As the King said, “It is a puzzlement.” A fellow entrepreneur shared how he added a right hand person as a means of growing his business by leaps and bounds.
I was intrigued by how he grew his business but I was more intrigued by HOW he added a right hand person.
Here is John’s story:
I was really buried in admin work and couldn’t get to the important stuff that makes my business grow. My wife suggested in that subtle way she has that if I continue to be buried I will never get ahead. “You need to delegate those everyday tasks that are keeping you buried.”
She was right. But I was so buried that I couldn’t even put together two minutes to find someone to help. Jane said she would help.
Jane used Advanced Search on LinkedIn to identify the characteristics that she thought I needed: someone who is well organized, entrepreneurial, has administrative experience, is pleasant and a whiz with Microsoft Office living in a 50 mile radius of where we live. She found almost 200 people who fit the bill. She looked at profiles, refining the search until she had about 10 people she liked. She reached out to connect with those folks and started conversations.
After having coffee with a few of these folks she found 3 people who she thought would fit the bill. I met each one and settled on Alma. Within three months Alma had me on my feet again! I can’t believe it. She even started setting my appointments and getting me more speaking engagements. I can’t even remember what life was like without Alma!
Jane would have gotten responses by placing an ad somewhere on a job board. But advertising for jobs these days is no guarantee that the responses will include the right person for the job.
Using LinkedIn, even the basic LinkedIn account like John and Jane, kept Jane in control of the “candidates” she included in her applicant pool. She did not leave to chance that the right person was looking at her ad at the right moment. In fact, Alma was not really looking for a job. She would never have seen the ad and would never have been included in the applicant pool under a traditional search.
Jane and John found the right candidate by using non-traditional methods and reaching out to people in their circle of connections. This doesn’t happen by magic.
Here are some tips to use LinkedIn for recruiting like John and Jane did:
- They needed a robust number of connections in order to find almost 200 people who met their criteria. You can’t do this with 100, 200 or even 400 connections. You need a lot of connections to make LinkedIn work for you. Set a monthly goal to increase your LinkedIn connections by a certain percentage then figure out how you can make that happen. I do this every year. This year I’ve already grown my connections 23% with an annual goal of 25%! Setting the goal forces me to figure out how to achieve the goal. Imagine the searches I can do with 2700 first level LinkedIn connections compared to someone with 400 or 500 connections!
- Your own profile should be welcoming and interesting, reflecting your personal and professional brand. That way people you reach out to will find you interesting enough to respond to.
- Even if you use LinkedIn’s recruiter tool, you should have a significant amount of personal connections (500+) and a nice profile. Otherwise those you reach out to may think you are not up to date with technology and not necessarily someone they want to interact with.
- The goal is not the connection. The goal is building a relationship. When you reach out to connect or accept a new connection personalize your message. Include a question or comment that encourages the other person to talk to you. View every connection as a potential link to someone else.
- Look for ways to engage. Offer interesting articles that might start a conversation or ask questions that encourage people to connect with you and talk with you. In this way you expand your horizons, using LinkedIn and your connections to learn.
Stop slapping ads out on the job boards and expecting to find the perfect candidate.