Grant Laviale

The Key To Recruiting? Make Friends!

Make friends, recruiting is a lot like making friends.

If you’ve ever moved to a new location, you probably know that feeling of being unknown. That feeling that you are starting fresh in a new community and are in need of some new friends to make the transition a bit easier.

During last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, we found ourselves spending quite a bit of time in our second home in Palm Springs because everybody was working remotely. Eventually, we made a bold move and decided to make the move from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs for good.

I was golfing the other weekend as a single and happened to be paired up with a father/son twosome on the green. To my surprise, we immediately hit it off that day and have played additional rounds together since.

Told you I golfed!

A few rounds later, I played again as a single and was paired up with two buddies. One of the two – Mark – knew Santa Barbara and had golfed at many of the same courses we both had played.

Interestingly, Mark let me know that he visits Palm Springs three to five times per year. We agreed to commit to playing together the next time he comes down.

These golf stories aren’t just me reminiscing on good times. It’s a reflection that shows that I am slowly developing friends. The process takes time, a lot of patience, and can’t be forced.

However, the cool thing about golf is that – no matter who you are – your personality will come out within four hours of being together.

Do you swear? Do you throw your clubs when you get angry? Do you drink too much? Do you play with etiquette? Sooner or later, those character traits start to appear, and it’s in those moments of real transparency that friendships are slowly built.

So what does this have to do with recruiting? More than you might imagine!

Recruiting is a lot like making friends. If you are trying to recruit, you can’t be a snipe hunter. You have to be a farmer. A farmer plants seeds, give them water, checks on them occasionally to ensure they are doing okay. Small, consistent investments that pay off in the long run with a bountiful harvest!

And, like any farmer, you must have patience as you recruit. There will be good seasons and not-so-good seasons. It’s what you do in those seasons that determine your long-term success. One of the best ways to help you build relationships over time is by becoming a trusted advisor. A person that is positive, adds value in every interaction, and actively listens to the needs of others.

I realized the other day while golfing that trying to make friends is essentially the same as recruiting! The similarities are striking, especially when it comes to being vulnerable.

So, do you want a secret recipe for recruitment success? Start by looking for friends. Once you find some potential friends, remember the farmer and sow seeds graciously and patiently. This concept has served me well, and I wish the same for all of you.

make friends


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