In these days of ever increasing dependency on the Internet it is important to remember that ‘personal contact’ is still imperative to maintain success – building up and retaining personal business relationships by regular phone calls and meetings is the key to developing and more importantly, retaining valuable business relationships and partnerships. I fondly remember, way back in 1988 when I first started with Jenrick CPI as a bright-eyed eager to learn ‘snapper’ – when it was drummed into me just how important personal contact was to be successful in the recruitment world. In those good old days I’d rush off at a moments notice to see a client (over a beer or two, maybe the odd sandwich thrown in) to hear what they had in mind. Perhaps it was a new project, or just exchanging ideas etc, scribbling away madly on the back of an old fag packet – picking the client’s brains for thoughts and ideas. I loved the challenge, this was ‘real’ recruitment – just great! - rushing back to base - furiously looking through all my old contacts and favourite contractors I knew & could rely on then belt back to see the client, arriving with three of my best CV’s to discuss their respective merits and giving an insight into their personalities - strengths and any perceived weakness and explain how they work and would fit in the client’s team. That’s what I call real personal service – and it worked! Though with the invent of the Internet, email and SMS etc, a whole new ball game had opened up. Yes, meticulous searches on the database, internet and job boards etc still allowed the ‘winging’ of three of my best CV’s, cc’d to others – looking very smart, neat and professional – but does not tell the full story. . . .
On the downside (email wise) who can say hand-on-heart they wished they could turn the clock back instantly when they pressed the ‘Send & Receive’ button. Obvious glaring spelling mistakes (maybe in haste) - ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ – springs to mind. Email sent to the wrong person with possible, severe repercussions. Email misconstrued / misunderstood in what you were trying to say / achieve – which could on some occasions lose the clients trust, goodwill, friendship etc. The morale of the story is the internet / email is an exciting tool to use to your advantage if used in the ‘right way’ – but always remember, nothing and I mean nothing can replace good old fashioned ‘personal contact’ – it is the real key to a genuinely successful working partnership Some of my present working relationships have lasted 5,10,15 and even 20 years in some cases. When they move to new employment – we continue our rapport – often helping them secure their new position. They in turn use us as a valued supplier in their new job, if they are in a hiring position or recommending us to their colleagues who are in these positions.
In conclusion – I firmly believe that the age of modern Internet with all its amazing tools – would be nothing without personal interaction.
"It’s good to talk, laugh, smile, share ideas, agree or disagree over regular meetings. Combine this with the Internet and you have a very powerful cocktail for continued success."
Chris Chilton has worked with Jenrick CPI for over 18 years and is one of the most experienced account managers within UK I.T. Recruitment.