What’s wrong with
a bit of nostalgia,
in a fast-moving world?
Twitter has just surreptitiously launched itself in a hybrid format, with a name harking back to when it was first conceived – twttr – in beta mode for now and only to selected testers, to gauge public reaction.
Which got us thinking…
That however exciting the rise and adoption of new technology, we can’t quash a sneaking suspicion that sometimes, just sometimes, the old ways had something. Something that manages to drag us back again, nostalgically, to the past. Hindsight can, after all, be a comforting thing.
Otherwise, how can we explain that Gen Z – those remarkable under-24-year-olds now joining the workforce, who have never known life without smartphones or Spotify – are paying way over the odds for music on good old-fashioned vinyl? Even though they lack the means to play their scratchy records?
Because, of course, mum and dad have moved on to smart speakers and streaming when they want to listen to their Beatles or Sade or Bruce Springsteen.
And as we mark thirty years of the world wide web, we almost squirm with pained delight as every radio and TV news broadcast celebrates by playing the old screeching dial-up tone.
And we congratulate ourselves that we’ve moved on from those days. Imagine a time when you could only make a phone call or use the internet, but not both at the same time!
But we also wonder whether there’s something else from the past we should be hanging on to, as we keep pace with – and look to supersede – modern ways of recruiting.
Which is keeping people, individuals, at the centre of the transaction.
It’s amazing to be able to harness bots and algorithms and machine learning, and we’re the first to employ the latest and most frictionless methods for processing 4.5 million applications and 2 million CV searches each month.
But we need to remember that everyone in this world of recruitment is human, from the newest applicants to those at the top of the process.
And we’re sure most HR Managers will have got involved in this field in the first place because they wanted to get the very best out of people. To find and nurture talent, and to build and retain a great team. And that especially applies to those who now have the least time, and probably little day-to-day contact with the very people on whom the company depends.
So, to those people, may we suggest that once you’ve uploaded your daily performance analytics and studied your team reports, you head off home, kick off your office shoes and enjoy some good old-fashioned time off. Perhaps with a book or a magazine, or watching something from the 80s or 90s you used to look forward to before Netflix and catch-up were a part of everyday life.
We probably all agree that running a business would be near-impossible without digital technology, big data, and the web.
But it would actually be completely impossible without our people, and is something we should all remember and celebrate.
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