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Authentic Organizations

Attracting the Best People
Author: Jim Reger

September 2006

“The key to the success of your organization is your ability to attract and retain the best people.”

If you agree with this statement but the first thought that came up was something like “How do I do this in such a difficult and competitive job market?”, then you will find value if you continue reading.

This article is focused on how to initially attract people to your organization. How to retain them will be a subject for future articles and specifically, this article deals with how to advertise in a way that you will attract the best people, whether you are advertising in the paper or on line.

Firstly, an ad should be written about the person you are seeking, not about the job you are trying to fill:

“Are you self-motivated and accountable? Do you have energy/intuition, drive and ambition? Do you want to get ahead based on your efforts and contributions?”

is quite different than:

“Entry-level position for an inside-sales person. Must be dependable and reliable. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package to the right person.”

There is probably someone reading your ads who is ideally suited for your firm so you need to describe the individual you are looking for who will, in fact, thrive and prosper in your organization. They won’t recognize the “job” if that’s what you are detailing, but they will recognize themselves when you describe them- by the words you use, the actions you describe, and the characteristics you require. You want them shouting “That’s me!”

Secondly, there is nothing quite as effective as a question- especially when it seems to single me out with it’s focus. If you ask directly for what you want, you’ll most likely weed out the people you don’t want to attract, and energize the ones that you do.

“Do you want to make a difference?”
“Are you prepared to work with passion and commitment?”
“Do you show-up for life and work everyday?”
“Do you want to work in an environment where your opinions will be valued and respected and where you will be expected to value and respect the opinions of others?”

That’s me!!

Our experience is that people are born with the inherit desire to want to make a contribution, and they will be attracted to an employer who appears to offer them this opportunity.

Thirdly, and most importantly, you must “be” the organization that you are implying you are with your advertising. People today want more than a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. They want to work in an environment where they can be respected, valued and appreciated for the individuals that they are. They want to make a significant contribution and work with passion for leaders who understand the human spirit and are committed to making a difference in the lives of all the organization’s stakeholders. People today are craving authentic leadership- leaders who want to leave a legacy and believe that the way to do this is by providing leadership based upon their authentic presence and not their position or title.