This step occurs every time you go through the interview process, even if you have decided that the candidate is not a match. Every candidate must leave your organization saying to themselves: “Man, I want to work for this company!” Just as many of us would like to own a top-of-the line Mercedes Benz, so to do most candidates want to work for an innovative, market leading company. Make your company the Mercedes Benz of potential employers. In this way, you become a destination for prospective employees.
Smart companies don’t just interview anymore; they sell. You need to look at the interviewing process as an opportunity to sell your value proposition to prospective employees.
Develop a stump speech that you deliver to every prospective employee. Describe how your company builds business value: your business focus, economic model, operating parameters, and your core processes. Talk about your culture. Talk about their ability to act like an owner of your business.
Remember, attitudes change when people accept something new as appropriate and possible. Your first interview with a prospective employee is the best time to start explaining what is appropriate and possible in your organization. It’s the best time to start affecting their attitude. You will need to spend some time explaining the specific job or role you seek to fill. Most people want to know about that. You also need to describe the basics like benefits, vacation time, and so forth. But spend most of your time talking about your culture. Think about how easy the interview would be if you had already made the determination that the candidate was well qualified and you were simply trying to get them to join your team. Sell your culture by truthfully saying that:
- 1. We feel we are given the opportunity to do what we do best every day.
- 2. We believe our opinions count.
- 3. We are committed to doing our best.
- 4. We really understand the link between our work and the company’s mission.
If your company owns these attitudes in the minds and hearts of your employees and prospects, your culture brand is real. Every prospective employee will go home or back to their friends and colleagues saying: “You won’t believe the company I interviewed with today.”
Most people want to work in this kind of environment. Spend time talking to prospects about the innovative programs you have for developing leaders at every level in the company. Tell them about the physical as well as the intangible elements of the work environment. Explain to them the higher purpose you all share as employees of the company. When they hear you talking about it, the entrepreneur in them will awaken. Their eyes will light up. And their attitudes will begin to change. Then, when they join your company they will be ready to act like an owner.
A new report demonstrates just how competitive the job market has become. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsrecently reported there were 5.4 job seekers for every employment opening in April of 2009. To compete today, you must develop a hiring process that quickly determines the level of competency and skill in prospective employees and then focuses on cultural fit. Your hiring process should select people who can learn, execute and even challenge your operating model. You should focus on hiring entrepreneurs.