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How to sell your position to the candidate

Let’s face it; many parts of the job market today are mainly candidate dominated. (Sales is certainly one.) The candidate is “in the driver’s seat.” To land that candidate amid strong competition, the successful outcome often depends on how well we “sell” the position.

Have you ever been disappointed when your No. 1 candidate for an open position turned you down? Even worse, have you ever felt that the turn-down might have been your fault? Maybe you weren’t enthusiastic enough about your own opportunity. Maybe you didn’t paint a clear and optimistic picture for your candidate to get excited about. You needed to “sell the sizzle even more than the steak.”

Here, I would like to focus on the importance of infusing your interviews with enthusiasm for your company and your job, and give you three simple things to remember that will add “sizzle” to your interviews and help guarantee you land the candidate.

  1. Give Them the Buzz

That’s what you have to do. Give them the “buzz” – tell them what’s happening. Focus specifically on these two areas:

  • Your Company — Don’t assume that your candidates have read the local business news or are even tapped into the people who would know the exciting things going on in your company. Tell them the story yourself. If you need help from your marketing or PR professionals to put a “spin” on it, get it. Have recent press releases ready to show the candidates or even a short PowerPoint might do the trick. Give full weight to the company’s successes and show how you plan on leveraging those successes into the future.
  • Your Industry — Whether you’re in a fast growing industry or an industry that’s reinventing itself, give the larger picture of what’s happening and how your company fits in. If you plan on being an industry leader soon, or are giving the acknowledged industry leader a run for its money, share that information too.
  1. Tell Them How Important the Job Is

People always want to know how they fit in. Here’s your opportunity to show the candidates how their new job fits into the future success of the company. Show them where the job fits in the strategy. Show them an organizational chart if you have to. Get them excited about the contribution the job makes to the success of the organization.

  1. Tell Them the Future

Here is where you “paint the picture.” Give your candidates a clear and enthusiastic view of where the company is headed. Emphasize very strongly the opportunity that lies ahead for the company. Tell them about the talented senior management team and why they are there. Show them they will be joining an exciting company and a team that has a clear vision of where they are going (something everybody wants!).

Make sure you tell them these three important things before you get into the heart of your interview. You’ll have excited candidates (and potential employees) who can share with you how their skills can fit into the picture and get you the results you need!

Philip Kemper is Founder/President of KemperAssociates, a 38-year-old Chicago-based national executive search firm. Contact Phil with questions or comments at kemperassociates.org or kemperassoc@hotmail.com.

Posted in Columns, Employment Corner
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