The Good, The Bad and The Cautious

Conference season is in full swing. In recent weeks I’ve attended four recruitment and HR conferences at which – surprise surprise – one of the burning topics was yet again social media.

Clearly it’s a subject that won’t go away – nor should it – but I can certainly detect a shift in attitudes with companies showing a distinct interest, even keenness, to embrace the opportunities.

Most heart-warmingly it was at Recruitment International’s seminar for SME recruitment agencies that I noticed a big shift. I delivered the session ‘The Key to Social Media’ which I started with the question ‘how many companies here have a twitter account?’ to find that over half did! Not only that, but they wanted to learn how to use them properly and get more from them!

I won’t repeat my session here. Suffice to say that leading them through the industry’s communication journey of phone and rolodex, to fax, then computer, e-mail, mobile and now social media highlighted that it’s an evolution not a revolution and companies will adapt much as they have done previously.

This approach helps to focus on the conversation not the medium. On participation, openness, conversation, community and the benefits of connectedness… and the rules of engagement as opposed to the fear of the unknown.

After all, with our previously preferred communication tools now seen as the biggest distractions in the workplace, and new trainees much more adept at communicating through social channels and messaging as opposed to the traditional land-line phone, this is a shift we may all have to accommodate sooner rather than later.

However it’s not all optimism and a sense of adventure at a conference now…there’s the ubiquitous presentation from a law firm to sit through. And don’t they see things differently!

We hear of benefits and opportunities from companies, then of problems and risks from the lawyers. Continue reading “The Good, The Bad and The Cautious”