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7 recruiting tips fishing can teach

January 12, 2015

This morning while waiting for a bite at the shore, I was amusing myself with the similarities between fishing and hiring. By fisher-boy-1397436-mthe end of my efforts (which resulted in no catch) it wasn’t just amusing but there was learning that I found reinforcing. Now I am not an accomplished angler but I do hire quite a bit and have had my fair share of hits and misses. Here are a few similarities.

1. When and where to fish – An experienced angler knows where to go fishing when. Which waters will carry what fish and when. What depth to go to. Same goes with hiring. We have to find the right waters for the talent pool. What joy when we occasionally hit upon a school of fish!

2. Motives and the bait – Good anglers keenly observe what fishes get attracted to. Some go for smaller fishes, some for worms, some others are mere curious. Understanding the motives and using suitable baits is important. Same is true for hiring. Understand where the motive of your candidate is and signal the right benefit for them to come on board with you.

3. Line and follow through – Bait may invite a bite but it’s not a catch yet. The line, knot and the technique has to be strong. The entire package and hiring experience has to be strong for the candidate to become a catch including the interview and hiring process.

4. Release and reload – Sometimes quite unlike fishing where ‘a catch is a catch’. If you are not satisfied with the fish you catch, you must release and reload. Sometimes you may have to make do with your catch because you want to get back to other things. Hiring decisions are not very different. We make the same choices. Most of us are dressed differently though.

5. It’s a game of patience – If you are hiring for the right talent, like fishing, you have to learn to be patient and persistent. I know of highly reputed companies who wait for months for the right talent. Probably many go fishing.

6. Tackle with tact – the angler is prepared for things turning out differently. He is not shy of using different lures and baits if the planned approach does not work. He will improvise as per the conditions. The astute recruiter doesn’t stop with one approach if it doesn’t work.

7. Its enjoyable – Anglers love their fishing trips irrespective of the result. Sure they feel disappointed but they go back at it again looking for a bigger, different fish. Apart from the desire to be successful they also enjoy the experience. It’s similar for the seasoned recruiters – they just enjoy the experience of looking out for the right candidate and the sea of prospective talents to search through. They enjoy their quest much like the angler enjoys his.

Happy recruiting!

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 14, 2015 5:10 pm


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