Juli Smith, President of The Smith Consulting Group – A member of the Sanford Rose Associates® network of offices Featured in LadyLUX


Juli Smith, President of The Smith Consulting Group – A member of the Sanford Rose Associates® network of offices Featured in LadyLUX, The Best Careers for Women in 2016

Dallas, 2/5/2016

Opportunities for women in 2016 and beyond are far more vast than our grandmothers could have ever anticipated. And while women want to believe that wage inequality and workplace harassment are things of the past, it isn’t always the case.

Top careers to consider

Executive Search

“With all the press about glass ceilings and equal pay for women, there is no greater pay equalizer than executive search as a top career choice for women. As an executive recruiter, I have had the joy of personal and financial success based on pure meritocracy, independent of what a male boss thinks of me. If I work hard, I succeed,” said Juli Smith, president of The Smith Consulting Group.

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Juli Smith, President of The Smith Consulting Group – A member of the Sanford Rose Associates® network of offices Featured in Jobvite


Juli Smith, President of The Smith Consulting Group – A member of the Sanford Rose Associates® network of offices Featured in Jobvite, How to Decline the Wrong Job Applicant

Dallas, 2/2/2016

By Matt Singer

Selecting the best candidate for a position means turning down dozens of other applicants that you interviewed or spoke to about the job. What, if anything, do you owe the ones you don’t select? Should you offer an explanation? What if they ask? How much feedback should you give?

Email is fine for candidates you never met with, but go the extra mile and pick up the phone for the people who made it to the final rounds of interviews. As President of The Smith Consulting Group, Juli Smith helps businesses find the right executives, and takes her personal experience into her own business.

“I interviewed for a sales position with a Fortune 500 company. I made it through four rounds of interviews, and it was between me and another candidate. I did not get the job, but I clearly remember how grateful I was for the personal call from the VP. He explained the reasons why they selected another candidate, and it allowed me to have closure. This was just prior to taking a job with MRI as a recruiter, so I remember what that felt like. I vowed when I became a recruiter to always tell the candidate something about why they didn’t get the job—to give them the dignity to move on. The VP had the courage to personally call me on the phone and not hide behind an email.”

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Useless Interview Questions

We are in a very competitive candidate-driven marketplace and if you think the interview is all about you, the employer, you are going to have your feelings hurt. Now more than ever, it’s critical for you and your leadership team to sharpen your interviewing skills and make yourself and your company stand out from your competitors by asking thoughtful, intelligent questions. Here’s a short list of the most ineffective and banal questions to eliminate from your interview:


  1. What are your weaknesses?

One of the most ridiculous and useless interview questions! Interview questions should be designed to uncover and explore and this question like no other, causes people to hide, candy-coat or outright lie about themselves.  I know of no example where this question somehow magically uncovered a candidate who has a chronic problem with being on time to work, substance abuse issues, or the inability to play nicely with others in the sandbox.   A better version would be “Tell me about a time you failed at something and what you would do differently?”, or “What things have your previous managers coached you to improve upon in the workplace?”


  1. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

This question does nothing to help the interviewer learn how the candidate would be able to perform the job duties for which they are interviewing. The world is unpredictable and life can throw curveballs at you so it’s not going to truly accomplish anything meaningful in the interview process. Why not ask “Why did you pick civil engineering as your field?” It would at least enlighten you as to their reasons why they are passionate about their career.


  1. Why are you looking?

This question has a tone that puts the candidate on the defense. I ask my clients not to ask this question because most often, the candidates I present are not actively looking. A better question to ask is “What are the factors that would have to be in place for you to make a change?”


Interviewing is a skill. Take some time to train to sharpen your skills and become a better interviewer. If you take one thing away from this, put yourself in the candidate’s seat and remember that they are interviewing you and evaluating your company on the quality of the interview.


Extreme Home Makeover: Workplace Edition

For nearly a decade, Extreme Home Makeover reigned supreme on Sunday night television. In less than seven days, the crew is tasked with rebuilding an entire house – every single room, plus the exterior and landscaping. Residents, neighbors, and viewers watch with joy and perhaps a twinge of jealousy; wouldn’t it be nice to have an overhaul so significant that it changes every moment and experience? How exciting to take what is commonplace and make it new again!

For some organizations, they have taken the Extreme Home Makeover to their workplace environment. The beginning of the new year could be an ideal time to look through an elevated lens at the status quo within your daily rituals, within a department, or throughout an entire organization.

