Nimble is the way

Even if I may not always agree with what Dr. Sullivan has to say over at (like what he wrote about talent swapping), his out-of-the-box thinking is quite refreshing.  Recently he wrote an article about proximity recruiting.  Proximity recruiting is about finding candidates through face-to-face interactions – as opposed to non-physical recruiting including job ads and boards.  If you’ve been to a career fair, then you experienced vanilla-flavored proximity recruiting.

In his article Dr. Sullivan presents the example of a start-up company that took proximity recruiting to the next level.  Because I found their story inspiring, here are a few of the details. 

In need of talented staff, when this start-up got tipped by insiders of one of the biggest and most innovative players in the market that they were restructuring and laying off several hundred of their employees, the start-up team got to work.  Rather than passively wait for those employees who lost their jobs or were about to, to find their company on the internet or at the next career fair.   They created their own opportunity to engage in proximity recruiting.  Literally, they set up a taco stand outside the big player’s offices.   As those who were affected by the restructuring left the building, they were invited for a free meal – which included a chance to meet and greet the team and learn about job opportunities. 

Some might see this as a desperate and maybe even unethical move – because it can be said that the start-up’s aim was to steal talent from the other company.  Fair enough, but it’s already common practice for companies to steal clients from one another – that’s what astronomical sales and marketing budgets are for.  And more important, their strategy worked.    Since in the age of twitter nothing goes unnoticed or stays quiet, the start-up received free publicity – which in the end resulted in more people learning about them – and their innovative ways – and some eventually applied for a job.

The moral of this story is that the start-up used its small size to its advantage.   In a nutshell, they were nimble because they were quick, responsive and resourceful. 

You and I as job seekers can choose to follow their lead.  In the current economic climate being nimble – as employees or self-employed – is a necessity.

How are you thinking outside-the-box?  Or are you staying stuck, paralyzed by your fears, waiting for the calm to restore?

*Thank you sportsscribe at flickr for the photo

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