Ask yourself why someone wants to work for you

Following the recent purchase of my last company I’ve been spending a bit of time talking to other businesses about working with them and it’s been quite surprising how much the businesses have focused on what I can do for them and not what they can do for me.

Yes, if you’re looking to hire someone to come and do some work for you, absolutely you need to find out if they can do the job. For me this has included telephone calls, video calls, face-to-face meetings, tests completed by me, presentations done by me. I’ve met CEOs, CTOs, VP of this, and VP of that.

But one thing that’s been missing has been anything from the other side to show me why I really wanted to help them (other than the basics of being paid to do it).

Not one business has provided a vision of where my contribution will help move the business forwards.

Not one business has shown me the environment in which I would work and how I’d be interacting with the other members of the team.

Not one business has said this is the package we’d offer for you to be part of our organisation.

Not one business has pitched themselves to me.

It doesn’t take long to put together a few slides that say ‘this is who we are, what we want to achieve and why we want to achieve it’. This probably already exists somewhere in a sales deck which is rolled out to potential customers, so why not roll it out to potential team members? After all, the potential team member could easily be responsible for bringing more income into the business than one prospective client could.

Some businesses put this kind of thing on their website, which is great, but why stop making the effort there? Why not keep selling to people throughout the process?

Yes, I’m more than capable of asking for this information and have done, but I’ve been met with uncertainty of message, looks of confusion, and possibly even a few raised eyebrows that I was even asking about such things.

There appears to be an approach that I should be lucky to be talking to them, and often I am, but it works both ways. I probably see twenty opportunities a day and filter these down to a handful which are worth spending any time pursuing. They’re lucky to have my time and will be lucky to get access to my experience and the value I can help them deliver, but if they don’t think I’m worth pitching themselves to then maybe I can take that experience and value somewhere that it’s appreciated.

Is your business selling itself to potential new team members?

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Helping people kick start their product management career at * Product person at Watchfinder

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