Skip to main content

The Seattle Times Career Center

Employment advice for job seekers.

April 11, 2014 at 1:00 AM

How to love recruiting: Hiring doesn’t have to be painful

By Kristen Fife / Special to NWjobs

Image of interview


It’s true: Not everyone enjoys recruiting. At small or understaffed companies, an HR generalist or HR business partner (HRBP) might be responsible for hiring; that can take a lot of time, especially if it is only one task among many.

You can learn to love recruiting as much as I do. Here are some methods and mindsets that can help you be more effective.

Get the hiring manager involved. First and foremost, the hiring manager and the recruiter should share equal responsibility in the hiring process.

Effective recruiters are highly engaged with their hiring teams and make sure their managers are just as invested in the process as they are.

This means that hiring managers should provide timely feedback on candidates and résumés. They should also use tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to spread the word about open positions, so make sure that they know how to effectively use them.

Solicit employee referrals. Encourage hiring managers to engage their teams in the hiring process by soliciting employee referrals, which are the most effective source of successful hiring (and, happily, require the least amount of work from HR).

Consider scheduling a “sourcing lunch.” Book a conference room, bring the open job descriptions, get some pizza and invite everyone to comb through their networks — in LinkedIn or in real life — for referrals or leads. Tell them how you’d like them to share information with both you and the candidates.

When a position opens in one part of your company, reach out to people in other parts of the company with similar titles or backgrounds for industry referrals.

Use your business knowledge to plan ahead. A generalist or HRBP who is also recruiting has a huge advantage when it comes to head-count forecasting, budget insight and employee issues that could lead to a termination or resignation. You can start sourcing early and proactively, rather than waiting until a role is open and the team is underwater.

One of the worst practices to fall into is relying solely on the “post and pray” method: Post a job on your website, LinkedIn or, and then pray that the ideal candidate comes walking in. Although this method can be effective, recruiting is about branding and marketing as much as filling jobs. As the single point of contact, you are in a unique position to build your employment brand and help shape the corporate culture.

Embrace the local recruiting community. Recruiters know people, so get to know recruiters. You don’t have to attend every job fair and networking event in the city, but make sure you know what’s going on.

The Washington State Recruiters’ Yahoo! Group has 2,900 members. We share candidates and information, give recommendations and answer questions. It’s the first place I go when I need an HR professional or want to see who is hiring.

The Staffing Management Association of Seattle — an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management — has great information. The Northwest Recruiting Association group on LinkedIn is also a great place to drop in, ask or answer questions and get your name out there. The NWRA is the parent of Sourcing7, which hosts regular training sessions and conferences.

Seattle is home to a multitude of sourcing gurus. Learn how to find candidates beyond just running a search on LinkedIn. SourceCon has a ton of articles on the art (and science) of sourcing passive, high-quality talent. ERE ( is another good resource for knowledge, industry trends and practices. And frequently features recruiting stories, including archives of my Career Center Blog posts and Recruiter’s Inbox columns.

Adopting these practices and knowing how to source can reduce your workload; not only will you more easily find talent, but also industry professionals you can call on for referrals.

Approach recruiting as an exciting new way to work with your managers, and you just might find that you enjoy it after all.

More in Resumes & Job Hunt | Topics: featured, hiring, HR


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►