Just a few weeks ago, one of the hottest things trending on social media timelines in Germany was the local Clubhouse launch. Alongside the veritable tsunami of hype heaped on the new audio app, it’s also attracted its fair share of criticism.

Cool chats – but not at the millionaire’s breakfast table

Every time a new platform launches, I always ask myself: OK – work or pleasure? For the last 15 years, answering ‘work’ for me means as part of employer branding and recruitment. Perhaps the new app offers me a new set of people to network with and learn from? And could we use this channel to get in touch with potential candidates and showcase our company as an attractive employer? After all, that’s exactly what I do here at TÜV Rheinland.

So what is Clubhouse? Well, it’s like a live podcast. Countless rooms filled with people talking about things and discussing them with others. At first, my interest piqued, I chose a session at random and accidentally found myself a guest at the ‘Millionaire’s Breakfast Club’. Not really my thing, to be honest… so I switched gear and decided to explore Clubhouse in a professional capacity. Things rapidly improved after that. Many of my professional contacts had been active from the outset and there have already been some fascinating talks and topics. Yet I get the impression that discussions so far have been kept ‘in the industry’ and have not really involved applicants. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops. And there have been a few iconoclasts among us: some suggesting the app will replace the job advertisement, for example. OK, it’s a bold vision – but one I’d much rather get involved in than breakfast chit-chat with a bunch of millionaires.

What do applicants really want?

And it’s obviously great to have ground-breaking ideas aired – perhaps there’s even a way to fast-track them? But hold on a minute: haven’t we been here before – with Snapchat, TikTok, etc.? Isn’t this jumping the gun, driven by a fear of missing out and to the devil with the fine detail? Just make sure you come up with the crazy idea before the other guy – and the more ‘blue sky’, the better? Well, some of us do have to keep our feet on the ground. It’s our job to communicate with candidates and, ideally, to make sure their needs are being met. So what is it that applicants really and truly want? Are they looking forward to being hit up on the umpteenth chat platform launched over the last few years? Debatable, I’d say. We know the answer, anyway:

They actually want to get their hands on visually appealing, easy-to-find information about employers. They want job ads that are easy to read. And a simple, speedy and straightforward application procedure. If they get a rejection, they want an honest answer from the company about why they weren’t picked. All of these points touch on areas where employers still struggle to make the grade. Anyone who’s survived the job application process has their own personal story to tell on that score.

Applicants want …

“… to get their hands on visually appealing, easy-to-find information about employers. They want job ads that are easy to read. And a simple, speedy and straightforward application procedure.”

Keep it simple, keep it quick

The underlying reasons are pretty complex and this post isn’t the place to go through them. So let’s just leave it as a given. Although – that’s what companies do, of course. For many HR units, the goal of truly catering to the actual requirements of their applicants and really giving their candidates what they want seems to be an unattainable proposition. Whether it’s down to a lack of resources, budget, internal clout or know-how, the goal remains just out of reach. Perhaps the internal processes are just too tangled up and difficult to untwine?

So what does all this have to do with Clubhouse and similar kinds of social apps? Simple: platforms like this offer us the chance to take quick, decisive action and get things moving along in no time at all. Much more easily than when working within hierarchies and similar structures. In this example, you don’t even need a budget. A dream come true for those facing cuts and fewer resources. It’s the perfect way to go from endless planning to actually ‘Getting Things Done’.

Stop the world, I want to get on

While I’ll admit to having viewed the anthill-like activities of new media in their early days with some skepticism, getting to grips with innovation right away is obviously the right move. Especially at the moment, when everything’s still in flux. Wherever we go, digitalization is always in the fast lane. The world of work is being reconceived and redesigned in many different industries. Of course, this also includes communication inside companies, and with their customers and job applicants. Right now, it’s wall-to-wall video conference calls. Who knows how long the hype will last and just how long the new platform will hold its own? The world of social media is nothing if not fast-paced. But perhaps that’s exactly why it’s important to be a part of it.

Clubhouse is just the latest in a long line of launches. New channels and platforms will come, others will go. Yet as I see it – and I think this applies to a lot in our professional lives: it’s OK to make mistakes. So: out of our comfort zones, into the blue yonder. Ultimately, we all develop as individuals, too – because the future belongs to the brave!

Author

Andy Fuchs

Andy Fuchs

Team leader personnel marketing

Andy Fuchs is team leader in the area of personnel marketing and responsible for the employer image of TÜV Rheinland. Since communication with applicants is increasingly taking place on different social media channels, posting, sharing, chirping and blogging are also a major part of his daily work. Born in East Westphalia, he moved to Cologne 15 years ago, where the joie de vivre of the Rhinelanders in general and the people of Cologne in particular initially seemed like a small culture shock. In the meantime, however, a life without the cathedral, Rhine and carnival is hardly imaginable for him.

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