SmartRecruiters Blog

People Work for People First and Companies Second

The employee’s decision to quit their current company or join a new company is all part of “Who do I work for?” decision. Most will say, it’s customer first. Doctors work for patients. Athletes work for fans. Farmers work so people can eat great food. However, bringing the consumer to the producer is rarely enough to create longterm retention. The farmer also needs to eat. The athlete wants to get along with the team. And the doctor – along with every other professional – wants a professional and enjoyable working environment.

People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.

This phrase is written throughout management books. And yet, too little attention is given to the existing team through out the hiring process. If people quit work because of their coworkers and people enjoy work because of their coworkers, why wouldn’t their potential coworkers shape the decision of which company to join? The reality is: people work for people first and companies second.

“What do you do?”

It’s one of the most common questions when meeting a new person. It inevitably encompasses, “For whom?” i.e. Customer and employer. Passion – or lack of passion – for a work environment will shine through in every employees’ answer, whether they are at a networking event, a bar, or in the interview room. People who are passionate about their work are more likely to convince prospective employees to join them, and that’s what recruiting is all about. CMSwire explains it with a simple cartoon:

“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset,” says Mary Kay Ash, CEO of Mary Kay cosmetics. “It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”

A great team produces great work; that is your most marketable recruitment asset.

Your employer brand can do a lot for you. It can increase the volume of organic candidates in your pipeline; it can create positive sentiment about what you do; but employer branding cannot – by itself – close top talent. The interviewers will close top talent.

My point is: make the human connection as soon as possible in the recruiting process. Personalized messages matter. Seeing the real workplace matters. Meeting the potential team members really matters. When they meet your personalities, it’s easier for top talent to see themselves working with your company. Simply put, after the human connection is made, every choice will happen sooner with more accuracy.

Put your employees on the front lines. Display the hiring manager who posted the job on every job ad. Talk about how impressive your colleagues are during the job interview. Paint the picture of how your company puts its people first.

David Smooke

David Smooke was the Director of Content Marketing and Social Media at SmartRecruiters and is the Founder of ArtMap Inc & AMI Publications.