Why Would you Work for Us? – How to Win the Candidate

Recruitment is a very simple principle:  A need is identified and a candidate with a particular set of skills that can fill that gap is hired.  Cut and dry right?  Not exactly.  If it were that simple, we wouldn’t need incentive programs, bonuses, reward systems and counter offers to keep our best talent.  More importantly, if we utilized that principle, we would hire an entire workforce of “mediocre” talent that is content to come to work each day and earn a paycheck.  You know what that breeds?

You got it:  Redundant behavior, lack of inspiration, death of creativity and an all around halt in progress.  That is why mature and even young companies fail.  Whether we look at the last 100 years or the last 100,000, inspiration has been the spark of innovation.

Now, we need to complicate the principle of recruitment to provide us with an answer to the real question:  How to you win over the best talent in the market place.  If you noticed, I didn’t say “find” the best talent.  That part is easy.  We are “connected”.  The best talent is not hard to find.  We are everywhere.  We can hide, but we don’t.  We are proud of our skills and expertise and have learned how to ignore the spamming of agencies and recruiters.

Back to our dilemma, winning over the best.

For LeBron, it was a homecoming and the promise of a championship to a city that truly deserved to feel that sense of winning once again.  The money didn’t hurt, but LeBron was going to make a difference and he only fell a few games short.

What can I say to make you want to be a part of my team?

  • You will a difference.  Your ideas, research, and recommendations will be part of a team of collaboration, innovation and execution.  Your skills alone will not make the difference.  How you use them and how they will impact lives is the true essence of success
  • The ability to lead.  Does everyone become a people manager?  No and we don’t expect everyone to.  That would make for a very backwards organization chart.  Success is not one idea, but the work of many.  In a teaming environment, if you have an idea that you can drive to execution, that is leadership.
  • Look at your dreams and your reality; Are they connected?  If not, are we a part of where you envisioned your life.  A career will take up 60% of your awake time for over 40 years of your life.  Given those numbers, you should be surrounded by people that give you value and happiness.
  • You will be inspired.  Not everyday, not every week, but over the course of a career, you will find many moments of inspiration.  Look at your possessions; family, friends, creative projects and break down the things that are truly important to you.  Now take that list and find the things that truly “inspire” you.  That list is much smaller isn’t it.  That same principle should apply to a career.  You shouldn’t take any job because you can do it; you should because you are inspired and will make a difference.

I have asked recruiters and hiring managers throughout my career how long it takes you to decide if a candidate is a “fit”.  Most often it is less than 5 minutes.  Ironically, it is the same amount of time a woman on a date knows if she will date or sleep with a man.  So, why do we spend 30 plus minutes interviewing?  Simple, we need to justify our decision to ourselves.  Think about the thousands of hours we would save if we made our judgements early and often.

A marriage is a union of two bodies with a promise to love, cherish and nurture through good and bad.  The same holds true for a career match.  Companies will grow, mature, hit rough patches, soar to new heights and re-invent themselves.  It is the natural cycle of life.  Human will as well.

When I look at a candidates pool, I will always put my efforts into winning over the best.  I want the top talent for every one of my positions.  I won’t get them 100% of the time, but if they know they will inspire, make a difference and affect positive change, I will get most of them.


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