Change can be a great thing, when the change is calculated and purposeful. Take some time to reflect on the current standard operating procedures within your department or company. You might find that the reason some best practices are the way they are is because nobody has taken the time or effort to evaluate any alternatives. The old adage of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” can be the antithesis of workplace innovation! Keyless automobile entry is a perfect example; using a key to open a vehicle door is a perfectly acceptable way to enter a car. Someone was creative and innovative enough to take something that worked well and make it just that much better, and we can have the same outlook on our own businesses. Constantly evaluate what’s not working, and even with what is working, be open to how to make it just a little more effective, or innovative, or differentiating.

Workplace Makeover: Life is Good
John and Bert Jacobs, the founders of New England-based apparel company Life is Good, have evolved to become a $100 million firm with over 250 employees. They, like most, were inundated with emails and realized the more they sent the more came back.

John and Bert made a pact: no more emails. They are now only directly available by cell. Their team summarizes the most important communication every two weeks, allowing them to spend more time on high level questions and the creative aspect of their business. The result? Increased productivity and happiness. Though it is easy to pull people in to a minor issue via email, they have found that people think twice before calling a cell phone – questioning if it’s important enough to warrant a true disruption.

Workplace Makeover: TED
TED is one of the few organizations that grants employees the gift of a forced two-week summer break; try getting in touch with employees at the end of July and you’ll have some trouble. Summer vacations are not unheard of, as employees at most companies take staggered vacations in the summer so that someone is always around. But because the entire staff is never quite available, things don’t get done as efficiently as they should. When everyone leaves at the same time, productivity remains at a high level before and after vacation.

Workplace Makeover: Netflix
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, prides himself on making as few decisions as possible. Relying primarily on his team to lay groundwork and line out details, large decisions such as the one to produce the popular House of Cards required 30 minutes of Hastings’ time before it was green lit. Freedom is only one part of the Netflix culture; the other is responsibility and this has resulted in a culture of high performance. Acknowledging that they turn over a lot of people, Hastings is adamant that giving people great freedom will of course result in mistakes, but a more important result will be that of a lot of great ideas.

Workplace Makeover: ThinkPARALLAX
ThinkPARALLAX, a creative agency in Southern California, decided to send its employees away from the office. Each employee is given a $1,500 travel budget to go anywhere in the world, with a few expectations. Employees have to go somewhere they’ve never been before, the destination has to be outside of their comfort zone in some way, and they have to go in the final four months of the year. “When you don’t put a timeline behind things, people tend not to do them,” says Jonathan Hanwit, a co-founder at the company. “It also forces everybody to realize that they can pick up the slack, and creates a more cohesive work environment.”

Workplace Makeover: FitBit
Thirty of the Fortune 500 companies participate in Fitbit Wellness, ultimately saving bottom line dollars in regards to medical costs and reduced sick days. FitBit Wellness uses the trackers as a motivator as part of a rewards program or company-wide competition. BP, for example, has run a one million step challenge where employees who hit the mark over the course of a year are eligible for a more deductible health plan.

Part of the appeal? A huge budget is not required in order to create exciting incentives. Small rewards go a long way; casual dress day, charitable donations, catered lunches, or scratch-off lotto tickets are all examples of great prizes for winners.

Workplace Makeover: Your Organization
Some of these “Extreme Makeovers” might be too extreme for your organization, but all are examples of ways to get creative when approaching innovative and rewarding workplace environments. Involve your staff when soliciting feedback; you may find group energy surrounds subjects such as workplace efficiency, cultural initiatives, wellness programs, or charitable endeavors. You may find that you are the lead architect of a very talented team of designers!

Finding People Who Make a Difference®
Executive Search Review has recognized the totality of the Sanford Rose Associates® network as being one of the Top 10 Search Firms in North America. Sanford Rose Associates has 60+ offices worldwide and is a member of the International Executive Search Federation (IESF). To learn more about achieving professional excellence both personally and with those on your team, please reach out to your Sanford Rose Associates® executive search consultant today.

—Karen Schmidt


Turning the Grind into the Goal

A world-renowned athletic coach was asked once what the difference was between the best athletes and everyone else. In other words, what do really successful people do that most people don’t? Of course, there were the typical responses of genetics, luck, and talent.

But there’s an added element that most don’t think of; it’s the ability to handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same lifts and drills over and over again that separates the professionals from the amateurs.

Think about it this way – it’s not that the best athletes have some insane passion or willpower that others don’t have; it’s the exact opposite. They can feel the same boredom and lack of motivation that everyone else feels; they aren’t immune to the daily grind.

