You’re busy. You’re pressured by deadlines. Besides, things seem fine where you are. Why would…
By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Have you felt ho-hum when friends generalize about vacations where the “people were very friendly” or “the hotel staff offered great service”? Candidates can react the same when you tell them about your great practice and the opportunity there. You sound enthusiastic, but the message doesn’t register. What to do?
These phrases—and others like them—have been used so often that they’ve become clichés. Face it: saying you have an “open door policy” or that your firm is “family-friendly” or “very entrepreneurial” isn’t going to cut it. You may not notice the candidate rolling her eyes. That doesn’t mean she isn’t.
People don’t respond to what sound like self-serving assertions, even if they’re true! The trick is to have the candidate draw those inferences based on real-life information that you provide.
Consult your employees about their thoughts on the kind of workplace they have. Ask them how they think you should talk about what it’s like to work there. You’ll get a more accurate response, as seen through the eyes of an employee. More importantly, you can count on that perception to be reinforced by that employee in conversations with the candidate.
Next, ask your employees for stories from their experience that would be good illustrations of those characteristics. When did they benefit from an “open door policy”? What has “family friendly” meant to them, personally? What rewards have they received for being “very entrepreneurial”? Add your examples to this list of stories.
Then, as you are interviewing a candidate and in your best “selling” mode, reach into your bag for one of those stories to illustrate the point you want to make. Better yet, tell the story as you introduce the candidate to the employee who gave it to you.
Once you start looking for them, you’ll probably find stories you didn’t realize were out there.