Are you creative in your recruitment? 
Published: April 28, 2022

Finding the right people to succeed is never an easy task. The answer may lay in being creative. 

Take the case of Hugo Alavarado. For more than a decade, he scoured the internet for players who might improve El Salvador’s national teams. He quickly identified dozens of members of the vast Salvadoran diaspora, players with Salvadoran-sounding names or Salvadoran-looking faces and places on the rosters of European professional clubs. One by one, he tracked them down. Those who expressed interest in playing for El Salvador were added to his growing database. 

The surprise is that Alvarado didn’t work for El Salvador’s soccer federation. He had no authority to recruit players to its national teams. He was just a fan who wanted his team to do better. 

He became so successful at talent spotting that Alvarado was appointed the first full-time scout for the El Salvador federation. The team continues to attract new talent using Alvarado’s approach, with the aim of competing on the world stage. 

What can business owners learn from this? 

The talent you need may not be where you think it is? By being more creative in your recruitment you can find the people that will make a difference to the value of your company. 

Here are some areas you may wish to consider. 

Don’t look in the mirror. 

We may feel more comfortable with people who are like us. But that’s not the best way to recruit. We live in a diverse world. Shouldn’t your recruitment policy reflect that? You don’t want an army of clones. You want people with different life-skills, backgrounds, outlooks, talents, to look at your business from fresh perspectives. 

Don’t fish in the same pond. 

If you recruit from the same pool as everyone else, you may end up with people who are the same as everyone else. Why not fish in some different waters. Some banks, for example, have started recruiting people from the creative world, to approach their business in a new way. Finding different people can help deliver different solutions.  

Don’t pigeon-hole. 

Pigeon-holes are for pigeons. If a person has one skill set, it doesn’t mean they don’t have others. When you recruit delve deeply into not just what that person can do, but what other talents they have and where their passions lie. People can have more than one talent. Perhaps one that can add real value to your company. 

Take a risk.  

It’s natural to feel comfortable with what you know. But that can lead to predictable outcomes. It can pay dividends to take the occasional risk and hire someone who’s brain is perhaps a little different to your own.  

Don’t count the years. 

People are often discarded as being too young or too old to recruit. What matters is how good they are. Passion and experience are sometimes sacrificed on the altar of cost-cutting. Don’t use age as a recruitment tool. Look at what that person will bring to your business.   

Talent is one of the pillars of every successful business. To ensure you continue to build value, it’s worth taking a leaf out of Hugo Alvarado’s book and be a bit more creative when you’re on the recruitment trail.