What sets them apart is their commitment to the process. They fall in love with the daily practice, with the repetition, and with the plan in front of them.

Therefore, if you want to be a starting quarterback, you have to be in love with running drills and studying playbooks. If you want to be a New York Times bestseller, you have to be in love with the process of writing. If you want to get in better shape, you have to love the practice of eating in a healthier manner and exercising consistently.

You have to love the grind if you ever hope to turn it into the achievement of a goal.

The Pursuit of Happiness
Though some of the following may not be true all of the time, when you love the process of what you do, the following should ring true much of the time:

  • You don’t talk about other individuals; you talk about the great things other individuals are doing.
  • You help without thinking, or without being asked.
  • You don’t struggle to stay disciplined; you struggle to prioritize.
  • You’re excited about the job you are doing, but you’re more excited about the people you’re doing it with.
  • You leave work with items on your to-do list that you are eager to tackle tomorrow.
  • You think, “I hope I get to…” instead of, “I hope I don’t have to…”
  • You don’t focus on retirement, because retirement sounds boring – and a lot less fulfilling.

Now, there is a chance that our society may have overdone the need for the above to be true all of the time. We have been told that if you do what you love, the money and success will follow. We have been told that if you are not changing the world in bold ways, it is because you are too afraid to find your passion and follow it.

The Pursuit of Value
Author Cal Newport has emerged as one of the more vocal critics of the only-do-what-you-love movement, and says it is time to end the professional guilt trip. In his book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Newport argues that following one’s passions can be a dead end. He maintains that it’s better to identify which skills you have that could be unique and valuable in the workplace, and then hone those skills until you have career capital that you can spend in the way you choose.

Developing career capital requires a carefully balanced mix of deliberate action and patience. If you are in a self-directed professional environment and are responsible for carving your own path, take responsibility for the direction in which you are heading – and what you need from others to get there. Do not wait for someone to come along who can help; be proactive in seeking out those who can provide mentorship and guidance along the way.

If you are responsible for developing career capital in others, incorporate this exercise in ongoing or annual reviews. Always be aware of the following question: “what I am I doing to help others identify their competitive advantages, and how am I providing opportunities for those strengths to turn into eventual career capital.”

Most roles have tasks that are required to engage in repeatedly; knowing the natural progression of a profession is essential. How many partners at a law firm still do all their own research? Does a surgeon want to spend more time in surgery, or in pre-op or post-op care? In these examples, practitioners outsource the less challenging work to junior staff that is not only capable of performing the work at a lower cost but also challenged by the work itself. What is the natural progression of your profession, and have you done a successful job of institutionalizing outsourcing?

Within a physician’s office, the nurse practitioner facilitates exams, the nurse checks blood pressure, and the scheduling department makes appointments. Each of those tasks are important but will neither provide the doctor with the challenge they need nor the financial rewards necessary to justify their time. In the case of lawyers, they have paralegals, legal secretaries, and associate lawyers they entrust. The lesson we can learn from both is that outsourcing certain tasks to other team members is not only more financially rewarding but also allows for greater challenges. Be aware of when the grind is necessary in the achievement of a goal, and be aware of when the grind must be alleviated in order to avoid turnover or burnout.

Finding People Who Make a Difference®
Executive Search Review has recognized the totality of the Sanford Rose Associates network as being one of the Top 10 Search Firms in North America. Sanford Rose Associates has 60+ offices worldwide and is a member of the International Executive Search Federation (IESF). To learn more about achieving professional excellence both personally and with those on your team, please reach out to your Sanford Rose Associates® executive search consultant today.

—Karen Schmidt


Letting Go

Think about your personal path to achieving the professional success you have experienced thus far. What attributes or characteristics are you most proud of that got you here? What abilities do you have that allowed you to separate from your peers over the years?

Second question: Is there a chance that those very same characteristics that rewarded you so well are the same characteristics that can hold you back in the future?

Some examples:

You are quite patient and empathetic, and others rely on your guidance and council throughout the day. However, your fear of being unavailable causes you to work late nights and weekends because the days have been spent solving other people’s problems.

You are incredibly detail-oriented and meticulous, and your dedication to perfection has served you well. However, if you aren’t willing to relinquish some control, you will never be able to handle other responsibilities because nobody can do them as well as you.

You are a “do-er” and complete more work throughout the day than some do in several. You don’t have time for small talk, which allows for a high level of efficiency, but true leaders need to build personal relationships and connect on a non-work level with others.

