What To Do When The Fish Aren't Biting

I used to fish a lot as a kid.  In the summer, I would leave my house early in the morning and wouldn't come home until I heard my mom yelling in the distance that it was time for dinner.

I learned three great lessons from fishing that I carried over into my career in recruiting.

If the fish aren't biting...

1.   Move to a new location.

2.  Change your bait.

3.  Change your approach.

The first two are simple to understand and easy to deploy.

If you're trying to recruit someone on Linkedin and they're not responding, you can "move to a new location."   You can try ZipRecruiter or Facebook, for example.   

If the email you're using for candidate outreach isn't working, you can "change your bait" by rewriting the headline or the body of the email or the picture in your ad.   One of these changes might increase your chances of getting a bite.  

The third lesson is the hardest but it often leads to the best results.   "Changing your approach" means that you already tried everything and you have to think differently.   

For example, instead of working the shores, you actually need a boat with a quiet motor and a trolling rig so you can canvas the entire lake with a deep-diving lure.    Or maybe it's an issue of timing and you just need to wait until dusk when the fish move closer to shore and start feeding.

Often times recruiters don't think like fishermen or fisherwomen.   

They blindly run their one-size-fits-all recruitment marketing playbook and hope for the best.  But the real results come when recruiters cast their line in the same pool of water multiple times, try different bait, move locations and change their approach when nothing else is working.

When you think like you're fishing, you realize that you have other options and you exhaust them until one of them works.   But you never quit until someone in the distance tells you it's time to stop.   

And because you love the sport,  you get back out there and try something new in the morning.