New Kool vs Old Skool

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.


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?