A couple weeks ago I told you about my latest VA hire, and how for the first time I had to calculate the projected return on investment of the position in terms of more than just freeing up hours of my time.
I also mentioned that my hiring strategy for this role (a dedicated Pinterest marketing specialist) was a little different than what I’ve done in the past.
Normally I’m a fan of a “big ocean” strategy, one that allows you to cast a wide net and filter to the most qualified or best fit candidates.
But this time I tried the opposite: a “small pond” strategy.
The Small Pond Strategy
Because the skillset was so niche, I went directly to a friend of mine who teaches an online class on how to become a Pinterest VA.
Which is probably even niche-ier. But shows that it’s an in-demand skill.
I used her VA finder tool and got several applications back, all from people who I knew had invested in their business and were trained in this specific marketing strategy.
I first heard of this from another podcast host, who did something similar when looking for help in growing his Instagram account.
Instead of posting the job on Upwork or another “big ocean” freelance platform, he turned to someone who was teaching Instagram marketing to pull prospective hires from his list of “graduates.”
And for niche skills like this, I think it makes sense to go small and go directly to the source. In an ideal world, you can find someone who’s had the results you want to see and is training others in their system.
It won’t work 100% of the time, but is another way to narrow down your search and find pre-qualified candidates.
Have you ever done the same?
Put it in Action
If you wanted to replicate the “small pond” hiring strategy, you could start with a Google search for “[skillset] + training/course”.
For example I searched “bookkeeping training courses” and found some promising results:
For other searches, you’ll find blog reviews and podcast interviews that should lead you to the training instructors that can lead you to your job candidates.
Some popular online training platforms even have built-in job boards that are used both as a selling point for would-be students and for employers looking for specific roles in their business.
A well-known example in the blogging space is the Problogger Job Board, where you can find qualified writers who you know have at least been exposed to the Problogger style of blog writing.
You may have to pay a nominal fee to post your job to sites like these but the theory is you’re reaching a higher caliber candidate and making that needle a little easier to find in the global talent haystack.
What do you think? Could you use this method to source your next hire?
Let me know in the comments below.