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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at jasonblais.com. I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Feb 23, 2009

RFL: Forget Corporate Social Responsibility

Forget Corporate Social Responsibility, What About CONSUMER Social Responsibility!

I believe it's time for us all to take a step back, and remember the value of human interaction both in life and in business. Businesses shouldn't simply depend on automation solutions or online applications or e-commerce strategies to grow and build market share. Unfortunately, it's up to consumers to demand more, and it seems that the majority are just too busy with their mobile devices listening to music, watching videos, texting, and calling, or going online to see how popular they can be on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or a Ning network. If, as a country, we've already given away our status as a producer of goods, then the burden of our domestic value and economic strength falls on the shoulders of our consumers. That being the case, we must all become smarter and more thoughtful as we consume.

Somehow, online businesses have succeeded in convincing the masses that avoiding human interaction and local contact is a GOOD thing. And that we're better off not having a local insurance carrier or bank or anything else for that matter. For a few dollar savings, we've allowed ourselves to accept that it's in our best interest to pay less and receive less service.

In the world I operate in, recruitment advertising, this issue is growing out of control. Some larger employers have become to time-sensitive, they've removed human contact from parts of the recruiting process, relying solely on applicant screening applications. Try speaking with a hiring manager at a Borders, Sears, or other multi-national giant. It's likely that you can't even hand in a paper resume any more, let alone speak with someone about the job opening to find out more. Not too long ago I asked the store manager at a Sears who looked at the applications once they were completed at the in-store kiosk. Surprise! She had no idea. If the applicant was cleared by someone "at the home office", the store would get a call to let them know when the applicant would be coming in for an interview.

Ever have a question about the validity of job postings on an internet job board? Who did you ask to get more information or confirm that the job was legitimate? I didn't think so. While I am truly proud of the success of the job boards I work with, I am most proud of our focus on the local markets we serve. I'm almost embarrassed to share this, but once I was told that the only reason an employer used our site, was that when she called, she spoke with a live person who was familiar with her account, and that we gave her assistance over the phone to help ensure her recruiting success. Since when did answering the phone and giving advice to your customers become a unique sales proposition?!

Anyway, I'm getting off track. Today I just wanted to ask everyone to be thoughtful about how you consume.

Is it good or bad to pay $10 more for a running shoe that's made in the USA (yes, there's still one company making shoes on US soil- keep up the good work New Balance!)?

It it better to physically go to the bank that employs 20 or so of your neighbors who, in turn, buy from the local grocers, attend local theater, and pay taxes to support the local schools, than it is to get an extra tenth of a % on your savings account and enjoy the convenience of using an online bank?

The decisions we make do matter, in life and in business. Whether you're buying goods, or recruiting staff, remember this: There are always unintended consequences for every action. Will your actions more likely produces positive unintended consequences, or negative?

6 comments:

David Coethica said...

Hi Jason

Your blog struck a chord with me, not as a CSR expert but also as an individual. People have gotten lazy. We pass responsibility many times every day to an overly automated society we now live in.

We all have take responsibility for our own actions, regardless of cost but that is too much for too many. I agree completely about your particular point about recruitment as I have seen too many people use a tick box approach because it speeds up the process. At the end of the day you employ people not tick boxes. There are some great success stories all over from organisations that take time and look at attitude and even take risks on gut feeling. I saw this first hand when involved in a homelessness project and ended up with a great employee no questionnaire or software would have ever produced.

I also saw this recent website about Personal Social Responsibility which may be worth a look - www.personalsocialresponsibility.com

bizdirector said...

@Jason

Buy local is more than a slogan for me. Whenever possibly, I want to contribute to the health of the local economy, and report after report indicates that money invested in local businesses pays brings a much higher return, than spending it at Wal-Mart, or some other retailer headquartered elsewhere, and like Sears, makes all its decisions elsewhere. According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, three times as much money stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally owned businesses instead of large chain stores.

@ David

Taking personal responsibility for our own actions needs to be more than just something we pay lip service to.

You make a great case for the personal element of recruiting in your example of working for a homelessness project.

Much of the workforce training I'm involved in relies on the support of local businesses in endorsing, and ultimately hiring many of the people we're training.

Interestingly, we've never been able to build the kind of close relationships necessary to make private/public programs work with large, impersonal, absentee corporations, headquartered elsewhere.

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