Using Writing and Speaking to Recruit Candidates, Part 2

Now that I’ve piqued your curiosity about using writing and speaking to recruit in part 1, let’s discuss the details of who speaks and writes, where to speak and write, and when.

Who should speak and write?

The best people to speak and write are your hiring managers. I realize that this statement puts you recruiters in a difficult position. But you can’t represent the hiring managers—potential candidates require the authenticity of the hiring manager or someone who works with that manager in the organization. The hiring managers or their peers can talk about the work in a way no one else can.

If you’re not sure of this, just revisit a company meeting. When a senior manager recapped the work a group did, did that recap stir you? Did it make you see how hard the group worked? Probably not. But if the manager of that group made the “same” presentation, the manager would have added little sidebars about Tom or Sally or the work, or the late nights, in an authentic way. Those asides make the entire talk authentic, and bring an audience to the speaker—exactly the reaction you want for a speaking as recruiting.

If you’re in HR, whether you’re an in house, contract, or external recruiter, you can’t speak for the hiring group. It’s not possible—you don’t work there. You work for the greater organization, but your loyalty and teamwork is to HR, not the organization trying to hire people. You can’t write or speak on behalf of the hiring group—you won’t be authentic. Audiences can smell an inauthentic speaker or writer miles away. Your best bet is to show this article to your hiring managers.

Choose your media with care

You have many opportunities to have the hiring managers speak or write, including blogs, podcasts, videocasts, webinars, industry conferences, your company’s user group, the association your company belongs to, and product conferences. Don’t limit your thinking to just your geographical location—think international. Building an international reputation will help you find local candidates.
When the hiring manager or someone from that group speaks at industry conference, your organization gains an enormous leg up on your competition. First, you have an engaging story to tell. It helps if your speaker has some polish, but don’t worry—no one expects a professional speaker from inside an organization.

The content your speaker provides is what helps drive the idea that your group has some expertise that is attractive to potential hires.

Remember to put a slide at the end of every presentation that says something like this: Looking for a new job? We’re hiring—come talk to me.

Be prepared to provide business cards and take potential candidates’ cards—you’ll follow up with them later.

Public speaking is an infrequent way to attract candidates. Writing is an even better way to attract a larger number of people to you. And the fastest way to attract an audience is to blog.

Blogging establishes the writer’s expertise. But even more, it helps you develop a two-way conversation with potential candidates. The conversation—along with your expertise—will attract candidates.

Podcasts, as long as you provide coherent interviews can help you build a candidate pool. Podcasts don’t have to be long, but you either need enough of them—if they are short—to establish a relationship between you and the listener, or long enough for the listener to get to know you.

When you choose your media, think about the frequency you need to connect with potential candidates and your strengths as a speaker or writer. In general, blogging or writing articles will help you build a larger potential candidate pool.

Summary

Writing and speaking can work for your hiring managers. The potential candidates they meet may even help your hiring managers be more specific about what they really need and only want in a candidate. Encourage your hiring managers to become involved in recruiting by writing and speaking.

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