In a recent conversation about HR and recruiting, an acquaintance and I discussed the ‘age’ gaps in recruiting – namely, how a gap in ages between recruiter and recruit could negatively affect communication. Such an issue makes sense as it’s basically a generation/demographic gap, of course, so we mentioned it and went on with our conversation. We accepted such a gap as normal.
When we parted, that conversation stuck in my mind. Such a gap seemed normal to us. So what other gaps, I speculated, were out there that seemed normal – and we were so used to them it was, in fact a problem in recruiting and job seeking?
Very quickly, many, many gaps between recruiter and recruitee sprung to mind. As I review, I can think of many:
- The Age Gap – Obvious. It may be hard to communicate with people due to different cultural experiences.
- The Economic Gap – Now part of the age gap, a few years of difference means people grew up in radically different economies. This affects people’s ideas of jobs, what they’re seeking, and how well they’ll trust others. It also affects ability to move.
- The Technology Gap – Is gaping in many cases, as even a few years difference may mean people have greatly differing technical experiences. This makes it harder for people to understand and fill jobs – and understand when a lack of one skill is made up for in another.
- The Geek Gap – Geek may be chic, but still there’s a difference in people who are geek/less geeky. This is further amplified by technical gaps, meaning both gaps combine can create a situation where two people rarely understand each other.
- The Regional Gap – The economic and cultural gaps, in my experience, have made regional divisions even wider. Ever feel like someone from another city/state is speaking a different language? You’re probably right.
What am I trying to do by listing these? Frankly, looking at the things that may keep recruiters and recruitees from actually speaking the same language. It’s more meditation for you and I, my readers, than anything else.
What do I find as Iook at this? Actually I’m a bit disturbed. I can see a lot of these acting synergistically to create insanely huge levels of misunderstanding among intelligent people. Frankly, this makes me amazed two people of largely different ages, across the country, in different fields can even talk about jobs together . . .
This is also a reminder that we have to bridge these gaps, be we recruiter, candidate, or someone like me who’s a busybody trying to make this work. There’s a lot of different experiences that can separate us in the career world, so no matter who we are, we have to help bridge them.
Get to it . . .