How do you make ‘boring’ jobs sound interesting?

Transcript

There are a couple of layers to that.

I’m not sure you’re heading in the right direction if you try and make something seem better than it is.

However, pulling back from that, I think, basically, it’s a relationship between the job and the person.

So a job is not going to sound appealing – this is my theory anyway – a job isn’t going to sound appealing to the wrong people.

Normally, if you’ve got a situation where you’re trying to make a job look appealing to people who you don’t think it’s going to appeal to, then normally that’s the fault of the client giving you an unrealistic brief as to the kind of person they’re looking for.

I think every single job is appealing to the right people, if those people are identified.

So it could be that, if the company does have difficulty in attracting people to jobs that perhaps other companies don’t find hard to fill, then it may be because of that. Maybe they’re setting their sights too high. Maybe they should be targeting a group of people for whom that job would be a step up in some way.

Often, you’ve got to get some parity between what the job is, and who would see that job as a logical next step in their career.

So, it could be they’re working for a much smaller company, they are earning less money, they’re working too far away so it’s nearer to home. If you think about it, there could be a number of reasons.

But the best way to identify reasons why people would want to do that job is to ask the hiring manager the following question.

“Why would somebody doing more or less this same job in another company leave that company and come and work for you?”

And then the next person who speaks, loses.

They have to answer you. They have to. And you’ll probably need to make follow-up questions.

But you may start uncovering things like: they have a great training programme, or they send everyone away for some training for two weeks, or the boss of that department is particularly good. He or she is just a great motivator, keeps people for a long time.

Sometimes, it’s the little details that, once you find them out, you think: “Oh, actually, that’s interesting,” because you can sell the whole job off the fact that the company keep people for an average of 6.5 years, for example.

More digging at the front end will probably yield more things that you can then talk about, that are attractive to the right people.

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