Eric P. Bloom GHNS
Eric P. Bloom GHNS

When looking for new people to hire, don’t leave the task up to human resources - use your personal resources and contacts as well.  

As managers, there is a catch 22 related to hiring additional staff for your department.

When I think of this manager’s hiring dilemma, I think of the old adage about a man who sees a child running down the street carrying his bicycle on his back. The man then asks the boy why he is carrying his bike rather than riding it. The boy replies by saying that he is in such a hurry to get home that he doesn’t have the time to put the bicycle down and get on it.

Certainly it makes good sense for managers to ask the human resources team (or person) to help find suitable candidates to fill open department positions. After all, HR specializes in people-related issues, including the recruiting and hiring process. They may already have qualified candidates in their application database, have processes in place to do advertising, and have personal contacts with recruiting companies.

You, as the hiring manager, should also use your professional resources, connections, and social media community to help find people to hire. There are a number of advantages to this approach, including the following:

  • You, as the manager, have the best understanding of the specific skill set needed for the job.

  • You have a deeper understanding of your profession’s jargon and acronyms than HR does, because it’s your profession, not theirs. This allows you to better assess peoples’ resumes related to needed technology knowledge and experience.  

  • Being in your profession, particularly if you are active in local or national professional associations, you may know people who are either looking for a job or know people that are in transition and would be a great addition to your team.

Also, as a member of your profession, whether it’s accounting, information technology, training or any other definable group, social media is a great way to find new candidates to hire. That said, consider using social media in the following ways to find the perfect job candidate and, hopefully, the perfect hire.

  1. Many professional associations, such as my local chapter of ASTD (American Society for Training & Development), allow me to post training jobs for a small fee. The beauty of this approach is that not only is it hitting the exact applicant pool, but when someone contacts me, chances are I can get a quick reference about the person from someone I know within the chapter.

  2. Post your open jobs on LinkedIn discussion groups associated with your profession. For example, my company, Manager Mechanics, specializes in IT leadership training, therefore, if I’m trying to hire a new trainer, I can post the job, free of charge, on various LinkedIn Groups related to training and/or technology management.

  3. Rather than a formal “job post” on these social media sites, just post a question asking if anyone knows of someone looking for a job with the needed skills. This approach has the potential to reach a larger audience of readers than the job search area because it will also be read by people not currently looking for a job.

  4. If you have a medium or large Twitter following, tweet about your open position. If people like you enough to follow you on Twitter, maybe they would like to work for you if given the appropriate opportunity.

As a quick note of caution, before using social media in the ways previously suggested, check with your manager, human resources group, legal, and/or other appropriate internal company departments to assure that your company allows this type of social media activity. You don’t want to get in trouble for trying to do a good thing.

Lastly, there is another huge personal advantage of using social media as a way to find potential hiring candidates. This advantage is that it increases your social media presence on the Web. Who knows, maybe someone out there has an opening for what you would consider your “dream job.” In essence, using social media is not only advantageous to your company, but it also has value to you personally.

The primary advice and takeaways from today’s column is to know that:

  • You, as the hiring manager, should also use your professional resources, connections and social media community to help find people to hire.

  • Using social media as a way to help you find potential job candidates has advantages for both you and your company.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, manage well and continue to grow.

Eric P. Bloom is the president and founder of Manager Mechanics LLC, a management training company specializing in information technology leadership, and is the governing organization of the ITMLP and ITMLE certifications. He is also a keynote speaker, nationally syndicated columnist and author of the books “The CIO’s Guide to Staff Needs, Growth, and Productivity,” “Your IT Career: Get Noticed, Get Promoted, and Build Your Professional Brand” and “52 Great Management Tips.” Contact him at eric@ManagerMechanics.com, follow him on Twitter at @EricPBloom or visit www.ManagerMechanics.com.