When people tell me they're looking for new jobs, I always ask where they'd love to work, if they could work anywhere. And I encourage them to do whatever it takes to get on those companies' radar screens.
As an entrepreneur, it's flattering to know that someone thinks enough of what you've built to want to spend part of their career with you. In fact, it's one of the highest compliments I could receive.
As a hiring manager—the person who makes the decision about whom to hire—it's comforting to know that a candidate isn't just looking for work. There's nothing wrong with plumb needing a job—we've all been there—but it's encouraging for the person hiring to know that a candidate has passion for the company. He's not just quickly studying the Web site before his interview.
In cases where I'm the hiring manager, being the candidate's "goal employer" is huge bonus points. When I'm not the hiring manager, I ensure that he gets the resume of the person who really wants to work with us—and I encourage him to bring the candidate in for an interview.
How do we know? Over fifteen years in business at FrogDog, we've gotten good at sensing it—and candidates who are truly passionate about the company aren’t shy about staying in front of us. It pays off.
One candidate applied but wasn’t a fit for open positions. She stayed in touch via social media (interacting with us on Facebook and Twitter garners extra credit) and reached out when we posted a near-fit position a year later. Although she didn't quite meet the qualifications, we did a phone screen. Impressed with her knowledge of our niche and her passion for what we do, we scheduled her in for an in-person interview. For the interview, she brought cupcakes; she'd noticed via our Facebook page that our company parties often feature Crave. (She's been an amazing employee—one we're super lucky to have. And I'm not just saying that because of the cupcakes.)
That doesn't mean the passionate candidate is always the best fit for what's open at the moment. But we definitely keep him in mind for the future. Always. Talk about making an impression!
Employers, how do you know you're the goal employer? What's worked for you? Employees, how have you shown your target company your interest?