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It's all different now, but really no different than it has been!

There's been a lot of talk recently about doing things differently in all spheres of our life to comply and align with the "new order" that we are faced with every corner we turn. I don't need to list these as the list will be almost endless and because everyone is affected differently in their own way.

And nowhere is it more prevalent than in the recruitment field, and to be frank, we are leading the charge. The world has changed forever, Governments are governing differently, companies have had to change and rethink strategy, and of course people have had to adjust their lives and their livelihood. So it makes sense that two of these components that make up the composition of the workforce - companies and people - require a different approach to the essential "linking" that puts the two together. But a different definition of different, which I'll come back to.

The advent of the Internet and Social Networking has seen the interlinking and communication between people in an almost lightening-like way and for those of us who use Skype and Skypemail, or similar methods of communication, it creates instant communication and response. The dynamics of communication have changed in that once the button is pushed, you can't retract what has been communicated, whereas with the humble letter that sat ready to be posted, could be retracted or not posted once either the emotions subsided, or the view was modified.

I've seen a few articles and questions posed about social networks and their role in our industry, and many comments (mainly from wide eyed IT people..) as to how these networks will be the vehicles that people will both manage their careers, and that companies will source talent - because both get to know each other "intimately". Well, can I politely say "Rubbish"! I have yet to see any evidence or any statistics that point to this as happening, and the only anecdotal evidence is that "it's going to happen, it must happen".

The facts are this. Social Networks are just that - social networks. They are there for "defined connecting purposes". They are a new dimension for transmitting information and creating discussion, imitating an environment where in the past people would chat, share views, slap each other's back, touch, see each other eye to eye. But they also are a dangerous environment where information can be falsified, hyped, and stretched - certainly not the risk environment that "supplies" your workforce.

Can I draw a rugby analogy. The rules have changed, the players are different, it's become professional, and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, no matter how hard you try! But in the end, the game hasn't changed much. It's about getting the ball over the line and between the posts. Recruitment is the same. People in roles doing what they do best for specific outcomes.

Graham Henry still personally coaches, and uses Assistant Coaches and specialists, and they use technology cleverly to help them gather information to facilitate their coaching better. We know he uses texting, but technology hasn't replaced the personal touch and the grit that face-to-face coaching achieves. And talent selection is exactly the same - using technology to facilitate the process much faster and more efficiently, but utilising personal expertise to select and get the right person over the line.

So what then is our definition of "different"? Well, by not being too different to how it's always been, by simply being more efficient via technology, having the best expertise on board, and in our sphere, keeping costs low to ensure that you receive fair value and low cost services. And it's really not that hard to do that!

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