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corporate diversity

Recruiting Candidates – I learned the hard way so you don’t have to.

I have seen so much junk on social media trying to pin poor candidates on trying to hire for diversity – and I want to emphasize that it is junk.

There are two ways to hire: passively or actively.

It is as it has always been: we are lazy creatures and the idea of looking for resumes, processing, talking to people, and training them makes the whole prospect of hiring difficult if you’re most of the population. So, we hire lazy. Put a sign up, post a job ad, and wait for people to come to you.

If you have a unique position, a special position, or are having difficulty filling that position – or a goal to add a new kind of employee to your ranks – it’s time to get active.

Here are some do’s and don’ts around active hiring:

  • DO post on LinkedIn and Upwork, but make sure the posts are clear and answer all the person’s questions before they show any interest. You should be putting the work in.
  • DO actively be looking in your community for people to recruit – at the grocery store, cafe’, etc. Remember that even suggesting they come work for you is a real compliment to that person’s character and demonstrated skill in that moment. You owe them nothing as you go through that process, but they feel good.
  • DON’T let the software do the work for you – actively recruit candidates that fit the profile, even if they aren’t perfect. If the job is really important to you – don’t just click “invite” if they’re awesome, reach out and personally recruit.
  • DON’T invite people who specifically suggest you hire them when they offer advice to you. I have found these people come with a sense of entitlement of value and a lack of curiosity which makes them poor candidates to fit into your culture.
  • DO consider refining your hiring process so that it aligns with your company’s goals and filters out candidates who don’t. If you have carefully considered that process, and you get negative feedback, consider – were they culturally and skillfully a good fit – did they see what you were trying to do, or did they only see it from their own perspective? If there’s something to be learned, take it and thank them. If not, move on and be glad your filtering process worked.

Hiring Contractors:

  • If you hire a contractor, DON’T make their contract up and scope of work – even if they’re beginning – if they do not have a suggested workflow and can’t lead in developing that to their satisfaction, they do not have the experience to be a satisfying contractor. This is also a process in the beginning that’s called “discovery” for a reason – unless that contractor is more of an apprentice to you, let them discover and put forth a process. If they do not, and you have to put a lot of work in, they are not a fit.
  • It should hurt to be hiring that contractor – at least financially – but you should also be absolutely honored that they’ll work for you. Anything else, and that contractor probably won’t justify the time and money savings or effort you’re hoping to get out of them.