Friday, March 18, 2016

Productivity: Oh How I Love Technology, But Hate the Time Change

This week has been a tough one for me.  I am most productive in the afternoon/evening, and with the time change I could work up until 8 pm or later, and did frequently this week.  But that does make the work/life balance a bit unbalanced.  Tack on a sick 8 year-old and it made the juggle a bit harder this week.  

Loving to get everything cleaned up before the weekend, I was sitting at my desk this evening, Friday evening, about to declare victory over my inbox, when I had an epiphany.  Things have greatly improved for recruiters in the last 20 years.  

Yes friends, I've been recruiting top talent for the last 20 years, and sometimes it hits me how things have changed.  Let's take a look:

Email:  Wow--I can be in touch with people, have a conversation with them, over days, weeks, months and even years.  With a quick search in my email I can find out where a conversation left off with a winemaker, get details on what states a salesperson has experience with, and catch up with clients in an instant.  While I was an early adopter of email having worked in the tech space, it wasn't widespread for years, and not everyone I needed to deal with used email until more recently.  So how did we communicate?  Faxes and letters.  So slow!  Faxing used to be a big activity.  I don't even have a fax machine now.   

Cell Phones:  Back in the day very few people had cell phones.  I remember having my big flip phone and wondering how it linked to other phones.  Was it a direct antenna to antenna link?  Some people thought so.  And making that first international cell phone call was magic!  Now we think nothing of it.  But the cell phone has transformed the speed at which I can talk to a candidate.  I used to have to time my calls in the evening to reach people at home, or leave a message on an answering machine, and hope they got back to me the next day.  Now I can dial up a number, and if my recipient can pick up that call, they will.  If they are in a compromising situation, such as sitting with their boss in a company meeting, they can let it go to voicemail and get back to me later.  EXCELLENT.  And they often know immediately it is me calling, due to caller ID and saving contacts easily in your smartphone.  The ability to reach someone quickly, and often immediately, lets recruiting move so fast.  

Texting:  Texting, how I love you.  Texting is the next greatest invention to allow me to reach people at all times, to get searches moving, to keep offers headed towards a yes, and to coordinate rendezvous.  And you can text with people around the world and feel like they are right there next to you because you can instantly get feedback, updates and decisions.  And if you are in a tight spot, such as still sitting next to your boss, you can often quickly shoot off a text without anyone knowing.  

Social Media:  Social media for me is like being in the corner coffee shop, but being in the corner coffee shop in every neighborhood I need to be in.  Back in the dark ages, before social media, the only way people could know what you were up to is to see you, or to talk so someone who knew you.  Now you simply put a picture of what you are doing up on Facebook, and everyone immediately can see what you are up to.  Living outside of the epicenter of the wine business, social media has allowed me to form connections with people around the world, and stay on top of what's going on with friends, clients and job seekers.  And yes job seekers, it can let me see if you are a party animal, a bit odd, or a great photographer.  All things we recruiters like to check up on whenever possible.  

Productivity Tools:  Starting in recruiting, we used to get our paper resumes batch processed by a firm in Nogales, Arizona.  The resumes were transcribed at first, and later scanned into the master database.  Then we had to use our Boolean search methods to find the resumes we needed.  A bit tedious, and very underwhelming in quality.  And oh those DOS screens.  Green glowing letters.  Now I can put all my documents up on the cloud and get to my files from anywhere I am, on any device I am using.  Not to mention using a smartphone to run my business while traveling.  And thankfully, not lugging along my huge laptop bag with a million power cords, modems and phone cables.  

But still, I am run by the sun, and my body knows that I can work best when the sun is reaching the western horizon.  With sunset being at 7:16 tonight, i have a few more minutes to be productive.  And check my inbox to see if any stellar candidates got back to me about interviewing.