By expanding the staff recruitment process to include more than just HR and hiring teams, associations can find job candidates who are great fits for both the roles themselves and their culture.
Q: We’d like to work toward a culture where everyone was recruiting for our association. Competition for talent is so fierce, so we’d like to get everyone to participate in sourcing job candidates. Can you help us get started?
A: This is such a great idea. Just think what might happen if everyone in your organization was thinking like a recruiter—always on alert for a candidate who would fit your culture and enhance your organization’s performance.
Most startups operate like this—everyone is aware of what the organization needs to succeed and is on the lookout for people who might someday become part of the team. Unfortunately, this mindset doesn’t always last as organizations grow.
Here are some things to consider as you work to make everyone a recruiter in your organization:
For everyone to be on the lookout for talent, they must know what to watch for. You will need a way to communicate open positions and your wish list for future needs—not just a job title but key skills or attributes that would make that person someone to keep an eye on for future openings.
Encourage your current staff members to develop and maintain strong professional networks. Send them to industry networking events and professional conferences. As they network, suggest ways they can stay connected and cultivate a hire for a future opening.
As part of your onboarding process, ask new hires if they have people to recommend. When your new staff members are just getting started, they are filled with optimism so don’t overlook this opportunity to let them know that everyone recruits in this organization.
Consider introducing an employee referral program where staff members are rewarded financially for referrals that result in hires. These programs are successful but require administrative support and dollars to be effective.
It obviously isn’t enough to identify potential hires—you have to cultivate them. Here are some ways that anyone can accomplish that:
Schedule a time every few months to meet for coffee or a Zoom call to get to know the person better and to share all the exciting things that your organization is doing or planning to do.
Send them press releases when appropriate.
Invite them to events your organization is hosting.
In addition, if you are serious about creating a culture where everyone recruits, consider holding some training classes for current staff where they can learn skills to make them comfortable in reaching out to potential hires.
Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook, The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, and her latest The Decisive Manager. Do you have a question you'd like her to answer? Send it to email@example.com.