Sometimes when we're familiar with a particular process, industry, route, whatever, we assume that everyone shares that same insight. The is especially true in the technology industry, where “tekkies" assume everyone else embraces the cyber-world as much as they do. I just saw a commercial for a cell phone company catering to seniors that lets users call customer service to add phone numbers, as opposed to just doing it themselves. That and the numbers are huge.
It's been my observation that the individuals that have not had to use the Internet to perform their jobs or complete their schoolwork over the last 10+ years (blue collar workers, stay-at-home Mom's, retirees, for example) have been the slowest to embrace technology. Back in the early to mid-90's when your employer introduced MS Outlook as their email client, you probably weren't given a choice as to whether or not could use it. It was a new way to communicate and everyone within the organization would be using it, whether you liked it or not.
I think the common bond all technically-savvy people share is an appreciation for change. They embrace change, not just for the sake of change, but for a faster, more efficient (and sometimes a more enjoyable) way of accomplishing a goal. I'm still amazed at the number of small to medium-sized businesses that do not have a web site. I don't mean a rough, slapped-together website; I mean NO website AT ALL! In my mind this is as basic as having a phone number-actually I can envision a business surviving better without a phone number than I can a website. My brother was doing some work recently with a commercial painting contractor that's owned by an old friend of mine. He mentioned how they were struggling to find new clients and she needed him to help generate new business.
I asked if they were getting any leads from their website only to find out the business doesn't have a website. He said that she had not invested in one because she felt the type of client they worked with did not use the Internet. Now keep in mind this is a specialized business catering to a commercial client doing $1MM + a year and covering a three state territory.
I explained to him how in the last year, I've been able to connect with everyone from a residential drywall contractor to my orthodontist to a wholesale carpet distributor via a quick Google search. “Yeah, but you like using the Internet; she should probably just stick to the Yellow Pages. " My first reaction was “Who in the hell still uses the Yellow Pages?" Interestingly enough, they just delivered the newest edition of the Yellow Pages to our entire office building last week and 50% of them are still sitting in front of the office doors-probably being used as door stops.
Thad Greer is the Managing Partner with Priority Recruiting Solutions, Inc.
http://www.priorityrecruiting.com , a nationwide retained, executive search firm headquartered in South Florida. He can be reached at 888-EZ2-SEARCH or email@example.com . He writes for the firm's monthly newsletter, “The Priority Recruiting Report", as well as his blog, “Confessions from a Serial Recruiter", http://serialrecruiter.blogspot.com .