The Future of the Business Card in Maryland Staffing
We are into Phase One of Governor Hogan’s “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,” and we are beginning to see how the world will look post-COVID. The topic of the country reopening brought me into the middle of an interesting discussion about the health of the business card. The business card was once the cutting edge tool for quickly exchanging information. It was also used to portray your brand or personality. I know I felt important when I laid eyes on my first business card, but now I find myself in the middle of the do’s and do not’s of this health crisis. Is it still okay to make that hand to hand exchange? Will the card’s receiver appreciate the laser etching, or will they be overwhelmed by the wonder of where my hand has been?
Let me preface the post by stating I have long advocated for the demise of the business card. For starters, I was overwhelmed by the germ transfer prior to the pandemic. Yes, I was afraid of your handshake (another practice that may be on the downward spiral). However, this is not a blog focused on the absurdity of my OCD. I have never completely bought into the efficiency of the business card. I am reminded of this as we are currently digitizing our collection of business cards. The information on the business card should be readily accessible from everywhere. Yes, the data entry involved with entering one business contact does not seem like much. In the fundamentals of lean principles, that time adds up and can be used elsewhere. Our company has spent the last ten years moving from a paper company to leveraging the benefits of technology. This effort has allowed us to excel amid this economic crisis. The implementation of our applicant tracking system, Ultra-Staff EDGE, has allowed us to streamline our practices and operate from anywhere. We have been able to connect our application, intake, timesheet, and payroll functions to simplify our partner experience.
Now, back to the business card. I will admit there are some benefits. It is simple to hand someone a business card, but so are the few clicks it takes to add someone to your LinkedIn network. Some apps simplify the information exchange. For example, during the American Staffing Association’s Staffing World event, we are issued a badge with a bar code that vendors scan. Another benefit is that a business card is a physical reminder of you. Still, if our marketing department is doing their job properly, you won’t be able to forget us. That sentiment leads me to another question. Do people remember you because of your business card, or the impression you left? It’s Jim’s (our business card advocate) personality that our business partners remember. His follow up emails thanking them for their time is the reminder that seals the memory.
I am not encouraging everyone to rush to the trash can to recycle their business cards. I have not mentioned and do not believe I needed to argue the environmental benefits of straying away from business cards. I believe business cards should always be handy for audiences that tend to keep it old school. It makes sense to analyze the exchange practice in the post-pandemic world. As long as we are wearing masks, it may not be the best idea to hand out business cards. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the health of the business card. Is it something that you are forced to accept if offered, or can you politely decline?
Matt Sarant is a proud member of the Kennedy Services family. Kennedy Services is one of Maryland’s oldest independent, woman-owned staffing services, located in the heart of Baltimore City. Kennedy Services continues to partner with businesses to support their growing staffing needs. We remain open and are working hard for our essential workers, as well as people without jobs.