Get Smart: Recruiting without Recruiters

Get Smart: Recruiting without Recruiters. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 99, Jacob talks about Growth Planning and Systems and Processes. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.

Welcome to Episode 99 – so pardon the pun in the subject line!

Still, it’s a reasonable question. When you calculate the cost of recruiters charging 12% or 15% or more to find you new staff, you may well ask if there’s a smarter way to do this on your own.

And the answer is “Of course there is!” In this week’s episode, I share insights that any business can apply to improve their recruitment process … without engaging any recruitment agencies.

If you hate recruiters, you’ll love this episode.

If you are a recruiter … well, you won’t want to miss out.

And if you’re genuinely smart, you’ll know there’s a time and place for every service provider. Just stop paying Recruiters out of desperation!

Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?

“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.

Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.

At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.

You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.

That’s me.

Learn more here. Or Let’s chat.


Welcome to Blackboard Fridays. For episode 99, we thought we’d get smart and have a chat about one of the hardest issues that is going on for a lot of businesses. We’re heading towards, possibly already at, the peak of the current economic cycle. What that means is that unemployment is at record lows, and finding replacement or new team members for your business is becoming increasingly difficult.

A question I’m often asked is how do I go about recruiting those new team members? Do I have to use a recruiter? And for many business owners, recruiters feel painful, they feel parasitic, they feel overpriced for what they deliver. And so the business owners wanna know how do I recruit without recruiters?

I’m gonna answer that today. And you may recognize this is the marketing strategy plan from episode 46. We’re going to apply the same approach, but of course, we’re not looking for clients at this point. We’re looking for ideal team members.

Similarly, even though we’re selling them on the benefits of working for our business, we really wanna be thinking more about this as recruitment, not sales, and instead of pushing them through the sales hourglass, we wanna be focused much more on how we push them through the employee empowerment journey. That comes a little bit later. It’s going through this process that’s critical.

Are you clear about who your ideal team member is? There’s more than seven billion people on the planet. If you’re looking to fill one or two roles, chances are, they’re out there, but are you looking for exactly the right person or are you casting too wide a net and looking for just the next bum on seat?

How well do you understand the pain, the struggle, the challenge that those ideal team members might be going through in their current position? Are they looking for another role because they’re not getting from their current employer what they’re looking for?

Maybe they’re not even on the hunt for something different, but you know you can add something better. How do you get that message out there? This falls into your brand promise. How well are you articulating the benefits, the opportunity of working with your organization? Do you make it easy for those potential team members to find you, to come to you?

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Let’s get into specifics. Frankly, why you? Why would I work for your business as opposed to your competitor’s? Why would I leave this job that I know, that I’m comfortable with, even if I’m not 100% happy with it, why would I take a risk and come and work for you? Do you know the answer to that question?

If not, a great way to find out is to ask your current team. What attracted them to come and work for you? What makes them stay? Make sure you do that in a way that they can give you the honest feedback, because it may surprise you.

Now, how well are you promoting those benefits? Are you just out there saying you’ve got a great culture like every other business? Are you actually demonstrating through your website, through your social media the attractiveness of working for your organization?

We often think about marketing just in terms of attracting clients. But in the current economic climate, we also need to be clear that marketing is about recruitment just as much as it is about sales.

So does your marketing show the benefits of joining your team? Or is it all about the clients? If I do a Google search for a job in your industry, say Senior Accountant in Queensland, is your website going to show up? I mean, I’m going to get almost certainly all of the job boards, Seek and Indeed, but do you show up as one of the top industry providers within your sector?

In other words, if I don’t wanna have to deal with yet another job application process, or I just wanna go direct, am I going to find you through that Google search? If not, why don’t you have a page that’s search engine optimized to get that message out?

When someone does come to your website through that search or through any means, maybe they found you through social media, maybe a recommendation, maybe they just drove past and went they look look like a pretty nifty, progressive accounting business, I’m gonna check them out.

If I come to your website, is it clear to me how I would get in touch? How I would apply for a job? Does your website scream we’re recruiting? Or again, does it just focus on the clients and park the team on an About Us page?

Key rule about recruitment is that you are always recruiting. Always. So your message needs to continually be out there telling top ideal team members, top talent, that you wanna talk to them. That now is an opportunity to reach out.

Depending on your capacity engine and some of those conversations, it’s possible that you may not physically be able to hire somebody today. You may need to put them on the bench so that they’re parked off the side ready to get pulled into the game at the exact time that you need that next person. If that’s the case, have that conversation, but get them through the door.

Get them into the interview. Find these ideal candidates. Frankly, if you find an ideal candidate, even if you’re not ready to grow, you possibly still need to bite the bullet, make that investment and get them on board.

Especially at this point in the economic cycle, because they may not be available in another two weeks’ time. Is your industry profile strong enough? You’re probably targeting team members similar to the ones that you’re working with, so are you getting out into the industry or have you reached a point in your career where you don’t think it’s necessary for you, your leadership, to go to networking events to do sponsorship?

Again, so many business owners I talk to when I have this recruitment conversation think that all of those are about marketing for clients. And we’re full. That’s why we need more team members. Industry events in particular are about promoting your business to ideal team members, potential recruits. Always be recruiting.

One last point so that the recruiters that I work with don’t lynch me. Sometimes the answer to how do I recruit without recruiters is you can’t. You need to get a recruiter on board. There’s two big reasons why you might wanna work with a recruiter.

The first is the value of your time. We’ve probably all been through that process of putting an ad out onto a job website and being inundated with hundreds of websites, hundreds of resumes that we need to sort through to process.

If you need a person in the short term, your own time and availability going through the recruitment process, especially if you’re a small business without a HR team member, it may take you months to sort through that whole process. Yes, it might hurt having to spend $10, $15, $20,000 on a recruiter,  but your time is worth a lot more than that in some circumstances.

Get a professional in to help. And the other thing is that great recruiters, and like any industry, there are some who are not great, but great recruiters are actually networked into your industry. They know the people who might be looking. They know the people who might be ready if they get a little bit of a nudge, if they get a little bit of a push.

While you’re perhaps advertising and only making yourself available to those ideal team members who are actively looking, a recruiter can help people who are not actively looking to find out about the opportunity to come and work with you. Just like you wanna grab ideal opportunities and team members when they come, so too great members will jump at the opportunity to work with a great business like yours.

Having a recruiter can help you get in front, sometimes, of more of those. How do you recruit without recruiters? By investing time and effort into continually recruiting. Get your message out there and make sure that your marketing is talking about recruitment as much as it’s talking about clients. And be realistic. If you need support, get a professional. Don’t be cheap.

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