The secret recruiting weapon you have but don’t use

istock.com/Ildo Frazao

Do you wish you had a small army of people who were talking about you and your business and how great it is? Do you wish that when people have great customer service they’d tell the person providing that service that they belong at a great company like yours and should apply? Sounds dreamy, right?

What if I told you it’s quite a bit easier to get this raving fan army than you expect?

Simply think about the people who care the most about you and your success. In most cases, it is your family and friends. These are people who are willing to work (happily) on your behalf to see you succeed.

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Here’s the catch: Very few people are “wired” to be recruiters. But you can turn even the most shy family member and friend into your own personal spokesperson if you provide the right tools and motivation.

It doesn’t need to be complicated. First, be open and share your “pain”—why is this job opening causing you stress? It really helps to be willing to be vulnerable in order to inspire people to go outside of their comfort zone to help you.

Help them help you

In order for family and friends to assist, you’ll need to set them up with the right information. This is simply letting them know what you’re looking to hire and what kind of background and experience would be helpful.

Here’s an example:
“Who do you know that is a great salesperson? We love great salespeople, and we’d like to talk to them about joining our team. All you have to do is give us their name, and we’ll reach out to them! Everyone loves to be recognized for doing a great job, so please give a shout-out to any great salespeople you know! Ideally, they’d understand construction, but we’re willing to train the right person.”

When you start the conversation with family and friends, you may get an immediate name from someone, but most of the ideas come long after the conversation is finished. That’s why it’s essential to follow up with an email, with a link to the job ad or job description. The email will serve as a reminder of the conversation and allows them to read the job ad and understand it in greater detail. Plus, by emailing them, you just made it easy for them to pass that job ad on to people they think might be interested.

Be sure to ask them to post to their social media platforms, as well.

Here’s an example of a blurb you can provide that they can pass on or post to social media:

“Please share! XYZ Lumber is hiring. They’re a great company, and my friend [insert your name here] is looking for a new sales rep. If you’re a proven salesperson who is open to cold-calling and developing new business while taking care of existing customers, they want to talk to you! Here’s a link to the job listing: [insert link]. If you understand construction or building products, it’s a huge bonus (but not required). All responses are confidential—start the conversation by emailing [insert friend’s email address here].”

You can post a similar message on your company Facebook page and pay to boost it to the location and people you’re targeting. You should also post it on your personal page and ask your friends, family, and connections to share it.

Tag people who you think might know someone, so they can easily share with their friends.

No matter where you’re sharing the job, success relies on an understanding of what you are looking for and on making it very easy for people to make referrals. Be clear about what type of person you’re looking for and make sure to provide something they can easily read and share.

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