Stop Asking Candidates Why They Want To Work For You: Start Asking Yourself This Question!

I recently met with an extremely motivated Director who wanted to grow the sales team as fast as possible. The plan was to expand Australia wide.

In assessing whether we would make good business partners, I asked my standard question,

Why would someone would want to work for your business?

The answer I received was “we have a great culture and we have great training.”

Both were things employees look for in a company however, we had a problem. The last 10 companies I had met with, were looking for the same staff and had the same answers!

I wasn’t sold which meant, the high performers I was working with regarding their next career move, wouldn’t be excited either.

I advised the Director, to get the current team together and find their point of difference in the market place.

What you can learn from this meeting:

Firstly, if you want good staff to become members of your team, you need a strong reason as to why they should join your business and it cannot be the same as what everyone else is offering.

Here are some of the better answers I have received to this question:

Sales specific recruitment:

  • I am currently making 30 sales a year, my 3 year strategy is to take a step back from hands on sales and focus on growing the business, the person who joins my team will have the opportunity take on my current listings.
  • We encourage a strong work life balance. Our business recognises that in a commission-driven environment this can be hard to achieve, this is why our licensee manages a Sales Representatives phone calls and their current listings whilst our reps are on leave.

Property Management specific recruitment:

  • We realise that all Property Managers have different level of abilities and different personal circumstances. We let our Property Managers each determine their own portfolio size. We remunerate a base salary that reflects the minimum of properties that they need to manage and then they are compensated per property that they manage on top of this amount.

General recruitment:

  • We have an Employee Assistance Program and support every person through the ups and downs.
  • We fly our team to Bali each year for a team retreat. A good team culture is important to us.

Once you have determined your ‘why’, use it in your advertising and your interview process.

Ensure that is very clear to the person who accepts the role because after they join they will continue to tell others why they chose to work for you.

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