By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

I’ve always said to think big when it comes to recruiting, to set your sights high and push yourself to be the best recruiter you can be. Sometimes, however, big isn’t literal. Sometimes big means successful and simply gives us a way to frame our efforts. That’s certainly true this year, because small is the new big in 2015. Forget about casting your nets wide and instead focus on the small.
The most important thing about going small this year is putting aside egos. It sounds silly because everyone says they just want what’s best for the company, but all too often egos lead to recruiting teams putting more emphasis on quantity than quality. Small is targeted, focused and driven by the needs of the organization. It’s about playing on your strengths, determining what your recruiting team is great at and using that to build, grow and evolve. Embracing small starts with making small changes. So before you go and completely re-haul your existing recruiting strategies or programs, know that it starts with recognizing your strengths, building specific, targeted goals and incorporating changes that don’t require you to realign the entire talent department. They can be simple and small but lead to big things.
This year, I’m focused on making these three changes that emphasize the value of going small:
Mindfulness
Mindfulness is taking time to understand the goals, desires, emotions and needs of people. Start with those around you, such as your boss, team members, spouse and candidates. This helps you to see what others’ priorities and concerns are and how people who are directly and indirectly related to the hiring process are affected. For instance, your spouse’s concerns are likely the same concerns that spouses of your candidates have. Knowing what they are allows you to address them early on. Simply asking the small question, “What can I do to make the hiring process better for you?” is a great way to have a conversation that will lead to better processes and more communication without being overwhelming.
Quality over quantity
As you focus in on fewer candidates, a nice byproduct of that will be fewer phone screenings, interviews, background research and reference checks. The goal is to bring in better and more qualified job seekers rather than a large number that you have to sift through. For me, quality over quantity means traveling less and enjoying my work more. As you focus on the important things, you’ll feel more free and able to think creatively.
More hugs
This year I’m committed to showing more hugs and appreciation in ways that are meaningful but not complex. You’d be surprised how much a simple phone call to a candidate or a thank you to a member of your team can mean. To you, this could mean focusing on personal happiness and finding ways to create small joys more simply. In recruiting, this can look like spending more time with the smaller pool of candidates you’ve identified and feeling really good about a candidate placement because you gave it the time and attention it deserved.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.

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