The Art of Sales and the Interview Process
The Great Recession ushered years of high unemployment, slow hiring, and an incredibly competitive job market. Large numbers of talented, qualified employees competed for a limited number of jobs. In today's economy, well-qualified applicants interview with multiple companies and organizations.
As a hiring manager, human resources professional, or small business owner, when you conduct interviews, you are not merely vetting candidates. You are also in a position to excite the interest and gain the trust of a potential future asset. Selling can be considered an art form. Just ask any Sales professional. Therefore it is crucial that you showcase the advantages of working at your company and that you position the opening as a unique opportunity for the candidate.
The Art of Sales: Start Selling While Interviewing
1) Sell vision. People experience great personal fulfillment from jobs that are meaningful to them. Give candidates a clear picture of what the organization is trying to accomplish and how that will make a difference in people's lives. The satisfaction gained from being a part of your company's mission may appeal more strongly than any compensation and benefits package.
2) Sell culture. At its essence, organizational culture can be distilled to a shared set of values. These values inform decisions and guide behaviors at all levels. If your organization has clearly defined values and adheres to them strictly, a discussion of those values will be valuable to the interview process. Candidates whose values are in alignment with your culture will happily contribute to the growth of the company. Candidates who do not share the organization's values will likely struggle and expend energy in pursuit of their agendas, threatening productivity and morale.
3) Sell management. A company's culture determined by the personalities of its leaders and managers. If the candidate will be reporting to a manager or executive who is highly regarded in the organization, expounding upon this individual's strengths and talents may inspire a candidate to accept the position. Employees will engage and produce at higher levels for people they respect and admire than for people they distrust and fear. Through teaching, great bosses may also help employees to be even more effective in their work.
4) Sell potential. If your company has a defined, supported path for growth and career advancement, emphasize this. Let the candidate know what resources will be available to him or her to enhance education and skills.
Look inside the organization for examples of workers who have risen through the ranks on their own. Their stories can be powerful testimonials to an aligned organization that rewards excellence and effort.
Your personal story can be compelling, as well. What do you, the interviewer, enjoy most about working for your organization? Sharing your own experience with a candidate can create an immediate connection.
In addition to being a powerful tool for engaging candidate interest, "selling" your company's strong points establishes a foundation for retaining talent over the long term. The individual who begins employment with a strong understanding of the organization's values, culture, management, and opportunities for growth is positioned for sustained success.
Menlo Partners is happy to help develop your "story". If you need help with recruiting top talent or with expanding your workforce, give us a call.