By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Gallatin, TN

At the pace of today’s communication, we probably couldn’t survive without shortcuts in the way we characterize feelings and situations. It doesn’t take much for those shortcuts to turn into clichés, though. And when workplace clichés creep into your interviewing conversation, you miss an opportunity to make your practice stand out.

Telling candidates you have an ‘open-door policy’; or that it’s ‘very entrepreneurial’ there; or that your practice is ‘family friendly’, will only make you sound like everyone else.

The answer to what it is that differentiates your practice is right under your nose. Start by asking employees to brainstorm about the kind of workplace they have. Invite them to tell you how they think you should characterize what it’s like to work there. If they were you, what language would they use?

What you’ll get will ultimately be more authentic and will ring true to your interviewee when you share it. You can also count on that perception being reinforced in any conversations your candidate has with staff.

Dig a little deeper and ask your employees for stories from their own experience that would be good illustrations of those characteristics. Is there a story about how they benefitted from an ‘open door policy’? Was there a time when ‘family friendly’ was really important to them? Can they point to rewards from being in a practice that was ‘very entrepreneurial’? 

Don’t forget to add your own stories to the mix.

Then, when you find yourself interviewing someone you’d really, really like to come aboard, reach into your bag for one of these stories to illustrate the point you want to make. Better yet, tell the story as you introduce the candidate to the very employee who gave it to you.

Competing for top talent means having to tell the best story you can about the opportunity at your practice. That’s easier if you avoid clichés like the plague.

John Borrowman