All too often, companies focus their recruiting strategy on describing the job responsibilities and their preferred requirements – essentially what the company is looking for in a candidate. While there’s nothing wrong with sharing that information, it will not attract the passive A-players they want to hire: someone who is currently employed, doing well, and not actively looking for a job. Giving them a description of a job similar to what they are already doing will not compel them to make a move. In today’s highly competitive employment market, a company has to stand out in order to attract the best talent. This begins with crafting a unique and exciting employment value proposition – essentially why a candidate should be interested whether they are actively looking or not. The company should convey the benefits of the job itself, the team they will be a part of, as well as the company as a whole.

The Job

To pique a candidate’s curiosity enough to want to learn more about an opportunity, a company needs to answer the question candidates will surely have, which is: “what’s in it for me?” Consider answering these questions as a good starting place:

  • How will this role challenge someone, and help them learn and grow?
  • What training is offered to assist them in that development?
  • What is the future career path that someone could expect if they exceed expectations?
  • What type of compensation can be earned, not only monetarily, but also via equity and/or other benefits?
  • What have other top performers in the company been able to earn based on over-achievement of objectives?
  • What impact can the role have on the organization to help really move the needle, and how might they be recognized for such achievements?

The Team

A candidate’s relationship with their manager and extended team have a huge impact on their fulfillment in a job. As such, the hiring manager and the team should be a major selling point to attract candidates. Consider the candidate’s point of view and answer these questions:

  • What is the manager’s leadership style and philosophy?
  • Are people generally happy working for him/her?
  • Have other team members been promoted while under this manager’s leadership?
  • What internal resources are available to help contribute to someone’s success?
  • Are there other top performers on the team that an incoming employee can model after and learn from?
  • What is this manager’s/team’s reputation in the marketplace?

The Company

Candidates want to join a company that has a bright future and where they can envision themselves for the long-term. Items of importance to a candidate may include:

  • Who is part of the executive leadership team, and do they have a proven track record?
  • Does the company have a reputation for innovation and a differentiated solution to offer their customers?
  • Do they have a positive culture that empowers their employees?
  • Is the company in a growth industry with an ever-expanding pie for them to take a bigger share of?
  • Are they already recognized as a market leader, and how so?
  • If public, how is the stock performing?
  • If still private, who are their primary investors?
  • What has been the growth trajectory the last couple of years, and how rapidly have they been increasing employee headcount?
  • Who are some key referenceable clients the company has been successful in landing?
  • What other companies do they have partnerships and alliances in place with?
  • Have they received any awards or accolades from analyst firms such as Gartner or other industry media outlets?

The answer to all of these questions about the job, the hiring manager and team, and the company is the sizzle that will get candidates excited! When compiled into a compelling story and delivered with passion, this is much more likely to get a passive A-player on the hook to explore the opportunity. This however, is just the first step. Companies must recognize that interviewing is a courtship process, and a two-way street.

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