Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Basic Recruiting Process

I have no idea who Shunryu Suzuki is, but I read a cool quote of his from Tony Hsieh's book Delivering Happiness (thanks for the gift Cyan!). Here's the quote...
    In the beginner's mind there are many possiblities, but in the expert's mind there are few. -Shunryu Suzuki

Today a potential client asked me to articulate my recruiting process, and at best I stumbled my way through the answering the question. I've always struggled with that question because I think of 1,000 different possibilities whenever someone asks "How do you recruit?" In other words, I feel like a beginner. Yet I actually have a fairly methodical process to recruiting, and I've just never bothered to write it down. I think I'll flex my expertise and put it all out there right now...
  • Step 1 - Identify the concept behind the position. A client recently asked me to fill a marketing role. After 5-10 minutes I understood the core concept, called a friend who fit the bill, asked if she was available, she said yes, she interviewed on the phone, got an offer, accepted, and started the next day. The entire process took less than 2 hours. Why make things hard if they don't need to be?

  • Step 2 - I advertise, especially on craigslist. I don't care what anybody thinks about this, but it works. The value of advertising is that it's the quickest possible path to conversations. We learn by doing, and doing in my business requires talking to people. Every person I talk to helps me refine what I'm looking for, and can also generate referrals. Advertising is fast and efficient. While you are combing through your impressively large database, I'm talking to the perfect random stranger that I met via craigslist for $75.

  • Step 3 - Go out and find them. After the employer and I know they kind of person we really want, it's not so hard to hop on LinkedIn and target the right person. I also get a lot of traction using Meetup.com, Google searches, my personal network and database of contacts, etc. If you're going to go out and source people manually, you want to have steps 1 & 2 taken care of first. Manual sourcing takes 10x or more time per applicant than advertising.

This is my basic process and how I keep it simple. I'll write more in following articles about how I tackle tougher recruiting challenges.

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