My kids have always summed up my career in this fashion: “People pay mommy lots of money to find other people”. They have never questioned the logic of this. Mommy plays a mean hide n seek. Now that my baby has graduated from Kindergarten, I have come to realize that really, some of the most important elements of recruiting he has now mastered. Since school let out I’ve been watching him interact with his friends – and here’s what I’ve found…
Have something good to offer.
My son knows that if he wants to get the neighbor kids outside, he better have a good game planned. Or a great toy. In fact, one kid comes to my house all the time with “Can Josh bring out a cool toy?” My son knows that to get their attention, he better have a good carrot to dangle. Sometimes it’s as simple as “hey, let’s see if we can throw rocks in the lake and hit a carp!” but he’s always got a plan. Before you make that call, it’s good to have something to put on the table.
Be ready to switch it up.
Maybe they don’t want to throw rocks at fish. Maybe foursquare (no not the app) is the game of the day. My son adapts quickly to the audience. He’s even been known to play house with one of his sisters and the handful of girls that live next door. Next thing you know, those girls have recruited their brother to come out and throw rocks in the pond with Josh. Master the referral, baby.
Be nice to people!
I have to admit, my kid learned this the hard way. When you whack someone upside the head with a stick, they don’t want to play with you anymore. How many times do we verbally knock our candidates around? I know – we get unqualified submissions, job seekers that just don’t “get it”, people that we would never EVER want to place in a job. Unfortunately, those people know other people… Even though the kid that got the stick upside the head might have had it coming, my son was the neighborhood pariah for at least an hour. NO ONE would play with him.
Reputation means A LOT.
I almost said “reputation is EVERYTHING”. On second thought, you know what? Reputation IS everything. Especially when it comes to a bad one. If you’re known as the local “head whacker” (see above) you will probably not be making a ton of placements. People just aren’t going to want to talk to you. A recruiter with NO reputation will probably outsell one that’s developed that “bad recruiter” stench. Even better is being known for something people want. My son has a massive collection of Hot Wheels. If the neighbor kids want to play cars, they know where to go.
No doubt this list could go on and on. So, what did YOU learn in Kindergarten that made you the awesome recruiter you are today?
Related to Everything I needed to know:
- Taking stock of what you have to offer
- Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in Five Simple Steps
- Wikipedia & Your Employer Reputation