Moving back from digital to analog – Job Board Doctor

Remember shaking a person’s hand? Going to a conference? Entering a building without masking up?

It may be hard to believe, but sometime over the next year, that world will reemerge. It won’t be exactly the same – but it will come. For those of us immersed in the job board and recruitment marketing world, we’ve been hip-deep in the digital world for years. Yet despite digitizing the job ad and hiring process, our industry retained a strong analog component – that’s a fancy way of saying ‘face to face’. Whether that was an ‘in-person’ interview, a trip to one of the many conferences, brainstorming ideas in the office, or sales trips to clients, the industry relied on analog – ‘real world’ – interactions.

Then came March 2020, and what was analog suddenly became digital (or at least, more digital).

Those meetings with clients moved to Zoom, as did job interviews. Employees began working at home. Conferences disappeared or became virtual.

It wasn’t hard for job boards and recruiting services to become full-blown digital – for many, they were already hip-deep in it. Our clients – at least 40% of them – also adjusted by moving employees to remote work, modifying how they handled hiring, and considering for the first time if they needed an office after all.

But…a lot of companies and workers didn’t have the luxury of digital. Their work remained stubbornly face-to-face. For them, the reemergence of the analog world is a mirage – it was always there for them. The reappearance of the rest of us is just going to make their world more crowded now.

Sure, the pandemic has changed the work world – but what will get kept, and what will be lost? How quickly do you expect to walk into a conference hall with 400 attendees? Or have an all-hands-on-deck meeting in the office? Or make that sales call over a private dinner with a client? Next week? Next month? Next year?

Everyone has their own sense of safety – one person’s ‘locked down’ is another’s ‘careless disregard’. The challenge for job board businesses – really, any business! – in moving back into the analog world is balancing risk and reward. For some businesses, the answer will be ‘remote forever’. For others, it will be some sort of hybrid model. And for others, it will be ‘back to the future’.

One thing is certain: moving from digital to analog – from ‘Zoom-life’ to the ‘real world’ – will pose challenges for all of us.

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