Cloud Recruiting

August 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

By Jim Fox, Senior Vice President, HR

I’ve been thinking about Cloud Computing a lot this year.  What other choice do I have given how much it’s hyped and praised as a break-through, competitive advantage, and business necessity?  It really came to a head when Apple announced its impending iCloud product in June.  I had a flashback to 1984 when I owned a Commodore Vic20 and my friend’s step-father had a terminal in his home office that connected to a mainframe computer at the local university where he worked.  The war of mainframe versus personal computer was raging at the time. 

In the years since, it seemed that the personal computer had won the productivity, entertainment, and access war, but we have also been talking about the benefits of software-as-a-service and saving files to network drives – at least backing up files to the network.  More so than winning the war, maybe the personal computer and mainframe had signed a treaty.   Enter the game-changing “cloud.”  Steve Jobs noted in the Apple announcement, “We’re going to move the digital hub and the center of your digital life, into the cloud.”  Real time access to information anywhere, anytime.

And so it goes with recruiting.  I should mention SourceCon 2008 and Michael Marlatt before I use the term “cloud recruiting.”  While I know everything that can be said has been said, I was surprised to see the term taking center-stage in 2008 and Michael’s related reference to the Beatles in 1961.

My point is the cloud is not new, but rather the evolution of tools to facilitate the expert execution of age-old fundamentals.  Like backing up your files to the network drive can save you a world of effort later, learning and leveraging cloud recruiting tools can save you time, improve your results, and make you look like a hero.  They enable searching, networking, organizing, anytime, anywhere but do not replace reaching out to people, listening to them, and working with hiring managers to really understand the position requirements and the culture in which candidates need to operate.  They do not replace tenacity, respectfulness or social intelligence.

In another flashback, I recall the 1986 movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the lead character, Ferris said, “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  He knew who he was, what tools to use and how to succeed.  He was a kid that knew to look at the reservation list of the posh restaurant to find a name to get him in the door.  He was also quick enough to use his network and technology to get him into the restaurant after he used the wrong name.  I’m not proposing that you play hooky like Ferris – on the contrary, I encourage you to keep looking around to find new ways to put your fundamental skills to use.  Keep your data in the clouds and your hand on the phone.

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