If you were asked to come up with a list of the top 10 reasons your customers buy from 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?

Over the years, I’ve found most business owners and managers can come up with a list of at least five without much difficulty, but what is a real challenge is when I ask them 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.

Many research studies do shed light on the reason why coming up with this list is a struggle. They document the major disconnect between what workers want and what managers and owners think they want. Just look at the discrepancies:

Workers Want:Managers Think Workers Want:
1. Full appreciation for work done1. Good wages
2. Feeling “in” on things2. Job security
3. Sympathetic help with personal problems3. Promotion/growth opportunities
4. Job security4. Good working conditions
5. Good wages5. Interesting work
6. Interesting work6. Personal loyalty to workers
7. Promotion/growth opportunities7. Tactful discipline
8. Personal loyalty to workers8. Full appreciation for work done
9. Good working conditions9. Sympathetic help with personal problems
10. Tactful discipline10. Feeling “in” on things

Because these surveys 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 very 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:

1. Why did you come to work for us?

2. Why do you stay?

3. 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 to they need to attract and recruit the best.

The following is an excerpt from one participant’s follow-up email to me: 

I asked my current team members why they enjoy working for me. Here’s the list:

1. I care about my employees.

2. I help them in any way that I can.

3. I provide a very comfortable environment.

4. I’m a wonderful boss (their words, not mine, blush)

5. We work hard and we have fun!

6. We work Monday through Friday (not weekends)

7. We get to meet really cool customers.

8. I provide what they need to be successful.

9. I tell them exactly I need them to do.

10. 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 & Have Fun?; and Never Work Weekends Again.

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

A. Why did you come to work here?

1. Environment/atmosphere

2. Location is close to home

3. Good pay

B. Why do you stay?

1. Staff/owner/manager/clients

2. Schedule/hours

3. Environment/atmosphere

C. What would make you leave?

1. Hostile work environment

2. Schedule/work hours changed

3. Better opportunity/pay

My takeaway from this would be to concentrate recruiting efforts within a five 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. Then use the information you gather to become certified as a Five Star Employer. info@fivestaremployer.com