“We don’t go looking for a new customer just when we lose one. So why do we only recruit when we need to hire someone?”
– Jack Daly
This is a fact – A Players are not out of work looking at the want ads and online recruiting platforms for a new job. Regardless if it is a blue collar or white collar position you need to fill, the chances of them knocking on your door from an ad is “Slim to none” and “Slim just left town”!
So what are we to do? You have to be recruiting all the time and you have to treat recruiting just like marketing. We don’t go looking for a new customer just when we lose one – so why do we start recruiting just when we need one?
We need to start Guerrilla Recruiting and be doing it all the time! Use your marketing hat to attract them to your culture and to your company. Know what the pains are in their current jobs and provide the solution – “tired of …… in your present job? Come take a look at us, we believe ……(fit into our culture)”.
The following is from Callie Hinman’s Blog Post on efinancial careers.com:
“Guerrilla recruiting is about taking a more creative and proactive approach to talent acquisition, outside the traditional methods of job fairs, ads and form emails. The successful use of guerrilla recruiting campaigns to attract candidates shows out-of-the-box thinking goes a long way in getting noticed.
BigCommerce (Austin, Texas, USA): “Donut Settle for Less”
Austin, Texas, is one of the most competitive technology hubs in the United States. To help improve the probability of acquiring quality talent, three employees from BigCommerce, an e-commerce software provider, camped out in downtown Austin one Wednesday morning (in true guerrilla form) and handed out free donuts to employees entering the offices of several larger tech companies. Their objective was to draw these employees away from their existing positions and encourage them to apply at BigCommerce, using the tagline, “Donut Settle for Less.”
Traffic to the company website jumped by 72 percent week-over-week, and job applications increased by 90 percent. During the three-day campaign, recruiters spoke to more than 350 possible new employees.
Take this idea and run with it! Who are you looking for? Where do they congregate – convenience stores, parts houses, coffee shops, fast food places, association meetings, networking events etc.
What are Guerrilla Recruiting Tactics?
Rogue recruiting is a guerrilla recruiting tactic that takes no prisoners. Companies or head hunters employ creative practices that are often unorthodox to find talent in strange spaces. Sometimes the internet happens to be the most effective use of a rogue recruiter’s time like dating websites, chat rooms, and forums in addition to tradition social media. While I am a proponent of social media and online recruiting to find top talent, the market is getting crowded. So for many of us, it’s back to basics using old school guerrilla recruiting tactics to find talent and fill specialty roles IRL (in real life) instead of relying solely on the internet.
Top Job Headhunters Go to the Candidates With rogue recruiting, I go where the candidates are. That means head hunting sales executives by phone, kitchen designers in top show rooms, or engineers at local professionals meetings and associations. I infiltrate the front lines, start casual conversations, build trust, and go in for the kill. Sometimes rogue recruiting is easy, but often guerrilla recruiting takes real work. Here are some ideas to get you started and on your way to finding talent in creative, unusual, and unconventional locations.
Become a Guerrilla Employment Recruiter
Go Beyond Online Recruiting and Put Yourselves in the Shoes of the Candidate.
Go where your talent is – external as well as internal to re-recruit. Look for businesses, meeting locations, and places where your target candidate frequents. This means calling in favors and asking the right questions. With a little research I learned that real estate sales professionals, often frequented a local coffee shop. A few lattes later I had new friends and a handful of leads.
Go Shopping and be a Sales Recruiter.
Working in retail it was often easy for me to go where the candidates are. My managers and I went guerrilla doing what I called “shopping for associates.” We’d visit the locations of our competition walking the aisles looking for employees who demonstrated great customer service and specialty skills. If the competition didn’t value their employees, then so be it. Sometimes that meant bringing in detailed kitchen design plans or sharing a couple business cards with friendly employees. Being removed from the building was a best case scenario. With the office grapevine in full effect, it was the best possible form of advertising.
Recruitment Referrals are King (or Queen).
With rogue recruiting, it pays to be creative with your recruiting tactics. Some of the most effective recruiting strategies involved a simple email sent to 300 professionals and the offer of an iPod. Any hires made as a result of referrals from friends of colleagues would be entered in their chance to win an Apple iPod. For a couple hundred dollars I often had 15 hires which was very cost effective especially for mass hire situations.
In the end, use guerrilla recruiting tactics as a valuable addition to your recruiting tools and the top job headhunters will have noting on you! Go rogue and get those people to work!”
Other methods to do proactive recruiting.
Monster Resume Search – not the ad side but a separate service that offers the ability to search resumes from now and years ago. Search for resumes regardless how old they are and call or email people. The best people are working for someone else and they may be unhappy where they are. Talk about the areas in their current job that they don’t like, their pains, the sell them on your company, your culture, etc.
If you are looking for service people print up some flyers and when you see a parked van put them on the windshield. Have all your employees when they are out about do the same thing.
Tap into friends or associates and “their employees.” This will be friends or associates or customers not in your line of business and whose employees are not the target of the job opening. Put out what you are looking for (A Players only) and provide a bounty to them to bring forward names of relatives, friends, etc. that would fit the bill. Let your friends do the same in your operation. Network, get people thinking about people they know that will fit the bill – A players only.
Ask your customers who are the best sales /service people “calling on you” and contact them.
Just like marketing – get everyone in the company looking for A Players for now and in the future that you can put on your Virtual Bench. Take the stress and pain out of recruiting by doing it all the time and building a bench so that when you need someone you have a bench to draw from.