You are a gifted orator and can inspire a crowd, sell to the masses, and have an intrinsic ability to create a path that others will naturally follow. However, you are so comfortable hearing yourself talk that you forget that others may simply need you to listen.

<strong>Self Awareness</strong>
It is not realistic for a person to be all things to all people, or to be perfect in every facet of life. But sometimes, we sense deep inside that there is something else waiting for us. We just need to be courageous enough to create a little space to discover what it is.

Sometimes, you must release your grip on your current identity in order to allow yourself to transform. You simply cannot be the person you want to be and the person you currently are at the same time.

You have to determine for yourself whether you’re willing to let go of who you are to become the person you want to be.

What holds most back from creating this space is that it will result in change, and most people react to any change with fear. Change shifts our comfort zones, where we find security and stability, so fear is a naturally occurring reaction. Fear gains strength when you focus only on the negative possibilities of a situation or event. The answer is to concentrate on just two or three changes at a time – perhaps only just one! As your new habits embed themselves into your personality and habitual behaviors, you can add additional changes to your routine. This creates a managed process of change.

<strong>Letting Go</strong>
It is okay to change, grow, and try new things that you will not be as good at as the things you have done for years. The key to freedom is allowing yourself to crack open and evolve.

To begin to impact change, think about what got you here:
<li>What has contributed to your success so far?</li>
<li>How do you compare with others within your organization or industry in similar roles? What separates you from the average performer?</li>
<li>How have your responsibilities changed and evolved as you’ve grown in this past year, as opposed to a year ago?</li>
<li>When you are working, what activities make you lose track of time? Why?</li>
Now, where do you want to go?
<li>What strengths do you have that can also at times be a weakness?</li>
<li>Think of others within your organization or industry you respect; in what ways do you want to be more like them?</li>
<li>What are the differences in responsibilities or strengths/skills between yourself and the person you report to? How can you start to take on those responsibilities or learn those strengths?</li>
<li>Is there anything in your life that you should walk away from completely?</li>
<li>What of your habits are you truly prepared to change?</li>
<li>There will be some things you won’t be good at for a while; what are they?</li>
<li>What do you finally need to delegate to others?</li>
<li>What issues are you prepared to tackle now?</li>

The next question: Why don’t we do it? It’s simple: the rewards of these changes are in the future, when the discomfort and discipline are right here and right now. When there’s an absence of a compelling reason, or drive, you will be a thermostat. You’ll work as hard as necessary to keep the temperature comfortable – and when it reaches that temperature, you’ll turn off until needed again. Discussing change and goals can be inspiring, energizing, and stimulating! Yet it feels tough, awkward, annoying, frightening, and completely unpleasant to discuss the discipline needed to reach those goals. There is no shame in being average or competent if you are unwilling to pay the price of excellence! Simply ask yourself if you are willing to pay that price, and what the price looks like for you.

Finding People Who Make a Difference®
Executive Search Review has recognized the totality of the Sanford Rose Associates network as being one of the Top 11 Search Firms in North America. Sanford Rose Associates has 60+ offices worldwide and is a member of the International Executive Search Federation (IESF). To learn more about achieving professional excellence both personally and with those on your team, please reach out to your Sanford Rose Associates® executive search consultant today.

– Karen Schmidt


The Smith Consulting Group, LLC Joins the Sanford Rose Associates® Executive Search

August 13, 2015

The Smith Consulting Group, LLC Joins the Sanford Rose Associates® Executive Search

Sanford Rose Associates® Executive Search Network expands its footprint with the partnership of The Smith Consulting Group, LLC, the newest member of the Sanford Rose Associates (SRA) network of offices. The Smith Consulting Group is an executive search firm specializing in mid to senior level opportunities in the civil engineering industry.

“With over fifteen years of experience in the search industry, the tenured recruiters of The Smith Consulting Group are proven and relied-upon experts in the art of making successful matches. Juli and her team have an incredible knowledge of their niche, a complete dedication to their commitments, genuine enthusiasm for the advancement of their clients and candidates, and complete sincerity in their actions. There is no doubt that when you combine the solid foundation of The Smith Consulting Group with the resources of Sanford Rose Associates, both organizations will benefit tremendously,” says Jeff Kaye, Co-Senior Managing Director of Sanford Rose Associates International, Inc.

SRA International, Inc. awards a limited number of independently owned franchises each year; this high level of exclusivity has ensured the brand and reputation of Sanford Rose Associates remain unparalleled in terms of professionalism, performance, and service that exceeds their clients’ expectations.

