Is this getting a bit personal for you?
I was interested to read some recent research assessing which brands behave like humans, and how this impacts on consumer perception and loyalty. Taking into consideration a range of variables including receiving personalised emails, being able to actually reach a human being to talk to, apologising readily when required and being flexible enough to veer from the "process" to deliver a personalised service, it has identified traits that apply to these "Human Era" brands. These include being open and honest, even flawed, talking and acting like people, and being empathetic. Unsurprisingly its key recommendations were that adopting some of these behaviours can make a significant positive impact.
Of course this is almost diametrically opposed to trends in consumer behaviour, with so many real life interactions being played out online, recorded, posted, tweeted and shared. It seems to me that trends in real human interaction on a personal level is moving away from this "Human Era" ideal.
And to some extent, it is reflected in candidates - our real live human applicants themselves. As digital recruitment boards and continually emerging technologies make it ever easier to apply for roles without making any personal contact at all, we find increasing numbers of applications for the same roles, fewer calls returned and less personal contact.
I feel this is a real shame. I love the open, honest conversations we have on a regular basis with all our candidates and clients who do pick up the phone, respond and meet us face to face. It's what should form the foundations of any business whose real product is its many brilliant people.