Why Your Recruiting Tactics Are a Lot Like a NASCAR Race...BORING!

Matt LeBlanc
Posted: 10/18/2011

I know on the front end that what I am about to write will offend the three people who still care about watching Nascar. But I’ve been holding it in way too long and I just don’t care anymore.

NASCAR is boring. Not only is it boring, but listening to paint dry or watching grass grow in the desert sounds like a better time that watching a bunch of cars with bad paint jobs turn left for three hours.

The sad truth is that a lot of us who do search fall into a trap where our recruiting tactics become very Nascar-ish – unbearable, unimaginative and unwatchable.

Today we are going to look at four different ways (get it - four left turns in NASCAR, four ways – very creative, eh…) that many of our brethren go about failing their search, and a few ways that you can go from Bubba the NASCAR driver to Fernando the Ferrari driving maestro.

To do so, we are going to look at a typical search, how it is handled and how it could be handled.

As the search kicks off you go decide to with old faithful - post your job on every board out there and wait, expecting that the perfect candidate will show up at any point right there in your ATS or inbox. You have made sure to put your best foot forward in creating an ‘exciting’ job description and even gone outside the box to channel your inner marketing guru and feel like the position will be closed in a matter of hours after it hits Monster, CareerBuilder, and all of the others.

When that fails, you turn to the job-boards again, this time in a search capacity and search back for resumes posted within the last month. However, you have a very limited knowledge of Boolean search what should take you 30 minutes takes you the better part of four hours.

After finding a few good candidates (no rock stars though) you decide it’s time to turn on a major recruiting effort so you turn to LinkedIn and (wait for it …. wait for it ….) you post your job to every group you are a member of (a total of five), none of which have anything to do with your opening. Once completed you do a basic keyword search to try to find profiles, but with LinkedIn’s restrictions you have a very limited pool of candidates to choose from, so you get frustrated and decide to move on.

After waiting (yet again) and not receiving any response from your postings on the boards or LinkedIn Groups you decide it’s time to do something drastic (gasp!!!). You go 21stcentury on the requisition (req) and set up a Twitter account, a blog, and decide to use your Facebook account to try to snag the ‘right’ person.

After boasting to your teammates that you are now a sure fire winner of employee of the year for your creativity, you do a status update on Facebook (which all 38 of your friends see), tweet the job for the three guys you work with who are also on Twitter, and post your boring job description on your blog which no one is interested in reading about.

When nothing happens yet again you denounce the req, denounce recruiting, denounce social media, and tell the hiring manager that the position is not able to be filled because such a person does not exist.

Sound familiar? Now let’s give Bubba some lessons...

You think NASCAR is boring? You should check out a lot of the job descriptions out there. Do it – go to Monster or Career Builder and see what people are putting together in hopes of enticing a star candidate. Now take a look at yours – is it any better? If you were an ‘A+ talent’ would you apply to your job?

If you are not excited about your job-posting why would you expect that a candidate is going to be?

  • In a previous post we looked at some Boolean recruiting commands that could help make you a recruiting ‘rock star’. Using those you can cut down on your search time, expand or limit your search, and feel like you are covering all of your bases.

    I don’t want to make the case for Boolean again here, as it was made in the other post, but rest assured that the better you are with Boolean the better search strings you can create which will give you better results.
  • LinkedIn (LI) is an absolute gold mine for recruiters, but unless your organization provides a recruiter package for you, you will only get a small part of the whole picture because of the restrictions put on free accounts. Sure you can post jobs to the career discussion area of groups but how often does that work? I’ll give you a hint-- not often.


To be able to access the full LI database for free you need to turn to Google, Bing, or your favorite search site (my choice is Google) as most give you the option of x-raying sites with their site: search operator .

If you were searching for a marketing director in Nashville for your healthcare company you could search site:linkedin.com AND inurl:pub AND "marketing director" AND "healthcare" AND "greater Nashville area" -inurl:jobs -inurl:dir to get a ton of results.



So why does this search work? Why does it give you so many hits? Simple really.

You are telling Google to search LinkedIn with the site:command and telling it you want it to return back public profiles (inurl:pub) that have both "marketing director" and "healthcare" in them and are in the "greater nashville area" (check to see how LinkedIn phrases the area you are searching). Additionally, you are telling Google you do not want to see any directories (-inurl:dir) and do not want to see any job postings (-inurl:jobs).

It’s always amusing to watch recruiters ‘try’ to use blogs, Facebook and Twitter to recruit. They go ‘recruiter’ on them and post job after job after job after job to a very small audience (in most cases, coworkers) and never get any results.

Using social media effectively should be all about engaging, participating in and starting conversations to develop a following (with some job postings sprinkled in). If you want to have real success it takes time, patience, and getting in your potential candidates conversations BEFORE you need them.

I can hear the choruses of "but that takes work" right now. Boy does it – but it is worth it in the long run.

Whoever said recruiting is easy is a liar – our profession takes hard work, dedication, creativity, and the ability to fail, fail some more, and then fail again before you get it right. The problem with that is that people are inherently lazy and give up if things don’t go their way.

So the long and short of it is, don’t be Bubba – be Fernando.

Matt LeBlanc
Posted: 10/18/2011

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