cultivating their own specialist niche, and developing key referers of business and candidates.

I don’t have a recruitment team right now Mark, but would be interested to hear how you would monitor and measure the daily progress of a group of recruiters.

Thanks Stephen.
I also don’t have to manage a team of recruiters any more and so I am very conscious that it is very easy to sit here on the sidelines offering views – making these changes may be somewhat more difficult!
That said if I was implementing KPI’s these days they would probably look something like this;
– # of LinkedIn group discussion points posted
– # of blog posts.
– # of new LI connections made via all SM channels
– # of LinkedIn questions answered
– # of LinkedIn Polls created
In some markets Tweets & FB posts might be applicable as well.

As well as some of the more traditional ones.

My personal preference with KPI’s is to encourage and then measure activities and outcomes rather than having hard targets. The indicators are also the trends more than the actuals.
Have I missed any out?

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Valentina Dal Mas and Elisabeth Garrett, Jon Ryley. Jon Ryley said: New Kool vs Old Skool. Are Recruiters evolving? Further thoughts following #TruLondon 3 http://wp.me/pJrtj-45 […]

Social networking is an integral part to a recruitment process, and if a recruiter isn’t utilising LinkedIn, it is a concern. It should be used as a tool, like psychometric testing for example. If someone’s results on a psychometric test fit the needs of the client, you would send them on a short list based on that.

Although social networking has changed how recruiters resource candidates and develop business, it is important to maintain all verbal communication, otherwise where is the ‘buy in’ from clients and candidates? It is also key in being able to control a process from being to end, who knows who else your new connection on LinkedIn is talking to?

I do believe that company may be out of date with the KPI’s used to measure a consultant level & output of work. For instance, there are some recruitment companies that measure phone times, in other words how many hours a consultant has been on the phone a week. This is no longer truly reflective of the work a individual may be doing, as using tools such as LinkedIn, Xing & Facebook are not recorded. This then raises the issue of qualitative versus quantitative. Are consultants making calls to whom ever to get their times up? How will recruitment companies benefit from that?

If you’d asked me 10 years ago about connections, I’d immediately be thinking RS232, RJ45 and CAT5 structured cabling.

As someone who is in the process of looking for employment at the moment, I found it concerning that of the recruiters that I spoke to only 50% connected with me via LinkedIn, the others I had to make the connection. I also noted that some of them never even bothered to look me up via LinkedIn.

Thanks Mark, I might add blog comments to the list to see how engaged the readers were. Then you can reframe the material in future posts to “capture the mood”.

Take care,

@jasoncobine


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