“The Smith Consulting Group has enjoyed steady growth in the past nine years serving our clients in the civil engineering industry. We feel our new alliance with Sanford Rose Associates is a win-win for our clients and our candidates as we leverage our intimate knowledge of the A/E/C/ industry by joining the top talent in the search industry. Jeff Kaye has built a dream team of professionals and we could not be more excited to be a part of that!” says Juli Smith, President of The Smith Consulting Group.

Executive Search Review recognized the totality of the Sanford Rose Associates network as being one of the Top 10 Search Firms in North America. Over the course of the past five decades, the Sanford Rose Associates network has expanded to over 60 offices worldwide with offices in North America and Asia.


But I don’t want to take a cut in pay…

As an executive recruiter specializing in consulting engineering placements, I hear this quite often.  It generally relates to relocation from a high cost of living area to a low cost of living area.  If you are moving from Washington, DC to Charlotte, NC you will have to “take a cut in pay.”  The salaries are lower but what that money buys you at the end of the month costs less, too.

So, let’s do the math.  In Washington, DC if you are making $100K, you only need to make $70K to have the same standard of living based on a basket of factors with housing being the largest factor.  Housing is 65% less in Charlotte, NC than it is in the DC area.  Based on CNN Money, groceries are less, transportation is less but utilities and health care are slightly more expensive, but with a 65% reduction in the cost of housing, are you really taking a cut in pay?

A recent article on talked about how much $100 buys in all 50 states.  In Virginia, $100 only buys you $97.09 worth of goods while the same Ben Franklin in North Carolina yields you $109.05 at the end of the day.

If you are considering a relocation for a new job and you are given an offer that is less than you are making now, do the math and run the numbers and you will probably find that taking a “cut in pay” makes good “cents”.


Who, What, Where, When, How…But Why?

There are two simple words that have the power to completely change one’s approach to work and life forever. These words have the potential to evoke fulfillment, enhance productivity, and create daily peace of mind.

You may have found yourself saying some of these already today:

  • I have to go to this team meeting.
  • I have to get this proposal to our client.
  • I have to get caught up on emails.
  • I have to take the kids to practice.

We act as if we don’t have a choice, as if we are imprisoned by people or a system forcing us to do things we don’t want to do. In reality, we do have a choice. We have the freedom to choose our actions, our profession, our financial needs, and the path of our life. Each day is not about what we have to do. It’s about what we get to do.

So, besides having a renewed sense of gratitude for being alive in a free world, why does this matter?

If you start to realize that your employees don’t have to come to work each day but instead choose to, there must be a reason for that decision. That reason is their “why”. As a leader, understanding each employee’s “why” will enable you to create a meaningful career path for them, empower them during times of burnout, and help them stay engaged. As your own leader, knowing your own “why” is essential for each of those situations as well.

The How

Start with a simple exercise. Take out your pen, and write down your answer to this question: “What is your why?” It sounds like a big esoteric question, but why is it that you choose to go to work each day? Why do you choose this profession, instead of something else? Why do you choose the role you are in, as opposed to others?

Encourage yourself and others to press beyond the obvious answer of “I need to make money”. There are countless ways to earn a living; why have you chosen this one?

Once you begin to list all of your why’s, you will notice they fall in two categories. The first category is similar to Maslow’s lowest hierarcy of needs – food, water, shelter. “I’d like to be able to pay my mortgage.” “I want to send my children to college.” “My elderly parents will rely on me to provide for them.” “I have always dreamed of buying a vacation home.”

The second category recognizes that there is a bigger purpose, a desire to make a difference, and a need to higher meaning behind the choices we make. It’s these things that are connected to your overall purpose, your sense of contribution, and the most important aspect of your “why”. Both categories are important and not mutually exclusive. An individual who only cares about money will likely live with a void in their life, while an individual who is all about the big picture has their head in the clouds but lacks feet on the ground.

Having a deep understanding of your career’s purpose is equally as possible as meeting and exceeding financial goals. This exercise is around understanding both. If you, or your team, has a hard time articulating this purpose, give some additional guidance:

  • When you were first drawn to this industry, what compelled you? Why did this industry or vocation strike you as being the calling for your career?
  • At what point in your career were you most challenged? What circumstances created that challenge?
  • What circumstances push you to be more, learn more, accomplish more, take on more, and grow more?
  • Who or what inspires you most? What qualities inspire you from those individuals or factors?
  • What do people compliment you on professionally?
  • What are you chasing? Why are you chasing it?
  • Given your talents and passions, how could you use those to serve, or to help, others or your organization?
  • When you retire, what do you want to be remembered for? What legacy do you want to leave?

