Why ask for more than we give?

A thought leader in our space, Craig Fisher, espouses that you should have four gives for every ask you make in social media. Meaning you give people four pieces of valuable information. Four ideas. Four insights. Four nuggets before you ever ask for anything. I love this concept and have put it a little differently in some old posts on Social Media Explorer (and by old, I mean 2013 old. Obama was president old. My kid was a 1st grader old.) I talk about the 80/20 rule. The gist of that one is that 80% of your content should be adding value to your reader, and 20% can be shameless self promotion. And before you even ask, a job posting does not count as “content that adds value”. So, essentially, our these 4 gives to one ask is really the 80/20 rule put more elegantly. In exploring a recent customer’s talent experience, I noticed something rather stark, and it is consistent with nearly every single talent experience I’ve ever audited or studied, it’s this. When it comes to our candidates:

We ask for the moon and give them nothing.

Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Some of you may say: well, we give them a job. Yeah, we give ONE of them the job, and in exchange for that job, the person has to do all of the due diligence. Think about all the things we ask and how much we give in return. We ask for their entire work history. And even that, we can’t make as easy us uploading something, nope, many times, we make them upload and copy and paste. We ask them to come prepared to every meeting and to know the inner workings of our organization. We ask them to decipher our internal speak, and acronyms. We ask for the to do all the digging. To suss out the real meaning of the employer brand. To determine what “team work” means to us. We ask them to figure out which reviews are the ones that are real. We challenge them to try to get in touch with us. We ask for their salary information. Hell, I’ve even seen brands ask for my social security number.

Meanwhile, we give them stock photos (sorry, not sorry), long applications, no responses, long wait times, a black hole, and websites and social updates that tell them very little about what it means to work there. The reality is, we could give them everything they want.

As we enter the new year, look at your experience and find ways to start adding more “gives”. Let’s start telling our talent what it really means to work for us. Be honest. They know it is work. Let’s tell them what it takes. We can do this. Tell them what to expect. Everyone I know right now is starving for content, let me give you some ideas: What about a simple FAQ for talent to understand your organization. Even better, teach your chat bots the answers to the FAQs. Your recruiters should be able to supply you with the same 100 questions they answer every.single.day. If you use internal speak and acronyms, give them a glossary or stop using internal speak and acronyms. If you ask for salary publish your salaries. If you have diversity goals, tell people how you’re actually doing there. If you want your candidates to be prepared for interviews, share information about your company so that they can learn about you. Let’s start building experiences that are more egalitarian. More trustworthy. More useful. Let’s give at least as much as we ask for. We got this.