By John Monroe 

I tell the students in my sales class that we are all born salespeople, but not all of us are meant to be a salesperson. Unfortunately, with the current business hiring conditions, everyone in the company needs to be recruiting prospective employees, which means that everyone is now selling. 

Several years ago, I wrote an article featured in Cleanfax magazine entitled “Running the ‘Second Mile’ in Business.” Being an avid triathlete, I made a comparison between running and business, stating that it’s easy to succumb to the temptation of running just one mile instead of pushing to run the second mile because you’re exhausted from work or other excuses your brain can conjure up. 

Research has found that the disparity between only going the first mile instead of pushing for the second has a profound effect on the mind and body. We limit our psyche to being happy with one mile instead of allowing it to experience the exhilaration of pushing our limits and going for more. 

We can look at recruiting prospective employees for our business as having two ‘miles’ as well—the essential and the voluntary. The essential is recruiting by posting job openings on internet job boards as we have always done. The voluntary is being creative, such as having everyone in the company sell to prospective employees and talking about what a great place it is to work. 

How can businesses prepare to run the second mile of recruiting?  

When the focus of the owner and managers is on employee retention and engagement, the company has begun to run the recruiting ‘second mile.’ This starts with the owner establishing a company culture that defines the pace of recruiting in this second mile.  

A company’s mission, vision, and core values are the underpinning of its culture, and a company’s culture characterizes its personality. The first thing the owner must do is exemplify that culture from the moment the business opens its doors. The next step is to hire employees who subscribe to the culture because employees will be more productive when their needs and values are consistent with those in their workplace. 

Great companies are built in the second mile by hiring great people who live the culture every minute of every day. Culture cannot be coerced; it can only be lived through the employees’ hearts and minds. You will not find culture anywhere but in the second mile. This sounds simple, yet every company struggles with running a PB (personal best) in the second mile of recruiting.  

If you want to join the second-mile recruiting movement, here are some creative recruiting techniques to try: 

1. Create a career page on your website 

  • Direct candidates from social media posts and job boards to apply on your website. 
  • Realize that, in addition to your website being customer-centric, it also needs to be employee-centric.  
  • Have a video showing what it’s like to work at your company. 
  • Share the history of the company, the founder’s story, and employee biographies.  
  • Clearly state the mission, vision, and core values.  
  • Be sure to define what your company is passionate about besides just work. 

2. Use social media to post open jobs 

  • Reach out directly to anyone who has liked or followed your page since the job ad was posted and encourage them to apply. 
  • Ask your employees to share and post the job ad to the social media sites where they are active, including their groups. 
  • Consider trying new social media recruiting sites such as Instagram Live or TikTok Resume. 

3. Network with local high schools, trade schools, and community colleges 

  • Develop internships. 
  • Ask your employees to teach a class or industry-specific workshop. 
  • Offer flexible hours for students. 
  • Use school placement services to reach current students and recent graduates.  

4. Get involved in the community 

  • Speak to groups about the industry.  
  • If you are a chamber member, send out an eBlast to all members to let them know you’re hiring and encourage them to share your online job posting. 
  • Attend job fairs.  
  • Schedule an open house for recruits to meet your team.  

5. Let your employees talk about the amazing culture in your organization, as they are your best salespeople 

  • Develop preprinted business cards that can be given to possible candidates with a recruiting message such as, “You seem like you’d be awesome to work with. Please contact me if you are interested in exploring the opportunities that we have available.” 
  • Create an employee referral incentive program. 

Having employees who are passionate and bought into the culture makes them your best salespeople in the second mile of recruiting. Putting in the extra effort to run the second mile means there is a company-wide commitment to recruit every day, even when the company doesn’t have a job opening. Transform your company into a place where everyone desires to work and is willing to always be connecting and recruiting.