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A few weeks ago we were meeting with a client to discuss a candidate of ours that had just completed her final interview for their Director of Customer Service position. They loved her! They were confident that she had the skills, experience and personality to be successful. She was their top candidate and wanted to discuss an offer. Obviously, we were excited as well, but advised them to wait until we debrief her on the interview before structuring an offer. It is always good to make sure everyone is on the same page and all questions or concerns have been addressed prior to extending an offer.
During our follow up with the candidate, it was clear that there was some hesitation in her voice. She liked the challenges of the position and what it had to offer for career growth. The compensation range we discussed was in line with her goals and the commute would be shorter than what she had been used to. However, she still did not know if this was the right company for her. As we continued to try and uncover her concerns, she had trouble putting her finger on it. Then she finally said, “They really didn’t tell me why their company is a great place to work”. BINGO! She went on to talk about how each interview was structured around her experience, background and skills. They discussed what she could bring to the table and how she would address the challenges they had. Obviously, that is a big part of all interviews, but they never talked about the reasons their company stands out from its competitors, why they personally chose to work at the company and the things that keep them engaged, challenged and motivated. How do they handle the work/life balance issue? How are they involved in the community? What are their core values? What is their mission and vision? What unique benefits do they offer? The bottom line is that they never really SOLD their company and because of that they risked losing their top candidate. As recruiters it is our job to help sell the benefits of working for our clients, but it ultimately must come from the company employees for it to hit home with our candidates. If the people conducting the interviews are not showing enthusiasm and excitement for the company they work for, it creates doubt in the minds of the candidates. Ironically, this particular client has a lot to offer and is an outstanding place to work.
Fortunately, we were able to address her concerns and the client spent some extra time “selling” her on the company and opportunity. She accepted the offer and is happy with her decision.
With this example in mind, I encourage you to look at your sourcing, interviewing and onboarding processes with a critical eye. How are you truly selling your company? Are you selling your company with enthusiasm and excitement? Is there consistency with the way you are selling from the first contact with candidates to the last? Why would someone want to work for your company?
Additionally, be careful not to assume that people want to work for your company simply because they need a job. The war for top talent is challenging, so always make sure you are doing everything you can to create a positive image and a reputation as a desirable place to work. If you don’t, your competition will.