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Hang out with your candidates: a resolution you really shouldn’t break (please!)

hang out with your candidatesI personally think the idea of New Year’s resolutions are kind of dumb. If you only manage to come up with goals once a year, of course you’re going to break them.  Behavioral change happens through repetition – daily, weekly, plugging away at all those incremental things that really can make a difference. To really achieve change, you should tackle weekly goals.


That isn’t the way things tend to work. Instead, we drift along, doing what we do, while all the while that tiny voice (or in my case, voices) needles away, trying to remind us that we really should change. Somehow, it’s easier to ignore the voice than it is to set a goal and get to work.


Here is a resolution/goal/target/whatever that you should put on your plate – today. It’s going to get you outside of your comfort zone. It’s going to be a hassle to tackle. And it may tell you things you don’t want to hear. But it may also change the way you do business. It may lead to greater revenues. It may cut expenses. And it will definitely open your eyes.

What is this amazing resolution?

You must resolve to hang out with your candidates. Get chummy. Find out what they read, Google, smoke, drink, watch, or hide. Discover what makes them happy – and gets them upset. Learn how they talk – what words they use, what matters (and doesn’t), what’s cool and uncool. And (of course) how they look for work.

Yes, you can get some of this via surveys. But don’t let that trump real life interaction. Do some focus groups – maybe as part of a professional association meeting. Reach out via phone or Skype interviews. Invite some candidates in your neck of the woods to a free lunch. In other words, do whatever it takes to hang out with your candidates.

Remember – no one should know more about your job board’s candidates than you do. No one. You should be able to tell employers things they never knew about the people they want to hire. You are the expert on your candidates.

So make this resolution for this year – and don’t break it!

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