Eight years or so ago I started seriously writing for the first time in my life. The only other times I ever wrote in my life were school papers, a journal that my high school English teacher, Ms. Kemp, made me write in each day and love letters to my wife before we were married and email was not yet widely used and phone calls cost too much!
My good friend Kris Dunn got me to write for Fistful of Talent. He and Jessica Lee, who was the editor at the time, gave me the Friday slot at FOT. It was my job to write something snarky and fun, a piece people would read on a Friday, chuckle and know the week is almost over. That gig turned into this gig, which turned into me writing every single day, now going on five-plus years.
In all of this writing, I discovered what a lot of people discover in becoming successful. If you want to be successful at anything, you need to do it! You need to do it a lot! You need to do it every day.
I still write stuff that is crap. I make errors all the time. But, my writing has improved. Once in a while, I actually write something I think is pretty good!
That’s the secret to becoming really good at recruiting. You need to do it all the time! I see HR Pros who try and recruit every once in a while. They suck at it and they’ll never be good at it because they don’t do it all the time. You can’t pick up a pencil and be instantly good at writing. You can’t pick up a phone and be instantly good at recruiting.
To be good at recruiting you must recruit every day. You must always be on. Everyone you meet. Everyone you talk to. Everyone becomes a potential part of your recruiting pipeline. Maybe as a candidate, or a lead, or a referral, etc. You don’t recruit, then turn it off and not recruit. You recruit always.
I’m, now, constantly writing. I rarely go a day when I don’t email myself ideas about something I want to write about. I think like a writer. How can I take this situation and write about it? My friends, family, and coworkers tease me about it (‘Don’t write about this!’ ‘You’re going to write about this aren’t you?’). I’m always on.
If you truly want to be successful in anything in life you need to do that thing, always. I see recruiters constantly miss opportunities to recruit. To ask the question that would lead them to their next great hire. To pick up the phone and make one more call before they leave for the day. To take a chance and reach out to someone who they don’t think will be interested, but just maybe they will be interested.
Being good at anything is hard. It’s really hard if you want to be good by not doing it.