I got a call from my friend the other day, “Hey Jim, I’m headed to a job interview and I was wondering if you could give me some good questions to ask?” “Since you are driving to this interview right now, let me give you some easy ones to remember,” I stated. Then, I gave him the one question that everyone should ask a potential employer, we talked about the opportunity, and off to the interview he went.
I had consulted my friend five years ago when he had been caught in a political battle and was fired. This had put him at a crossroads and he was questioning his career path and choices. He worked though that, landed a great position and was contributing at a high level for his employer.
He was happy, well-compensated, productive, employed and had a career path. Everything you would look for in the ideal person so I was not surprised that he was recruited. However, I was surprised that he had accepted the interview. This had me curious as to why.
After his interview, I was traveling and when I returned home, he informed me that he had accepted a new position. “For more money,” I stated. “No, for the challenge,” he responded. “I was bored at where I was at and felt there was nothing left for me to do.” We had a few drinks and he went on to describe the challenges of his new position: getting his new department up to speed; how the company was losing credibility and revenue given the poor performance of that department; the ideas he had all ready formulated to address those issues; and the career advancement path his new employer had laid out for him.
I recruit “A” players for a living so I should not have been surprised by our conversation. Just hearing how “A” player’s think about their career, unfiltered from a friend, was very affirming about what I know to be true about top performers.
My friend, even though he was happy, well-compensated, productive, and employed with a career path was open to a new opportunity that was better aligned with his abilities and where he saw his future. He had a compelling reason to listen to the recruiter. That is what you are looking for in the people you recruit.
People will listen if you have a compelling offer and if they are facing the CLAMS:
Challenged: They need a new challenge.
Location: Typically, this is a move to get closer to family or if a spouse is being relocated.
Advancement: They want to be and/or feel they are ready to move up in their career.
Money: Show me the money!
Stability: They feel the need for a more stable company, position or department. You see a lot of this when a company goes through downsizing and mergers.
When you find someone who has the skills, abilities, and experience you need for your position and they are happy, well-compensated, productive, and employed with a career path make sure they have one or more of the CLAMS. This will ensure, assuming your opportunity is a match; they are compelled to leave and start a career with you.
Given the role I play in my professional life, I get asked a lot by family and friends for the questions they should ask in an interview. If you want to know the one question I gave my friend to ask, click here. I give this question to my family and friends because it measures the clarity the company has around the position they are trying to fill. Most companies lack clarity on their true performance expectations.
Click here and I will give you the question and explain why it is the most important question you should have an answer to as an employer.