Job Staging

Tips to share with your clients
Get Your “Houses” in Order!

The best companies are having trouble attracting employees. Not only are companies in different industries vying for the same candidates as the current crop of college grads embraces career experimentation, but these candidates themselves present different challenges from only a couple of years ago. The 80 million strong Millennials (also known as Generation Y/Echo Boom) are acutely discerning job-seekers who understand the value of their unique tech-savvy skills and the power of their networking achievements. Demanding, and receiving, more competitive pay and benefits, faster advancement, and more responsibility, this entry-level generation alone presents a vastly different set of challenges than any before.

Multiple job offers frequently greet new graduates, which contributes to today’s drive in pay. Civil engineering and accounting graduates alone are nearing $50,000 in beginning pay, and one sector, chemical engineering, has cracked the $60,000 notch while other engineering disciplines (electrical, mechanical) hover already in the mid-$50,000s, beating out recent economics majors, who are being offered $51,600.

Word to the Wise: Ratchet up what you’re willing to pay to market expectations. Get real and get down to business.

The reason my telephone names sourcing job exists in this world is that companies are having so much trouble finding candidates. The entry-level candidates that are entering the workforce today are the same ones I’m going to be sourcing after tomorrow on your behalf. In order to attract them in the future, you need to understand how to attract them today. What are you doing to attract employees? Have you thought about it?

One solution comes out of the real estate practice of “home-staging,” in which a home is “set up” to present its best face forward to potential buyers. In the Recruitosphere, this can be called “job-staging.”

Job-staging techniques can be tailored to fit any company’s budget. The first thing to do is to glam up your curb appeal. Whether it’s an attractive and well-tuned website that moves with intuitive alacrity to the viewer’s (job seeker) command or fresh carpeting in your office reception area, curb appeal is paramount in getting job seekers through your front door.

Make your entrance memorable. The second a potential job seeker lands on the front page of your website or reaches for the polished and gleaming front door to your office, he or she should be thinking “looks good, sounds good, feels good, smells good.” Keep it clean and keep it updated with fresh material and information.

Take a look at your job descriptions. Are they the same old, same old “Requires this, requires that, don’t bother applying unless . . .”? Move over and get with the program! Today’s job seekers are willing to experiment, and they expect you to be willing to “experiment” with them. Open your minds (and close down some of your “requirements”) in order to attract them. Some of them just don’t make sense. Lose the stinkin’ thinkin’ and embrace the sea of change.

Sand, steam, pressure clean, and replace what is obviously no longer working. You can do better.

“Job seeker first.” Learn to think like this and get out of their way. Make yourself unobtrusive, and make whatever “furniture” you have lying around that could get in their way unobtrusive, too. Remove the barriers to entry. Clear the decks. Streamline. Less is more.

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Modernize everything. Today’s job seeker is tech-savvy like no candidate you have ever seen before. Offer (and allow) her the gadgetry – she needs much of it like she needs the air (I hope it smells good) she breathes in your office. Think TECh: Technology Ever Changing. Keep up with it.

Project a world-class image everywhere. Look at your offices as if they were a five-star hotel. Small things add up. Flowers on the reception desk, pleasing and welcoming “greeters,” fast elevators, shining clean bathrooms, convenient and socially attractive cafeterias that serve good and modern food, break rooms that offer solace and quiet, private cubicles that approach the coddled feeling that so many of this entry generation grew up with – think what’s going on inside their heads. Cater to them. Read up on the Servant Leadership mantra.

Don’t forget what your sites “sound” like. Remember, this generation grew up on technology, and they expect to be surrounded with sights, sounds, and smells that inform and appease, flat screens that stream the day’s news, and hallway music that soothes their savaged senses. That’s what they’re talkin’ about – learn to listen to the language they’re speaking.

I promise you, you will get your money back (this is all tax deductible, anyway) in the sale of your job if you “stage” it correctly. You’ll add square footage to the “opportunity” you’re presenting if you approach this dynamic, emotively thinking generation in a way that’s sure to elicit that “Wow!” response you’re looking for. Watch and see if it doesn’t work wonders on your more seasoned candidates as well!

Maureen Sharib (maureen at is a telephone names sourcer, names sourcing since 1997. She and her husband, Bob, own the names-sourcing firm, Inc. (, which helps companies fill their hard-to-place positions at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruiting venues. Maureen is the 2007-2008 Guild Guide for the newly formed Sourcers Guild, a professional organization for sourcers ( She is also the author of the one-of-a-kind and very popular “Magic in the Method” telephone names sourcing training course and a frequent contributor to many online recruiting-related sites. Maureen holds a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Cincinnati and lives in Morrow, Ohio.

Maureen Sharib has been a “Socratic sourcer” her entire sourcing career; from the moment she first picked up the faxed list of Silicon Valley high-tech companies that was her target list to “phone source” in 1996 to today she has instinctively followed this method of investigative sourcing using (mostly) the telephone.  She is a proponent of sourcing as a synonym for success and envisions the craft moving away from a dangerously drudgery-paced life-form existence to an exciting investigative/competitive place within organizations where practitioners co-exist within a framework of market research, human resources, and C-level future planning. She owns the phone sourcing and competitive intelligence firm, Inc. You can contact her at Maureen at or call her at (513) 646-7306.  If she’s not on the phone she’ll pick up!