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Dear Hiring Manager: Always Be Recruiting

Recruit me

Smart employers like Netflix have a mantra: Always Be Recruiting. The mantra isn’t repeated by its recruiters, hiring managers, and HR alone. It’s a company-wide initiative owned by everyone from the top executives down.

Patty McCord, former chief talent officer at Netflix, recently told SMHR about this mind frame:

“The problem companies have sometimes is that they don’t think about hiring somebody until someone else leaves and [they’re] starting with a completely dry pipeline,” McCord explained. “Then, the [requisition] is written to either describe the fabulous person that left, a fantasy person that doesn’t exist, or whatever it takes to get it approved.”

She goes, recalling that, “I used to tell people in Silicon Valley that the richest source for recruitment was kids’ soccer games. Standing around, chatting with people on the sidelines. ‘What do you do? Would you be interested in coming to talk with us?’ Candidates come from everywhere. [And] everyone can be a recruiter, not just recruiters.”

Swap some of those soccer games for football games, and you’ve got Austin, another city rich with passive job seekers waiting at the sidelines.

Now, this isn’t an invitation to string great job candidates along when you don’t have a place for them at your company. Some employers and recruiters will do that—even going so far as touting fake jobs—but that will only backfire. Instead, it’s an invitation to broaden your network and get to know who’s out there so that, when the time comes, your pipeline is already filled with great candidates and referral sources.

For a more traditional networking approach, try an event like Austin Digital Jobs’ Recruiting Mixer. The folks at ADJ report that 50% of their tech and digital Marcom candidate community is employed and only passively job searching. You won’t find them on job search sites or responding to your job listing, but you will bump into them there. We love attending, and we can confirm that it’s a great place to meet your next perfect hire…even if you’re just a passive seeker yourself.

The idea to “Always Be Recruiting” is something we, of course, live by every day at The HT Group. It can be especially helpful if you have hard-to-fill positions like software developers and engineers. It can also be a critical way to ramp up quickly when you need seasonal workers or need to staff a call center quickly. Need more tips on spotting great candidates even when you’re not actively hiring? Ask us!