Level Up: Recruitment with Michelle Cole

by Mar 26, 2018

Do you know how to build a world-class team through recruitment?
Michelle Cole, COO and head recruiter of Envisage, has done a phenomenal job building a team that has propelled Envisage to be the leader in their industry. At this session of Level Up, she discussed:

  • Why people join organizations
  • Why money doesn’t matter as much as you think
  • What to sell instead of salary
  • How to create offers
  • How to write a job ad to attract the right people and repel the wrong ones
  • How to create a recruitment vision that people buy into

Below are notes from her presentation. You can view the slide deck here.

Why People Will Join Organizations

  • Is someone coming or going?
  • People quit their bosses, not their jobs.
  • Is someone overloaded? Micromanaged? Not seeing growth opportunities? Not happy with their coworkers? Spending too much time in meetings?
  • Promote friendship in the workplace because it can increase your retention opportunity and help with referrals.

Beware of the Common Denominator

  • Is there a theme from every job a person has previously left?

Understand Different Motivators

  • If someone isn’t trying to leave their current job, you’ll actually have to work to recruit them. They’re often the best people to recruit.
  • What motivates people? What motivates people who aren’t looking for a new job? Consider differences in people.

Create Creative Offers

  • Michelle has moved to Bloomington twice because of offers she received!
  • Show people that you pay attention and care about them. You can include unique additions in offers to demonstrate it.

Understand the Types of People You’re Trying to Recruit

  • Personality assessments are important.
  • Remember that recruiters are often very different from people they’re trying to recruit.

Create the Right Job Description

  • Consider how you’ll know if someone is doing a good job.
  • Who would you not want in the role?
  • Be open in regard to who you’re already thinking about hiring.
  • If you’re trying to get rid of something in a role, you need to quantify it.

Your Job Is Sales if You’re Recruiting

  • Consider a basic sales process like the IMPACT process.
    • Investigate: Who are you looking for? What do you want to bring to your company?
    • Meet: Meet them. Help them get to know you. Build trust and show a sincere interest in them.
    • Probe: Figure out  what they want. Determine their motivators.
    • Apply: How does your organization map to their desires?
    • Convince: Show them how your organization maps to what they want. Figure out their objections so you can resolve them. Objections are the most valuable information you can have.
    • Tie It Up: Make an offer. Follow up with them. Follow up on their concerns.

    Create the Right Job Ad

    • Identify five people who would be awesome for your company and interview them.
    • Draft an ad and run it past them.
    • Consider using a platform to remove gender bias from your ads.

    Craft an Offer

    • What do you offer that no one else does?
    • What makes you interesting?

    Additional Notes

    • It’s important for people considering a move to know that other opportunities exist if yours doesn’t work out.
    • Discuss economic highlights of your city with recruits.
    • When discussing salary (which isn’t a focus of her recruiting process), it’s important to acknowledge economic differences between cities.
    • Trailing spouses are a great source of recruits.
    • A fly in the ointment. If you’re recruiting someone that is married, assume that you’re also recruiting their spouse.


    What’s the usual timeline for recruitment and hiring?

    • It varies depending on how meticulous you are in the process. For Envisage, it’s close to six months.

    Do you have go-to places for recruiting?

    • Tech events, current employees, advertising in the paper
    • Over half of their employees come from an internal referral.

    How do you get employees to refer people?

    • Have a written policy for recruitment bonuses.
    • She personally thanks people and gives them gift cards.
    • When attending conferences, she wears a button that says she’s hiring.

    Not everyone is asked to take a personality assessment prior to being hired, but everyone eventually takes one.

    If someone declines your offer, do you continue to pursue them?

    • It depends on the situation. If it makes sense, then yes.

    For startups, the types of people you’ll hire will most likely differ over time. You can look at the structure of larger companies as a guide.