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Why we should hire like we date: The key to proactive recruitment

Why we should hire like we date: The key to proactive recruitment

Posted on: June 20, 2016 | Author: Shahzia Noorally, ATB Talent Acquisition Partner
“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”
Jim Collins – Author of Good to Great

I often compare the recruitment process to the dating process. When a company and a job seeker find themselves connecting and it goes well, it can be bliss. When things don’t go so well, it’s often the equivalent of rushing into a relationship too quickly.

When we look at how most hiring decisions are made, a lot of critical choices are decided upon in a rush, based on first impressions. We often miss the invaluable element of context: seeing the candidate in a variety of situations and circumstances, or failing to do the real research or ask in depth questions to understand if the opportunity or company is truly a fit.

Would you ever go on a date or two with an individual and then decide to enter into matrimony with them? Why should the same be done with your hiring process?

What if we treated the hiring process more like a traditional courtship and dating process? We could focus on building relationships, getting to know individuals over time, and understanding whether they are actually interested in your company or they’re just looking for any job. Focusing on strategies and tactics built around talent pipelining will pay off for you, your team and your business.

Here are four ways you can shift your focus from reactive to proactive recruitment strategies.

  1. When it comes to talent, mediocre shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. To become the best, you owe it to yourself and your business to take time to pull the trigger on each hire and to hire only professionals who align with your core values and purpose. The most fundamental thing that separates your business from your competitors is the talent you bring on board. Setting the bar high is the most critical success factor. What you want and need will be different depending on the type of business you have. But the common thread should be the desire to bring people on board who are passionate advocates for your story and purpose.   
  2. Think like proactive job seekers. Proactive job seekers consistently build relationships and personal brands before they ever need to look for a job. They network and set themselves up so hiring managers and recruiters seek them out. Think like a proactive job seeker: consistently connect, network and spread your business story. Top talent will come to you before you even need to hire. As a business owner, you’re a brand ambassador and subject matter expert on entrepreneurship.
  3. Become social brand ambassadors. The talent you seek lives on networks like LinkedIn and Twitter. You aren’t limited to your geography—you can use social networks to connect in meaningful ways, share your knowledge and engage talent 365 days a year. As a business owner, you have credibility and reach. You’ve taken the plunge into entrepreneurship, you’re an expert in your industry, and you have a voice. You have an opportunity to create thought leadership on the successes and struggles you encounter daily.
  4. Always have your recruiter hat on. How many times have you connected with a potential client in a casual capacity only to turn that conversation into a sales lead? Approaching talent in the same manner can help you. Build relationships with people you could see being successful on your team. It’s far better than posting a job when the need arises and praying for the right candidate to find you.  

I’d love to hear about your experiences with talent attraction, assessment and selection as entrepreneurs. Feel free to reach out via

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