title: Ten Questions: Clarifying Roles

  1. Why would I leave my employer to come and work for this client or company?
  2. What is the hiring manager trying to achieve personally? As a company? As a team?
  3. What will things look like once the hiring manager or company or team is there?
  4. How close/far is the company or hiring manager from achieving this? Why?
  5. What challenges are keeping the hiring manager/client distracted? How does she/he want them solved?
  6. What could someone learn from working there?
  7. What needs to be improved?
  8. Done well, how will this job impact the team and the company?
  9. What new products or services is your client bringing to market?
  10. What new products or services are your client’s competitors bringing that your client is not?

Tweaks for Contracting Firms and Contingency Agencies

#1: You have to sell your firm and client’s company. #2: The recruiter and account manager’s wins are as important as the hiring manager’s win. #4: Agencies and contracting firms lack the client’s domain knowledge. Acknowledge that.

Original Content

Think you’re an employer of choice/

Thank you for downloading this short guide on questions you can ask your hiring managers to make your jobs easier to sell - and fill.

Before you dive in, let’s address the elephant in the room. If you want to attract high-performing people to your business, you’ve got to be able to sell your company and your jobs. The people you seek want to know “why” they should join you.

This means talking or writing about your company and your work with enthusiasm and honesty. It means helping someone picture themselves in one of your jobs, then lighting a fire under them to create desire. Enough desire to engage with you. It doesn’t involve promoting your business through tired-looking job descriptions.

Applicants and candidates see right through this fatigue. That’s why 85% of them have stopped applying to jobs online. Beanbags, ping-pong tables, and Friday nibbles won’t give people a reason to leave their employers. Despite what you think, salary rarely comes into the matter when people have a clear purpose at work.

The good news is it’s not that hard to make your company and jobs look ‘exciting’ without using the world redundantly on social media. Whether you improve your ad writing or your communications verbally, you’ll be in a position to highly logical career progressions or better job opportunities.

This short guide will give you ten questions you can ask any hiring manager - and their staff. By their staff, I mean speaking with someone in a similar position to the one you’re recruiting.

Ask these questions the next time you’re putting a brief together. Be honest about what it’s like to work for your business. Then throw some energy into your communications to create some desire in people. You’ve probably realized by now, hardly anyone is.

Mark Pearce

Why would someone leave their employer to come and work here?

Probably the hardest question to ask, but the most important. This is the question that gets every hiring manager thinking. It will put them on the spot, so you might want to soften it by saying something like, “I’m going to ask you a question that will get you thinking. You may feel I’m putting you on the spot. I’m asking you because it’ll help us attract good people to this business…”

What are you trying to achieve personally / as a company / as a team?

This is a question to ask if you want hiring managers to think about their purpose - or their mission. It helps them visualize what they want to achive both personally and as a team. They’ll likely answer this question enthusiastically. Take down the detail. This is the picture you’ll want to share with candidates.

What will things look like once you’re there?

A question designed to allow hiring managers to think a step further. This is the end result question. It’s powerful because it helps the hiring manager to know exactly how things will look once they’ve hired the right person/people. The information you gather is powerful for candidates because it gives them something to believe in.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

How close/far are you from achieving this? Why?

This question is intended to disarm and bring out transparency. We all have obstacles in the workplace. We all fall behind at some stage. We shouldn’t hide this. If we can show transparency to candidates, they’ll think you’re a credible employer.

What challenges are keeping you distracted? How do you want them solving?

This question helps the hiring manager think about the issues at hand and how they want them fixing. At this point, you’ll pick up the essential requirements the hiring managers needs for someone to be the right fit for the role. For candidates, it gives off the impression they have a company and a hiring manager who will believe in them to get the job done.

What could someone learn working here?

Everyone likes to learn. The thing is, candidates don’t know what they’ll learn reading a job description. Try and obtain a handful of things someone can learn. If you’re stuck at one thing, ask “What else?” or “What could they learn here that they couldn’t where they are now?”

Remember. Every hiring manager is unique. They can help people learn unique things.

What needs to be improved?

A question that will give you a starting point and an end. This question will help the hiring manager think how they can take something from point A to point B - and make it better. People like making things better. They feel good about it.

Done well, how will this job impact the team and the company?

A straightforward question to gauge how important this role is and what autonomy someone would have. Candidates will feel they’re contributing to the greater good. Again, they have something to believe in.

What new products or services are you bringing to market?

This question will help you understand some differentiators. it’s a smarter question to ask than. “Why are you different from your competitors?” Focus the hiring manager on things that are happening in front of them, rather than what might be.

What new products or services are your competitors bringing to market that you’re not?

A reverse of the previous question. This will help you understand what a hiring manager may want to bring to the company but can’t at the moment. A hiring manager with ambition is someone to beleive in.

Mark Pearce: Ten Questions to ask Hiring Managers