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Everyone recruits, even on vacation

iStock_000008539594XSmallHave you ever met someone on vacation and said to yourself, “Man, if I had an opening I would hire this guy/gal in a minute, or I should have given him/her my card?” Recruiting, like many things, can be very opportunistic and one of the most important things with recruiting is that you have to remember, and remind everyone in your organization, that everyone should be recruiting – all the time.

I have two quick examples of this from a recent vacation to Arizona. The first one is from a small shop in a small town on the old Route 66 (I bought a hat there). In talking to the salesperson about the small town, he started saying things like “things move a little slower around here,” and “since we are up in the mountains, it’s a little cooler here,” and a few other things that made it sound very attractive to live there.

I know he was just being friendly (and hoping to sell me something – which worked because I bought the hat), but he was also recruiting new people to the town. He knew what the selling points were and wasn’t shy about talking about them.

The second example was from one of the fine park rangers at the Painted Desert National Monument ranger station. In short, within just a few minutes she basically recruited my father (who is retired) to join the parks service as a ranger. Now, whether or not he really becomes a park ranger (my mom says probably not) is not the point; the point is: she was recruiting.

These are both great examples of how everyone should approach recruiting for their company; everyone recruits, everyone they talk to.

Here are a few suggestions for you and your team to think about (yes, even on vacation):

  • Ask questions – This is just good advice in general, but asking questions about the store you are in, the building, or the products they sell can lead to interesting conversations about how they got there and what they do. You might find a connection with your company or your products.
  • Learn about what people do – For one thing, it’s interesting to learn more about what people do. For another thing, you might learn more about how what they do fits into your organization, either as an employee, a partner or someone to refer to someone else. I have even found good plumbers and painters this way too.
  • Know your company’s story – One of the most important things you can do to help build recruiting in your organization is to make sure everyone knows your company’s story and selling points. What makes your company unique? Who started it? What are you known for? Everyone in your company should be able to easily talk about your company in a positive, consistent way.

Lastly, I remember the story of a guy who was hired to hang holiday decorations and lights at the home of one of our regional managers. In talking to the guy, he found that he was motivated, good with people and understood technology. The next job the guy took was as a recruiter and then account manager for our company – and was very successful in both positions.

Remind everyone in your organization that everyone recruits – even on vacation. As many recruiters will tell you, the best way to talk to someone about a job is in a relaxed, non-interview situation. On vacations, everyone is relaxed and they feel less like you are trying to sell them something and more like a friend having a conversation.

It doesn’t have to be long, just a few minutes and maybe a business card exchange. You may find that works as well as expensive job board ads or high-pressure recruiting calls. Even if it doesn’t, you may end up with a great tip on a local restaurant or advice on local attractions (or a good plumber).

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