There remains a lot of buzz and media focus on social networks, and rightfully so, because of how they've changed the feel of technology and connected people to old friends, college classmates and others we may wish to stay in touch with.
But from a talent perspective, particularly at the executive management level, much of the noise about the use and promise of social networks as a recruiting tool sounds a lot like the advent of the job boards just over a decade ago.
Remember when Monster.com and HotJobs were said to be ushering traditional recruiters right out of business?
To stress-filled Human Resources leaders in search of solutions and the budget dollars to fill pressing job vacancies, social networks and the candidates they can surface may well be just what the doctor ordered. Much like the job boards, they can streamline the identification of good candidates for a variety of entry-level and even middle-management roles.
Over time, business leaders who've grown up with technology will expect it to play an even greater role in their career management, job search and networking. After all, technology helps us keep pace with the pace of change all around us, and networking remains a critical management competency because it's still a 'who do you know, and who knows you' world.
Effective networking creates and opens the critical pathways to realising one's full career potential and seizing the best rewards for one's unique talent, experience and leadership.
But it's for the same reason that networking, and traditional recruiting, for that matter, will never fully be replaced by technology.
Technology in any form can help us find people faster and more efficiently than ever before. But the challenge of really connecting with people, exploring their potential, guiding and informing their career decision-making, and providing expert perspective to give them the confidence and reason to stay their current course or explore new career opportunities is a truly human endeavour - and will always remain that way.