How Do We Win the Talent War? Be the Biggest Loser

By: Alex Shattuck

In 2020, Rachel Fredrickson lost 60% of her body weight on the Biggest Loser television show. On this show, contestants work to completely transform their bodies. In doing so, their life revolves around this mission. For weeks, the contestants do everything in their power, with the help of professionals, to lose the weight. By taking this massive action they don’t leave it to chance. They lose a lot of freakin’ weight.

As small business owners, if we were to completely stop what we’re doing and solely focus on recruiting for weeks, with the help of professionals- we’d surely win the Talent War we’re fighting.

But just like most can’t put their lives on hold to solely focus on losing weight, we can’t put our lives, and businesses, on hold to solely be a recruiter.

But there’s good news: We can win the Talent War without taking it to this extreme.

In a Women’s Health article, Amanda Ogle describes losing 30 pounds in three months from eliminating soda from her diet.

Malia Frey, a weight loss expert, says that by eliminating a large McDonald’s Coke from your diet per day would reduce your yearly intake of calories by 200,000. This is equivalent to 60 pounds in the first year…

I recently heard the claim that recruiters are born. I’m not sure how I feel about that statement. I feel if you can sell, you can recruit. I also believe we were all born great at selling. If you’ve ever told a four-year-old “No” you probably witnessed some amazing selling following that answer. Not everyone later in life is a masterful sales professional. Often times that skillset fades away early in life, but for some- they maintain that ability to sell- this makes them naturally better at recruiting. I believe these are the “born sales professionals”, or in this case “born recruiters” mentioned.

What I love about sales, and recruiting, is that it is a simple math equation- just like losing weight…

This is great news for us.

It is great news because many of us just don’t recruit much at all. Our recruiting efforts mirror the self care efforts of the 500 pounder prior to going onto the Biggest Loser show. As I’ve already shared, someone that overweight doesn’t need to go on the show to see success. Simply doing one thing differently, like cutting out soda, can yield amazing results.

The same goes for us and recruiting. If you currently aren’t putting in the work to recruit each day- you can see some significant results by simply doing one thing differently- and sticking to it each day.

You don’t have to completely overhaul your schedule to win the Talent War. Start by giving recruiting five minutes per day. Set a reminder in your phone and do it.

Here are some 5 minute tasks you can choose from each day:

  • Monday: Refresh a job posting from your careers page so you show up at the top on the major job board sites. (Job seekers are more active with their searching Monday-Wednesday)


  • Tuesday: Post a unique recruiting message on social media. Use an image and be sure to give them the “W.I.I.F.M” (What’s in it for me?) Ask the world to message you for more details and ask them to share your post. Be sure to take a quick look at your careers page for new applicants.


  • Wednesday: Send an email. Maybe it is to the local Chamber of Commerce, another professional organization, or maybe to a local university. Just email one of your job postings with a personal message sharing who you are and what you’re looking for.


  • Thursday: Go out to eat at a local restaurant. You have to eat so I don’t think I’d count this as using your 5 minutes. Anyways, look for talented servers that have a skillset that may transition. If that is a dead end because of the individual, or because of your industry, simply communicate to your server what you are looking for and leave a business card. Ask him to give it to whoever comes to mind that’d be a good fit. (Consider offering a cash bonus for a referral that’s hired)


  • Friday: Set a goal for your team around this. Encourage a post on social media. Text a friend. Email a customer that they feel would be a good fit. Remind them of the cash bonus you offer them. (if you don’t do this- you should). From there- post on a community page on social media letting your community know you are hiring and what you are looking for.


  • Saturday: Make it a point to talk to another parent at your kid’s soccer game. (or talk to someone doing whatever you do on Saturday) Ask them how work is going. They’ll then ask you in return. You can then respond with- “Great, we’re growing and looking to hire for _____.” I’m not saying you need to recruit all of the soccer mom and dads. I’m saying they might know someone that is a good fit.


  • Sunday: Do the same thing at church, or whatever you do on Sunday. If nothing else- toss something out on social. Maybe this time you just post the job posting where one can click and apply.


*** I’d suggest checking into your applicant tracking system (ATS) at least 3 times per week to make sure you do not miss out on someone because you were late to the party.

The tasks are easy to complete, but easier to blow off. You have to own your activity and own your results.

Cut out soda = Lose 30 pounds.

Dedicate five minutes per day to recruiting = Win the Talent War

No excuses. We all have five minutes in our day to dedicate to something as important as this.

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