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At my house, there are presently Tiny Tim tomatoes growing in nutrient enriched water.


My teenage son is into hydroponics with a passion. We’ve been growing these tomatoes for almost 120 days. As I watch the plants bloom, I realize that this is about how long it takes to hire quality candidates.

I was a Master Gardener for several years and to me the garden is a place where magic is all in a day’s work, and careful planning and care along the way ripens into reward in the end. If you neglect your delicate plants, you reap far less than if the same plants were adequately cared for.

While recruiting is a far stretch from any day in the garden, the same principles apply equally to your hiring process. With excellent hiring practices comes great candidates. Next time you tend to the recruitment patch, remember: Effort in the present improves your chances of landing qualified employees in the future.

The first rule of recruitment gardening is to stay attentive: Strike a balance between personable communication and efficient automation. While your tools can automatically weed out the very worst candidates with forms, it requires the delicate concentration of a human to achieve a desirable level of accuracy. When you do stumble upon a qualified candidate, make sure to stay in contact. While remaining faceless at first saves tremendous amounts of time, subsequent levels in the hiring process require progressive amounts of communication. It is quite simple: if you ignore them, they will ignore you. If you overlook your garden’s needs, it won’t stick around for long.

Easily the second most crucial rule is proper positioning: position your listing above the rest, place your new hires where they will excel, and arrange your internal structure for success. If your listing can’t reach the light of day, it will wilt and die. Likewise, if your company culture can’t radiate the energy your new hire needs to succeed, they too will struggle.

Pleasant company culture starts with proper employee hiring and positioning:It’s a puzzle that every business must solve as it grows. Improper positioning in the recruitment garden has the same potential to undermine growth and long-term success as inattentiveness.

Finally, the last rule of recruitment gardening is enjoyment. Take pleasure in the hiring process, as you’re single-handedly growing the business, one hire at a time. Likewise, celebrate each new employee: it’s no easy feat. Patience in the garden pays off with ripe hires that will take your business to new heights; it’s up to you to grow your practices to find them.

Heidi Shadel is a Cumberland business owner and graduate of Frostburg State University with a master’s in business administration. She believes in small business and the power that it holds in America’s economy, especially having a passion for helping small businesses succeed within the tri-state region.

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