Why MLK Was a Successful Recruiter and Three Recruiting Strategies for You

MLK_I_have_a_dream-306065-editedMartin Luther King Jr. was a great leader, but he was also a great recruiter. Without his ability to attract people to his cause, it would have been much more difficult to create change.

While most of us will never have the weight of the civil rights movement on our shoulders, if you are reading this, you may have the weight of your talent needs, recruiting strategies or an entire HR department on your shoulders. So, how do you become a great recruiter or develop successful recruiters for your team?

Here are three recruiting strategies, not unlike those used by MLK, to be a successful recruiter or recruiting department:

  • Be someone worth following – I tell this to all of our recruiters. Your online profiles, the profile of your company and the information you provide, all give job seekers a clue as to who you are and why they should listen to your job offer. These items should be as consistent as possible and clear (see the next point). This post has some great tips for using Linkedin specifically. Your recruiters and recruiting partners should have credibility in the areas they recruit and give job seekers a reason for returning that call or responding to an email.
  • Have a clear message – We read bad job postings and job descriptions all the time. It’s really a waste of time and counterproductive to your recruiting efforts to post a poor job description. For some general tips on writing better ones, check out this post and if you’re in IT, check out this one. In addition, it should be easy from your online profiles and information to understand what you do, how you do it, and why someone might want to work for you. Also, make sure your recruiters or recruiting partners can articulate the job, your company and how the job seeker might fit in.
  • Put people first – Most companies have some sort of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or HR system that is used to manage job openings, job postings, applicant flow, or all of these. One big mistake is leaving some of the recruiting process to technology. That’s not to say that using today’s available recruiting technology isn’t a good idea, it’s just that over-reliance on it, could mean you are missing out on good candidates. A system can’t usually predict or evaluate potential, and a conversation can be worth more than 10 pages of a resume. For some additional thoughts on this, see this post on optimizing the use of your ATS.

Some other keys to successful recruiting are having a range of options and being willing to change when needed. But a solid foundation is required, either through your internal recruiting capabilities or an outside recruiting partner. Without it, your hiring drives and recruiting efforts could stagnate.

Ultimately, good recruiting is about leading people to the right jobs. That spells success for you as a recruiter, for the job seeker taking your job and for the company you work for.


This blog was written by Matt Rivera. Matt serves as Vice President, Marketing and Communications and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Yoh’s marketing and brand communications. Matt holds a degree in Journalism/Public Relations and has been working in the staffing industry for more than 25 years. Prior to this role, Matt held many different roles from branch recruiting and proposal writing to technology management and online marketing.

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