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Recruiting Is a Conversation II

(March 23, 2007)
I don't own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say 'Mitch,' and I say 'what?' and turn my head slightly.
Mitch Hedberg

The trick is figuring out how to use new technology in a conversational way that grows and develops relationships. The problem is figuring out how to avoid the irrelevant inbound fluff. The answer is something like "living succession planning".

In order to build a farm team system (that has an available player for each slot, when you need it), you need to have well defined specifications for each role in the organization. That's doable at the first level of supervision (and each level above that if the requirements are kept to direct reports). No supervisor, regardless of level, will have more than 50 or so members of his/her farm team (including the current working team).

It's best if you envision this as supplementing the current team with a bench and a group of players working elsewhere who are interested in coming aboard. Part of the deal is being transparent (open and aboveboard) about the company and your reflections on it:

One experience that underlined this truth for me is our hiring practices at Jobster. Being a company that built referral sourcing tools for recruiters, you can imagine that we took great pride in building our company based on referrals. In doing so, I believe that we uncovered and hired some of the most elusive Seattle talent, particularly in engineering, sales and business roles. We found superstars in large companies that would be great additions to the team both on paper and in person; they had what it took to help drive Jobster's growth.

What we did not anticipate was the dramatic impact that a person's workplace environment played in their success or failure on the job. Someone who was a rock star in a large enterprise environment might not have the same success in a small start-up like Jobster, unless they could quickly adapt to their surroundings.

Others found that the infrastructure of a large company provided them with a sense of security, direction and role definition that they needed to sleep soundly at night. In larger companies, you may have a team of people to execute the strategies that you define. You also may have interesting political distractions and enjoy playing Survivor at work. Not so in a start-up. (Yardart)

Or, as the CEO has done:

Is recruiting.com still adding value?  While recruiting.com has basically been running itself for the past year (with Jason Davis prodding it along), I've recently been putting some though as to where we should take the recruiting.com site next.  Sometimes I look at what's going on over there and think to myself:  Does anyone besides the small number of regular participants really care about this?  (OK, now I thought it out loud, not just to myself).  Would love to get your input (Goldberg's Blog at Jobster)

Recruiting as a conversation means engaging a small group of people in the conversation about the relevance, mission and practical execution of a small group. That's where recruiting matters.

Recruiting is an intimate conversation amongst the stakeholders in a particular work group: Owner(s), manager(s), suppliers (maybe), employees and prospective employees.

Next: Recruiting Is A Conversation III

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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  • A Conversation II
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