Effective Recruiting is like Dating
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I’m not in a relationship right now, and as such, am dating. Lately, I’ve noticed how
much the dating process parallels effective recruiting. There are loads of
dating services around – both online and off-line, and they all pretty much work
the same way. Bear with me as I unfold this, because understanding the nature of
how we act and connect is critical to your recruiting success.
The process starts with filling out the details of the kind of date or mate
you ideally want. You develop a sort of “checklist”. You usually can specify
physical attributes (red hair, green eyes, etc.), personality traits (good sense
of humor, intelligent, etc.), likes (cooking, camping, etc.), and dislikes
(dishonesty, drug use, etc.) You can even specify geographic proximity – (60
miles away or closer). Then you probably would include photos (HEY! Let’s keep
this clean… LOL).
Of course, the other person would go through the same process – identifying
all the traits and characteristics they are looking for. Then, the service would
run a search of their database to identify the people who meet your criteria.
Once these potential matches are found based on your checklist, you review them
one by one – examining how well each of you match in your own opinion. Sometimes
the system “matches” you with someone who really doesn’t seem to fit at all, and
sometimes you come to realize that certain traits are much more appealing to you
than others and you modify the criteria you use for searching. Once you find
someone you feel is a good fit, you start the process of getting to know one
another. If there is a mutual interest after corresponding and speaking on the
phone, the two people agree to meet.
This is where things get interesting. From my experience (and I believe that
this holds true universally), within a very short period of time – usually a few
minutes – we know if chemistry exists or not. [By the way, a great book on our
ability to make very accurate evaluations in very short times is “blink” by
Malcolm Gladwell.] Let me repeat that. We know in very short order whether that
elusive chemistry is present. Here are some very interesting and extremely
important observations. If the chemistry isn’t there, then no matter how many
traits and interests two people have in common, the relationship will not
flourish. On the other hand, if the chemistry is there, then even if a number of
the traits and interests we felt were important aren’t present, the relationship
will happily move forward. In fact, two people can meet by chance, and feel an
instant connection and chemistry - even though many of the “important” traits
and interests aren’t present.
Which brings us to effective recruiting.
Active recruiting is effective and passive recruiting is not very effective.
Passive recruiting methods are things like internet recruiting, advertising and
direct mail. Think about how passive recruiting works. We develop a checklist of
the traits and characteristics we’re looking for. These may be things like
intelligence, knowledge, education, ambition, business savvy, geographic
proximity, honesty, drug-free, etc. Then we search the internet or spread out
our fishing net with the intent of pulling someone into us who meets our
criteria. But here’s the truth of this process. It all comes down to chemistry.
If, when you finally interview the candidate there’s no chemistry, the checklist
becomes irrelevant. If there is chemistry during the interview, then you have a
great candidate. However, recruiting in this manner means you have to “kiss a
lot of frogs” to find the right candidates. And more often than not, the
candidates that do come on board are ones we tend to settle for. We’re often
anxious to have recruiting success (just like people can become anxious to find
a date or a relationship), and therefore we often temporarily give up on finding
that ideal candidate and are more likely to compromise.
In contrast, active recruiting works just opposite to passive recruiting.
Active recruiting finds the chemistry first, and then evaluates the “checklist”
fit. Often I’ll ask clients which they find more valuable – technical knowledge
or people skills. The answer I always get (correctly) is people skills. You can
help the right person acquire the knowledge and technical skills necessary for
success, but you can’t take someone who is well-versed in the industry, but
lacking people skills and passion, and teach them to be passionate nor help them
to relate to people more naturally. It’s just like what happens when you meet
the “right person” in a social environment. The part that’s most difficult to
find becomes self-evident, and the “qualifications” that we felt were important
fade in comparison.
The key to effective recruiting is finding candidates you “click” with.
People who have good communication skills. People who can relate well to others.
People who relate well to you. People who are passionate about what they do.
People who will look to you as a leader. People who will be responsive. People
who want more than simply bringing home a paycheck. People who care about
others. People with an owner’s mindset instead of an employee’s mindset.
Because active recruiting focuses on finding the meaningful first, it is
always more effective and efficient than passive recruiting. As an added bonus,
you end up with a team who is highly productive and is responsive to your
production needs as well as their own.
About the Author
by Michael Beck, an Executive Coach and Strategist specializing in
employee engagement, executive development, and leadership
effectiveness. Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mjbeck
and visit www.michaeljbeck.com
to learn more.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-11-24 12:46:36 in Employee Articles