Tables Turned: Why It’s Time for Employers to Start Answering the Question, Why Should I Work For YOU”
We are all too familiar with one of the old age questions hiring managers ask job candidates…you know THAT question, it goes something like, “Out of all of the other candidates, why should we hire YOU?” Ummm…GULP!
For me, no matter how much I prepped for an interview, this question has never sat well with me. The main issue I have with this question is how one sided it is. The moment this question is uttered, it automatically assumes that a candidate desperately wants to work for that company at that moment in that position. It’s like going on a first date and being asked, “So…out of all of the other hot specimens on Earth, why should I marry YOU?” Ewww…slow down buddy! I don’t even know YOU!
The reality is, for most career-driven people, they show up to an interview to get a feel for a company just as much as the hiring manager is sizing them up. This question is rooted in the notion that the majority of job seekers are desperate. This mindset is antiquated, it’s reinforced by both the job seekers who believe that “any job is better than no job” (would take any job with whom ever, where ever) and the employers who feed on such candidates’ fears.
On the flip-side, there are candidates who are aware of the world around them and its opportunities, they know there’s just no need to settle anymore…well not for the long term at least. They know how to make spreadsheets of their dream companies to work for and make the connections to get the gears cranking.
Heck, they could even create their own dream job by going freelance or starting a small one person business. And you know what, the best employers know this. What do they do about it you ask? They go out of their way to be as appealing to job applicants, candidates and employees because the success of their company and the relationship with their customers/clients depend upon it.
Back to my point. Even though a hiring manager may not say it up front, companies need job candidates (somebody has to build the chat-bots you know…this is another topic), just as much as someone needs income to pay their bills. A job posting means this, “we need help”, that’s it. I don’t care how fancy the requirements or how intimidating the experience expectations are.
This is why I adore most brick and mortar/mom and pop shops, they’re so forward with their needs, if they’re low on cashiers, BAM! Up goes a sign in the window for all to see, “Short on cashiers, we need help for the summer”. No shame, no ego and no long list of unicorn skills.
The ways of work is changing fast, the level of global competition for job candidates, freelancers, entrepreneurs AND companies is increasing. So, what does this mean? Well, companies can no longer (should no longer) prance around as though their workplace is the holy-grail for candidates, demanding all from them up front and nothing of themselves in return. It’s all about reciprocity now!
Although it is important to be cautious when hiring people, employers should at least try to prove their case to candidates as well. They should exert why they are a great place to work. This message should be on a company’s career site, Linkedin page, in job ads, in brochures at career fairs and in company career videos etc.
If a company fails to have a clear employer message, or one at all, one will be created for them, good or bad, by their current and/or former employees on the most popular company review site EVER, Glassdoor.
The truth is, companies that put forth the effort to make their work experiences as humane as possible are not concerned about making a candidate waste their time comparing his/herself to others. High achieving and well perceived employers care about being honest and forward about 1.)why they’re hiring for the job, 2.)what they have to offer candidates if they joined their company 3.) and how the work can compliment the candidate’s existing talent.
The employers that will survive into the future will be the ones who know that no one has to work for them. But they will treat the ones that do as if they were the only employees on Earth.