Today I was given the names of two AS/400 software developers. While I was still on the phone with the person who provided me the names I clicked a linkedin tab (I generally have several open in Firefox at any given time) and typed in their names. Lots of results but no one local much less with AS/400 or RPG. So I googled the names. Still nothing. I finished my call and thought that I would do something I had been taught when I first started recruiting. I was going to look in the phone book.
So I looked for my phone book and did not see it out. I stared looking through my cabinets and drawers and still could not find it. It finally dawned on me that I did not have a phone book. I further realized that I had been in my present office for over a year and in that time I had never used it, much less realized that I did not have one.
That brought me back to a conversation I had in the morning. I was at a breakfast meeting for entrepreneurs and I met someone starting a new business in PR. At some point the conversation turned to linkedin and that she was having trouble getting her account started. Another person at the table was amazed that in her profession she was not already deep into linkedin. We gave her some suggestions and exchanged business cards. I expect that I will be connecting with her some time soon, and probably making further suggestions for her use of linkedin.
On a regular basis I tell people that I use linkedin every day and that it is the most valuable tool I have as a recruiter. Today I was surprised at just how far this had gone and how ingrained it is in my daily recruiting practices. So much so that I have not used the phone book in a year and did not even miss it.
This also means that social media and especially linkedin have taken a major place in our culture. To be a business professional and NOT have a detailed linkedin profile is considered a social blunder. It is now almost a requirement and not just for technology professionals but for businesses and people from all professions. Even my wife who is a doula has a linked profile. There are even consultants who help people create a better and more effective profile!
I am sure that I can find a phone book and I have other ways to track down those two people. But recruiting has changed forever.