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Prioritising Authentic Connections: Why Face-to-Face Meetings Matter

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It continues to surprise me week after week when meeting candidates for a coffee here in Perth’s CBD, to hear the phrase “this is the first time I’ve met a recruiter for coffee” or something along these lines. For an industry driven by personal relationships and a deeper understanding of candidates and clients to create meaningful connections and help businesses attract the best talent, it surprises me to hear that the in-person meeting is taking the back seat to the more ‘convenient’ Zoom or Teams meeting.

The last few years have rocked the working landscape, introducing some fantastic changes to drive better balance between working and personal lives—remote work and flexible hours, to name a couple. It has led to a normalisation of using virtual meetings for conversations where being in the same place at the same time just isn’t possible, but I didn’t quite think it would reach a point where it may completely replace the face-to-face meeting. Don’t get me wrong, I personally use Teams on a weekly basis for that very reason, where being in the same place at the same time just isn’t possible, but I still hold a primary focus on meeting in person wherever possible, and here’s why:


The largest differentiator, I believe, is the authenticity of the relationship developed when meeting face-to-face. In-person meetings are warmer, conversation more fluid due to the more natural cadence of conversation, and additionally having body language to comprehend. We are more likely to take natural tangents into personal areas of interest and opinion that allow me to better understand who they are as individuals, what they are enthusiastic and passionate about, as well as to gauge how they view the world. I feel that this type of conversation is far more engaging and memorable for both parties, and we walk away from it with a relationship built upon understanding and trust that we are on the same page.

However, why is this important? It’s important to me as I don’t feel that my role is solely to look for an individual that aligns with a list of job responsibilities. I see my value in being able to go above and beyond just the words and experience on a CV by providing my personal insight into candidates through my conversations with them—their interests, ideas, ambitions, hobbies, passions, and motivations. That’s how I can and have helped to create meaningful connections from the beginning between candidates and clients, by looking beyond just the position requirements.

So next time you are given the option between meeting via Teams or catching up over coffee or lunch, I encourage you, even on your busiest days, to choose the less 'convenient' option; see how truly valuable the time spent sitting across from one another is and pay close attention to both the depth and quality of the relationship that is built due to this deliberate choice.

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