How to Improve Your Recruiting Chops
Like nearly every worthwhile activity, recruiting great employees involves both talent and skill. Talent is something you either have or you don’t, but skill is something you can sharpen with conscious effort.
Here are a few techniques you can use to sharpen your skills and improve your success on the recruiting trail (you’ll find they work in lots of other areas, too):
1. Relentlessly examine your weaknesses. You can’t get stronger unless you know where you’re weak.
- Start out by asking yourself where your problems lie.
- Ask your manager, too. Or if you are the manager, ask your senior employee. Don’t worry; they’ll respect you more for it.
- Keep a note pad next to your phone. Take notes after each call about items to be approved.
2. Collate all your “weakness” notes and prioritize. Choose the most important ones to focus on first. Focus on resolving one issue at a time. Then move on to the next.
3. Put a note on your phone—where you’ll see it before every call—about the highest priority weakness. If you have a way to resolve it, include that, too. Then you’ll be able to work on improving with each call. When you feel you’ve conquered the weakness, move on to the next one.
4. Practice through role-playing. Just like an athlete improves by practicing the same skill over and over, working on resolving a single weakness through repeated role-playing will make the improved behavior second nature. Then you can move on to other issues.
5. Use unproductive time to immerse yourself in your industry. When you’re commuting to or from work, or maybe when you’re eating lunch, these are great times to listen books on tape or podcasts. (One good audio recording about recruiting is Successful Search and Placement, by Larry Noble.)