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If you don’t know…

January 9, 2015 -  By

If you were asked to come up with a list of the top 10 reasons excellent employees should want to work for you, could you do it? Would the first five reasons come easily and then you’d have to dig a little, or are all 10 self-evident?

I’ve found most business owners and managers can come up with a list of at least five without much difficulty, but it’s a real challenge to come up with a list of the top 10 reasons why great people should want to work for them.

If you’re wondering the purpose of this exercise, it’s twofold:

1. If you don’t know why great people should want to work for you, how will great people know they should apply?

2. It will help you create an irresistible recruiting message that will attract the quality employees you need to prosper and grow your business.

Research sheds light on the reason coming up with this list is a struggle. It comes down to a major disconnect between what workers want and what managers and owners think they want. Just look at the discrepancies (see lists below).

Because these studies presented a list of choices and asked respondents to rank them from most to least important, these broad-brush results won’t help you write your list. But, happily, there’s a simple, no-cost way to find out why great people should want to work for you. Just ask all the good people working for you now these simple questions:

-Why did you come to work for us?
-Why do you stay?
-What would cause you to leave?

Whenever I conduct an employee-recruiting presentation, I always ask the participants to conduct this survey once they’re back on the job because the results will give them the ammunition they need to attract and recruit the best. The following is an excerpt from one participant’s follow-up email: “I asked my current team members why they enjoy working for me. Here’s the list:

-I care about my employees.
-I help them in any way that I can.
-I provide a very comfortable environment.
-I’m a wonderful boss (their words, not mine, blush).
-We work hard and we have fun!
-We work Monday through Friday (not weekends).
-We get to meet really cool customers.
-I provide what they need to be successful.
-I tell them exactly what I need them to do.
-I tell them when I need them to improve without beating them up.”

If I were this manager, my next “Help wanted” ads and posts would have headlines like: Looking for a wonderful boss?; Want to join a team that likes to work hard and have fun?; and Never work weekends again.

Another participant gave each employee a questionnaire. Here’s a sampling of the most frequently cited answers:

Why did you come to work here?

-Location is close to home.
-Good pay.

Why do you stay?

What would make you leave?
-Hostile work environment.
-Schedule/work hours changed.
-Better opportunity/pay.

My takeaway would be to concentrate recruiting efforts within a 5- to 10-mile radius of the business’ location and use headlines like: Work the hours you want; or Great shop, great clientele, great manager.

So, what are you waiting for? Do your own survey and use the results to craft a dynamite recruiting message.

Bonus! Send Mel your list (, and he’ll send you a complimentary copy of his whitepaper, “Recruiting with Craigslist.”

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in 0115, Business

About the Author:

Mel Kleiman is the author is the founder of Humetrics. He helps companies build high-quality, frontline, hourly workforces. Reach him at

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