Each day I come up with a lesson I have learned in life and I share it with you. The lesson can be about anything but it can not be a fact-of-the-day or just something I heard. It has to be something I learned and can apply to living a better life, and that is what makes it challenging. Here is today’s lesson…
“I have one more question for you,” I said. “After hearing about our company and the job, and speaking with me through this interview… why should we want you to be part of OUR family?”
This is a very specifically worded question I ask every interviewee. For one, it is sending a signal that we are an exclusive club that only lets “our kind” of people in (“Why should we want YOU…?”). It also explains, in one word, our culture and how important it is to us (“Family”). Finally, it invites the person to explain what makes them special. It is the last chance to lock in the win, or fail the interview.
“Well,” the person applying for the open position said, “Frankly, I am surprised by how honest and straightforward you have been in this interview. I’ve never had an interview like this. You put me at ease and took as long as you needed to answer all my questions. Honesty and Integrity are obviously more than words to you guys. You demonstrated it right in the interview and even in the posting. I mean… who wouldn’t want to work for you?”
I am part of an executive team that is allowed the freedom, and encouraged, to do things our way. That means we offer a lot of the unexpected, from the start. For example, my job postings display the salary and benefits information in them. I never have to negotiate salaries and draw out the hiring process because it is plain to see what I am willing to offer.
I know our competitors might be watching, and maybe even counter-offering some of our would-be team members, but that’s fine with me. I figure if somebody is willing to work for the next guy for a dollar or two more, then that is probably not the right person for my team anyway. I ask our company to pay as much as we think is fair and affordable. If money is the biggest driving factor for our workforce beyond that, then I think we have the wrong workforce.
There is power in being transparent, though many companies still try to hold their cards too close to their chest. The way I see it, if I need somebody to help me, then they need to know exactly what they are getting into. Otherwise, they can only half-help me and I can only half-rely on them. Not a good mix for success.
In other words, if you want someone to help you climb a mountain, you don’t hand them a blindfold and a walking stick and say, “I expect us to be at the top by the end of the week.” Instead, you point to the peak and explain what obstacles you think are in the way, then say, “Okay, now that you know what I think we are up against, let’s put a plan together and try to be ready for surprises. Now, what do you think is the best way to go from here to there?”