I wonder what would happen if we recruited married with children types, like we recruit kids on college campuses?
It’s a bit upside down, don’t you think?
We have separate recruiting teams, and strategies and little uniforms our recruiting teams wear at the booth on campus. We throw pizza and beer parties at the local campus watering holes to try and entice students to want to come to our companies.
Never once, after college, have I been asked to come have free pizza and beer by a company. I mean, I don’t know if I would take that, but I would definitely take a free babysitter and free movie with my wife. Even if it meant I would have to listen to some recruiter tell me how great ABC, Inc. was to work for and their great childcare benefits. Throw in popcorn and drinks, and I might just sign up on the spot!
But that doesn’t happen.
You see, experienced professionals don’t want or need that kind of pampering. Only college age kids want that. Why would over tired, over worked adults want something for free?
We go to campus to find kids who have extremely hard to find skills, and pay for their last two or three years of college in exchange for them coming to work for you for the same length of time. Would you ever offer to pay for a candidates kid’s college education if they came to work for you, in the same skill capacity?
This isn’t a college recruiting vs. experienced recruiting issue. This is a and-and issue. We need both college recruiting and we need better recruiting of experienced professionals. Unfortunately, while college recruiting as evolved over time, how we recruit our experienced candidates has virtually stayed the same. We post jobs. We ask for referrals. We hold job fairs, that no person currently working in their right mind would attend. We bang on resume databases.
I wonder how your recruiting, of experienced workers, would change if you spent the amount you spend on campus, on recruiting at the neighborhoods around the locations you recruit for now? Some of you will claim that you spend more money recruiting experienced workers, but most of those costs are wrapped in headhunting costs to agencies.
Imagine showing up and putting your booth outside the big Friday Night Lights local football game. I know in my community we get 5-7,000 people coming out to those games. That’s a heck of a lot more than you will see coming through a career fair. How about outside the college football stadium!? Ten times the that amount will be milling around.
Married with Children recruiting events could work. The campus isn’t as defined, but standing out front the Home Depot on a Saturday, next to girls selling cookies, might just work.
Now there’s a benefit. Give me a date night with my wife once a month and talk to me about that next PD venture I want to pursue. Where do I sign?
Tim – in the tech sector we already to those things. We sponsor various user groups where we provide free dinner or lunch and an expert speaker. We will occassionally hold open-house events or more informal gatherings like BI Brews.
Corporate recruiting for hard to find skills is changing. Employers have stopped hiring HR people to process applicants and have started paying a premium to find hunters that can find the talent, that can create long-term strategies for attracting more talent, etc.
Next week I plan on standing next to the counter at the local fast food place where all the mechanics stop for breakfast before work.
We will buy breakfast for anyone in a mechanics uniform, hand them a card and a brochure. I just tell them I just want them to know who we are and if they’re interested in talking let me know.
No sales push, no hard sell. I will let you know how it goes.
Now that’s recruiting!
When employers don’t hire for job talent they get frustrated and then try all sorts of ineffective screening methods, it need not be that way.