A lot was said about whether one should or shouldn’t mix his private and professional life. I personally always had troubles separating one from the other so I made combining both a virtue. Except of the advantages of living a good what I call “integrated” life, I have another strong reason that should every leaders keep in mind: recruitment.
Everyone is a recruiter
I said it before and I say it again. In a good well-functioning team everyone is a recruiter. Getting the right people to join the team is half of success and everyone can help. To be able to bring good quality referrals you need to have a good network of contacts. You need to know people, you need to know how good they are, you need to know their values and attitudes, you need to know what they are doing and how open they are to a change of scenery and you need to come to them with an offer at the right time.
Nurture your contacts
Patience is a virtue. And in recruitment it applies double time. When building your team you need to think long-term. You need to get used to the idea that not everyone will jump on the opportunity right away. Keeping in touch, regularly reaching out and showing interest in other people lives, make a small-talk, go for a lunch or a cup of coffee can keep you on their radar so when they are ready to take the big step and change their employer they will think of you. You are an associate, you are a friend and you are a salesperson who is selling a nice future with your company. Skillfully using a small sales pitch every now and then, reminding others how interesting your company is and how great it is to be on your team will eventually build up and a great image will be implanted in the minds of others.
Be there to help
Just keep in mind that every friendship or association must be a two way street. You need to be there to offer a sympathetic words when times are not good, and you need to be there when needed. Over the years I have helped many people to find jobs even with other companies. These were selfless acts when you show that you care for others even when there is no direct advantage for yourself. However, in a grand scheme of things these acts may not be as selfless as they appear on the outside. The world is small, and as the saying goes, you always meet twice. You never know when you run into the other person again and every small deed you do today may pay back at one point in the future. And if not than you can have at least a good feeling that you are helping others and that itself is worth the effort.
Know what’s going on
The nice side effect of all of these small selfless acts, cups of coffee or lunches is that you know what’s going on. Being introverted I’m not a fan of big networking events and that means I need to cherish every single social contact I have as making new once doesn’t come easily to me. Getting introduced to others by your friends in a “small number of people around” setting helps me to expand the network and lots of my best friends started as work associates. Being able to tap a network of people at different companies and associations helps you to know what is happening in your town and your industry. It helps you to know where the right people are and where to look for talent.
So next time you beat your recruitment team for not bringing in enough interesting candidates remember that “everyone is a recruiter” and by seamlessly integrating your life in and out of office, thinking about how to help others, and how to stay connected may in the long run help not just them but also bring value to your team.
What about you? Do you mix different aspects of your life? And how do you use your network of contacts to build your team?
Originally posted at LinkedIn.