Want to Recruit Top Talent? Start Thinking of Work as a Product That You Sell.

So many times, I’ve heard founders ask me, “How do I find great engineers?” or “Do you know any awesome marketers?”

That always struck me as the wrong way of looking at the problem—but I couldn’t quite figure out why. I realized that you’d never ask this question if you had built a consumer app and you were trying to do customer acquisition.

No one ever asks, “Where do you find users for my dating app?”

That would be weird—because they’re kind of all over the place, but “finding” isn’t the challenge. The challenge is converting them.

Instead, you start with the value proposition of the product itself and you make sure it’s clear why someone would want to use it in the first place compared to all the other dating apps. You would make sure it’s clear to someone who winds up in your conversion funnel through message testing and user interviews.

Once you had that squared away, you’d start testing various acquisition channels, optimizing them regularly for cost effective conversion.

To me, that’s the way you need to think about your recruiting process—and to do that, you need to start thinking about work as a product that you are selling.

You sell “work” to your customers—i.e. the talent. Talent pays for work with their time and expertise. Work is very expensive because they’re forking over a lot of time to buy the work that you’re selling—so it’s going to be a very thoughtfully considered purchase.

The value proposition (Read more...)