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“Why would I want to work for your company?”

“Why would I want to work for your company?” and “What’s in it for me?” are two questions you will very rarely hear from candidates aloud and yet we can almost guarantee that both of them are top of the list of questions that they will ask themselves when considering your organisation as a place of work. In fact they should ask them aloud and make you think hard about the value can offer them as employees.

If we accept that job hunters WILL be asking these questions to help them decide which job to accept, which company to work for, we must also reword them to ask ourselves similar questions; as a prospective employer ask yourself “why would someone want to work for us” and “what would they get out of it?”

Your recruiters (as well as your manager) are tasked with promoting you as an employer, your values and the career opportunities your organisation has the potential to provide, yet so many of them take it for granted that if you have a good brand or are a sizeable company with a leading market presence in its sector (whether that is locally, nationally or globally) it will be a magnet for candidates. If only it were as simple as that. No one can afford that sort of arrogance any more.

It is an all too common mistake that so many people and their companies make, and it can be disastrous as far as candidate engagement goes. If you are a recruiter or if you are a hiring manager and fail to provide a candidate with a compelling reason to join your company they just won’t! Why would they?

A good indicator about how well you are “selling” the company or giving candidates the right level of information and incentive is to look at the number of rejected offers you get and the number of people who leave your organisation voluntarily within their first year of employment. Statistics will vary department by department and company to company, but if it is higher than 10% then there are so many things that need to be addressed not least the expectation that you set during the interview process and how you are selling yourself and your company. Is it with honesty and transparency? Do you provide enough information for them, not just what you think is sufficient?

There could be any number of points that candidates might find compelling, likely to be different from candidate to candidate; earnings potential, team, challenge, office environment, company growth and stability, career development and progression……..the list goes on. They are all very personal to the candidate and each will play a part in his or her decision process. Add to them the corporate employer brand, your place in the market and you have a big big story to create.

Unless the time and effort is invested to make the candidate feel important by finding out what is important to them and then delivering that information in a way that helps them understand what it will be like to work at your company, you won’t be able to help them make the right choice. If you have found the right person, one you and others in the hiring process know will add value, you have an obligation to give them all of the information they want, as well as information you think they should know so that they can choose you. Can you afford to lose them to another company simply because you didn’t take the time to give them the information they need?

There is no point in just assuming because you have a job to offer and a decent salary it will be enough to get a decision in your favour. Similarly, just because you have a great product or service doesn’t mean that you have a reputation as an employer of any kind, good or bad. You have to sell the benefit and value as well as what it could mean to each person.

Do not take anything for granted, put yourself in the shoes of the candidate, not those of your CEO. It is about what the job hunter needs, not what you or your management team deem to be sufficient. Let’s face it your CEO is never likely to apply for a job with you are they now.


If you would like to have an informal conversation to explore this post or the wider topic further please contact Granite7 at and someone will be in touch.

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