Being a sole practitioner means juggling a lot of things at once. Like the lady in the picture it may seem like not only are you juggling many things, but all of them are on fire. When you are the only one, getting it all done is definitely a balancing act.
One of the harder items to manage can often be the sourcing and recruitment of new staff. Especially if multiple positions are open at once or if your company is in growth mode, spending the time necessary to find new staff may seem like a daunting task. Many sole practitioners want to be proactive. They want to embrace social media and stop their reliance on job boards or a more passive approach but can not figure out how to squeeze in the time that being proactive takes. How do you sit at your desk to search LinkedIn for potential candidates when you need to work on open enrollment or the latest employee issue or the five people standing outside of your office because their paycheck is wrong?
It is a fair question. One I have a few suggestions for.
Get Training Social recruiting is not something that a novice can jump in to and see immediate results. If you are unfamiliar with how to create search strings or how to determine the best social site for your audience then your efforts may be in vain. More often than not, individuals who give up on social recruiting because it is not working for them are the ones who did not take any time to understand it before jumping in. It not working has more to do with their method than anything else.
The great thing about social recruiting training is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. There are blogs, webinars, conferences and individuals who will come to you on your time. A quick Google search of just the words “social recruiting” returns 212,000,000 results. Find some free time to learn to do it right before jumping in.
Start Slowly and In Conjunction With Your Current Methods Try one thing at a time. Do not switch completely to social recruiting and stop posting on job boards or the other methods you are using until social recruiting is really working for you. Maybe you want to spend a little time on LinkedIn and see how that goes before branching to other sites. Maybe you want to build a Facebook page and make sure you can manage that before moving to Twitter. Social recruiting (and social media in general) does not have to be all at once. Ease into it, see what works and then grow it.
Make It A Priority I’m sure you have seen the quotes about saying you do not have the time means it is not a priority. It is true. You will make time for things that are a priority. If you are not happy with your results from your traditional search methods you have to make changing those a priority. This may mean talking to your boss about shifting priorities or sharing this responsibility with another leader. Either way, it has to become a priority or it will never work.
Sole practitioners may think they do not have time to worry about this social media stuff, but they are missing out on great opportunities to find the best fit for their company rather than hoping the best fit applies along with 5,000 other bad fits. It does take a little time, but can be managed throughout the day and can be implemented slowly. You will never know if it works for your company until you get started.
What would you suggest to someone new to social recruiting?