Kevin Wheeler is closing a great conference in Sydney, talking about the future. Wheeler starts by talking history in order to understand the future. The first SMS message was sent exactly 20 years ago to a Vodaphone UK cellphone from a PC. The message was “Happy Christmas”.

The first website was in 1991 at CERN. 1993 was the first internet browser Mosaic. The world-wide web was launched in 1994, with Explorer launching in 1995. The cellphone in 1983 and  the first social network six degrees launched in 1997. Myspace and LinkedIn launched in 2003 and Facebook and Twitter in 2006. For most of us, this has been in our lifetime.

MIT recently dropped a box of iPads in to an African village with no instructions. The children of the village figured them out and were learning songs and lessons in only a week. This proves that technology is intuitive rather than requiring instruction. The digital generation have figured this out and are driven by on-line exploration and discovery without fear.

Words and content have no value, it is their interpretation and use that has the value. We are at the end of the beginning of control. We come from a world of control and rules, but data ownership no longer applies. content comes from the crowd. Hierarchy no longer works because no one can own and control anything. The way in which work is organised and done is changing as companies learn to communicate and collaborate through social. The new way of work is smaller, leaner and more agile.

Words are disappearing, replaced by pictures, video and images, but recruiting sites and content is still 90% words. This need to change because people want the message in a way they can relate. We are the people of the screen with very short attention spans.

Candidates and employees become the center of hiring, and the recruiters role needs to significantly change. The next generation live and communicate by games, recruiting needs to reflect this. software is dead  with the future being app based.

Manager means control and a block. blocks won’t work in the new world of work. The challenge is being able to understand data in order to change the way recruiting works. Facebook has an uncertain future, LinkedIn will plateau twitter will slowly rise, Instagram will grow and career sites will disappear. By 2015 recruiting will be about seamless conversations between prospects, candidates, employees and managers. words are going to disappear, replaced by images. the best recruiters will be analysts, choreographers, editors and coaches. Higher social influence scores will be essential to be found. I would add that interaction is critical for visibility, and those who don’t take part will become invisible.

This is an exciting world for me, and in my view we are only 12 months away.

Bill