The When

When is it important to go back to the “why”? Most of us get entrenched in the day to day routine of work, family, and life. We go through most days on auto-pilot, knowing what is expected and performing to that expectation. Connect the routine of your daily performance to the fulfillment of the “why” of your life purpose.

As a leader, when you know the “why” for members of your team, you can connect that “why” to their daily responsibilities and broader performance milestones. Every job has mundane or less desired tasks, but when the “why” is strong enough, there is meaning connected to even the most tedious of activities. Then the paradigm shifts:

  • I get to go to this team meeting because I have team members dedicated to learning and living up to their fullest potential.
  • I want to get this proposal to our client because they trust us to solve a problem they cannot solve on their own.
  • I want to get caught up on emails because I have knowledge and insight that others are relying on me to share with them.
  • I get to take the kids to practice because I am fortunate to have a family and resources to help them live a full and varied life.

There is an opportunity to connect purpose and meaning to each daily activity, and a choice to connect it. When the “why” is strong enough, there is no limit to what you, and those on your team, can achieve.

Finding People Who Make a Difference®

Executive Search Review has recognized the totality of the Sanford Rose Associates network as being one of the Top 11 Search Firms in North America. Sanford Rose Associates has 60+ offices worldwide and is a member of the International Executive Search Federation (IESF). To learn more about bringing out the best in your team, please reach out to your Sanford Rose Associates® executive search consultant today.

—Karen Schmidt


Employers: Why Your Offer Letters Need to Be Awesome

Do you know why most offer letters sent by companies to candidates don’t really stand out?

Because they’re more geared toward “covering the company’s rear end” than actually making an exciting, enticing, and attractive offer.  Here’s one of the reasons why this is the case: because the offer letter is written in such a way as to suggest that it’s a foregone conclusion the candidate is going to accept the offer.  In today’s candidate-driven marketplace, candidates are getting multiple offers and if you want to stand a greater chance of having yours accepted you need to add a little more love.

I have many years of experience in the civil engineering marketplace in the executive search industry.  As a result, I’ve seen more than my fair share of offer letters.  Some companies throw together a “quick and dirty” offer letter with job title, start date, salary and Oh by the way, we’re excited to have you work here.”  Zzzzzzzzz…..

Then there are the exceptional clients I’ve worked with who have written beautifully crafted offer letters that paint a picture of their culture and growth plans and how the candidate will be an integral part of their team.  I just read an offer letter that a client of mine wrote and it was such an amazing offer, it made me want to work there!  For instance try using descriptive verbiage such as:

“We envision you becoming an integral member of our team…”

“We value your experience and hope to leverage it in assisting us with furthering our strategic goals…”

If you were reviewing 3 offers which letter do you think is more effective?  The fact of the matter is that you’re not just offering a job.  You’re offering a future—the candidate’s future.  You’re trying to convince the candidate to spend part of their future (quite a substantial part, as a matter of fact) with your company.

With that in mind, below are five tips for writing great offer letters for candidates you want to attract to your company:

#1—Ditch the corporate jargon

You’re not issuing a writ of habeas corpus.  You making an offer of employment.  Don’t go cold and corporate.  Be warm, inviting, and even (gasp) cheery.

#2—Express excitement

If you want the candidate to be excited about working for your company, you must be excited about the candidate working for your company.  Makes sense, right?

#3—Cast a vision

Candidates (especially top candidates) want to work for a company with vision and direction.  If they’ve come this far, they probably believe that you are such a company.  Don’t lose them at the altar.  Instead, keep them hooked by reiterating where you want to grow and how they will grow with you.  (Bonus! This will also help override a possible counter-offer situation from occurring.)

#4—Place the candidate within that vision

This is the best way to get the candidate excited about the offer.  Explain how they fit into your organization’s plans for the future and the contributions they’ll make to the achievement of its goals.

#5—Make the candidate feel wanted

What’s one of the major reasons that candidates reject offers?  Because they don’t feel wanted.  The standard offer letter does NOT make them feel wanted.  Be proactive about doing this.  It will make a difference.

In this highly competitive market where, in many cases, candidates are reviewing multiple offers, you need to make your offer stand out by painting a picture.  In that picture, the candidate should not see themselves just “taking a job.”  Rather, they should see themselves working, thriving, and excelling at your company and building a better future for themselves.

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