Are we in danger of losing the personal touch?

Recruitment has always been about people. Whether we are working on behalf of an organisation or on an individual basis with a candidate, the same key rules apply. We need to match the right experience and skill, team fit, personality, attitude, aptitude, ambition and location. However due to the explosion of technology and the simplicity of doing everything online these days, this is actually getting harder. If we are not careful we are in danger of losing the personal touch. Technology has brought huge positive changes to the way we recruit, both clients and candidates want access to new opportunities as quickly as possible, with many believing filling a vacancy is as simple as clicking a button. But for recruiters who genuinely care about what they are doing nothing can replace face-to-face communication. Due to the mass of opportunities that now exist on the internet, and the options available to jobseekers, people are now far less choosy about what job they apply for. Instead of matching their skills and experience to the right job, there is a much more “I will apply for everything and see what happens attitude” This results in multiple online applications, with candidates losing track of what they have applied for. Whether we are in a candidate driven  market (such as we are now) or a client driven market due to lack of jobs recruitment is still about people. And yes, we have to use all the online tools that are available to us, but it is imperative that this does not replace personal communication. For a recruiter even if it is just to ensure compliance, or sighting and checking original documentation, this should be the start of building a relationship with your candidates. Gaining full understanding of both client and candidate needs is always easier face-to-face, as there is only so much you can glean from an online application. Conversations will cover current needs, forward planning, market conditions, advice  as well as dealing with any concerns. This is particularly evident in today’s market, where candidates are at a premium, and where organisations are beginning to realise they may not be able to find the perfect candidate for every available position. For a recruiter, it is much easier to convince a client to be flexible about what they are looking for if they trust our judgement and also if we can tell them that we have built a relationship with the candidate and have full confidence in their abilities. In my mind technology is there to be used but people still “buy” from people.