I was recently in Fiji attending the annual RCSA conference. But before you tune out, this is not another wrap up of the conference – others have already done a better job of that than me (I admit that some of the morning sessions were a bit of a blur after being led astray the previous nights thanks to the high achievers club of a well-known agency!!!).
Now, I went to the conference somewhat sceptical and pretty sure I wasn’t going to get much out of it. I went basically because someone paid for me and there are worse things than spending a few days in Fiji. It was going to be a bunch of old recruitment farts talking about the same old shit. In any case, recruitment isn’t rocket science and I pretty much know what there is to know. So what the heck was I going to get out of the conference apart from sunburn?
How wrong was I?
Firstly, the speakers, topics and subject matter that were covered were truly excellent. I am not one for going over the top with compliments but they were seriously good. They didn’t just cover the same tired, old, boring recruitment stuff that we have all heard before. What they spoke about was a very broad insight into the future of the world, the future of business and as such the future of recruitment. We heard about how advances in technology and generational attitudes are changing and shaping the world we live in and in turn the way recruitment needs to adapt to fit in. These are the things that most of us have probably never even thought about, but clearly need to. It was new, fresh, exciting, modern, interesting – not the sort of stuff that you expect to hear at a recruitment conference.
But here is the thing ….
Whilst I can confirm that I was not actually the youngest there, a quick look around the audience suggests I was not far off! And I am 37! The majority were of a more mature age on the downslope of their successful recruitment careers. Greg Savage practically retired live on stage! Where were the under 30s, the new kids on the block who are going to be the future leaders of our industry? For an industry that is traditionally a young person’s game, there was a stark lack of them.
The clear message coming out of the conference was that those that don’t look to the future and understand the world of tomorrow are going to get left behind and quickly.. Unfortunately, most of the stuff that was discussed during this conference won’t go beyond Fiji because a lot of the people who embraced it won’t be working in the industry in 10 years. The people who need to be at the heart of these discussions are our younger recruiters that will be our future CEOs and leaders.
So, this a gentle, yet serious, call to arms for the younger folk of our industry to step up and get involved. Whatever your perception of the RCSA and our industry today – and it might not be great, like mine was – don’t just sit on the sidelines and complain from afar. Don’t let our industry be shaped by the older generation; otherwise there might not be an industry for you to work in.