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What’s on your plate? A guide to healthy recruiting

Up until recently, the word nutrition has been synonymous with a pyramid separated into sections that demonstrate what we should be eating and in what proportions. This iconic symbol of nutrition showed six horizontal strips to represent the five food groups, adding oils and fats to the small section on the top.

Recently, the USDA gave the pyramid a makeover into a colorful new symbol called MyPlate, but with the same messages: Eat a variety of foods and eat less of some foods and more of others.

So what's on your recruiting plate? I recently started mentoring a new recruiter, the wife of a developer I placed years ago who I feel indebted to because he saved my life during lunch one day. But that's a story for another time.

His wife just started her first recruiting/sourcer job with all the excitement and nervousness of a freshman on the first day of high school. In trying to describe how I spend my time sourcing, I need to reiterate to her the importance of balance and variety. What better way to demonstrate the varieties and proportions of sourcing than with something similar to MyPlate? Let's call it MyRecruitingPlate.

In MyPlate, the big message is to load on the fruits and vegetables. Networking and referrals are the fruits and vegetables of MyRecruitingPlate. I'm going to include using professional and social networking tools in this category -- LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

While you have to work your way up to having a network if you're just starting out, once you get there, your network will work for you, generating the majority of your hires. Getting your fill each day of networking and referrals is the most important part of a healthy recruiting diet!

The grains are next, taking up about 30 percent of the plate. I will equate them to Internet sourcing (Boolean). Of course, it depends on what kind of job you are filling and if the talent you are looking for will be active or passive. Though fewer and fewer potential candidates seem to hang out on job boards, depending on the job you are filing, you can still make a hire this way. For this reason, I will call job boards the protein, taking about 20 percent of the plate.

On the side of the MyPlate is dairy. Job postings are the dairy of MyRecruitingPlate. They are important to have in conjunction with your variety of other food groups to maintain strong bones! Though consuming only dairy makes the food group less effective, it's still important for a strong backbone to supplement the rest of your balanced recruiting diet.

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