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The Little Things

(May 02, 2007) Over the years, I have unavoidably become Gerry Crispin fans. Without a doubt, he is the nicest and most well connected guy in the Recruiting Industry. That's going some distance when you consider that the industry is built around connectors.

In all of these years, I've rarely heard anything but kind words for Gerry and his partner Mark Mehler. Career Crossroads, their multi-year joint project, has become a centerpiece in both candidate education and the dissemination of best practices. More than a few folks have failed to reconcile the two sides of the recruiting puzzle. Gerry and Mark seem to get better at it with each passing day.

They offer a number of free information services:

What got me thinking about Gerry was something almost unrelated to his great work. The signature at the end of a recent email included a wonderful picture, the usual contact information and the following text:

The Staffing Strategy Connection

I am committed to writing, researching and sharing my adventures, opinions and data about evolving staffing models with the HR profession, clients and friends. Together with my business partner, Mark Mehler, I strive to observe and influence new and evolving models that aspire to world-class, measurable standards and satisfy every stakeholder. I am passionate about how firms design and build staffing processes, the technology to enhance them and the systems to manage them. I want to know more about the 'playing fields' where candidates and employers meet and I'm more than a little curious about how they treat one another: how Job Seekers 'game' their next career move while Employers tout their latest opportunities.

I'm constantly on the lookout for stories about staffing challenges, benchmarks, and results as well as the people who live the stories they tell. (For more on the CareerXroads Colloquium go to http://www.careerxroads.com/colloquium/colloquium.htm  ).

In general, I've been opposed (since an ugly experience with Plaxo a couple of years back) to bulky signatures in email. But, I've been haunted by a recent conversation with Amitai Givertz. He said, "John, you are wrong. Email is not dead, the way we use it is dead." Sufficiently cryptic, I've toyed with the idea over the past month and concluded that there was truth on Ami's side.

Gerry's expansive email signature helped me see some of what Ami might have meant. The signature caught my attention in an off moment. Gerry had responded to a request for help from a mutual friend (He offered succinct and sage advice.) I scrolled through his note and was distracted by another task. When I returned to email, there was his signature staring me in the face. If Gerry hadn't added the extra content, I'd never have considered the subject. This article attests to the effectiveness of Gerry's signature.

Email is a tool for communicating intimately. Not all recipients will engage with all aspects of the note. I have been designing my correspondence to make it fit the most utilitarian possible usage, limiting my signature to a one line call back number. Maximum efficiency for the reader has been my email motto.

Between Gerry and Ami, I am coming to believe that readers of email are going to take greater and greater responsibility for the material they consume. So, as I lean towards more extensive signatures, I wonder what you think. Email signatures-- room for more or hope for less?

 John Sumser. - .Permalink. - .Today's Bugler . - .Send To a Friend

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