Take a look at the job descriptions your business is posting.  Are they interesting? Would someone who is not actively looking for a job possibly submit their candidacy?

Some businesses have awesome job descriptions.

Most have dull job descriptions. 


We know we want to attract the best candidates.

We know we want to be perceived as an employer of choice.

So why would we write dull job descriptions?

We use Uber, not taxis. We stay at AirBnB, not hotels. We rely on the general public to post news versus waiting for the news networks. We stare at the home phone when it rings wondering who could possibly be calling on it…and we make a mental note to have it disconnected all together.

In many ways, we are very 2015.

And then we have our job descriptions.  Not very 2015. Stuck in the past.

Take a look at your job descriptions. Am I right? Are you drawn to the positions and can you see people pouncing on the opportunities? If not, change you strategy….write job descriptions that reflect the realities of today’s market.  You will attract better candidates.

Some suggestions:

  • Be specific about what the job entails – mention the short term priorities and longer term goals
  • Show prospective candidates what they would gain by being successful in the role
  • Unless absolutely required, don’t include number of years of experience or a specific degree. It limits the pool of prospective candidates and puts up a barrier between you, and possibly, the best candidates
  • Consider why someone might leave their current role for the position, then write the job description that would entice them

When recruiting, we are looking for the best candidates. Often these candidates are not looking for work. In order to entice them to consider the position, start by defining it as something compelling

We tell candidates to write CVs to show they are ‘current’, not dated.

Employers have to write job descriptions that show the business is ‘current’, not dated.

If we write job descriptions the way they have been written for decades, which many businesses do, we are suggesting to prospective candidates that we are not current. Clearly not the intent.

This is an easy fix. Try it. You will see results.



I recently contacted a young man in a Business Development position and asked if he would meet with the President of one of his competitors. The young man’s response was “I am happy and doing well where I am – if the President would like to throw out a number and if that number is high enough, I would meet with him”. I explained to the young man that the President would do no such thing, given they had never met or spoken.

But the young man would not budge. He puffed his chest and let his ego get in the way…and did not understand that an opportunity to meet with a decision maker is a good thing. While the young man is happy and doing well today, there is no guarantee it will continue. We see evidence of this every. single. day, in the form of businesses downsizing, being taken-over, merging, going bankrupt, and so on. And when the time comes that this young man realizes he is not happy and not doing well, he is going to want to reach out to his network, which ideally would  include decision makers.

There is nothing bad that can come of two people meeting and discussing possible business opportunities. No trade secrets need be discussed. If the two people meet, don’t like each other or see any potential, then fine. But if they meet, like each other and agree there could be something – today or some time down the road – then a valuable new connection has been made.

When you have an opportunity to meet with a decision maker, take it.





A family business has specific decisions to make about succession:

Is there someone in the family capable of taking over the business?
If yes, do they want to and are they capable?
If no, what are the other options?

Selling the business is an option. Hiring an outsider to run the business is the other option. This might be the permanent solution until such time that the owners decide to sell, or it can be an interim solution until such time that a family member is ready to take over.

A business is grown, typically, by someone(s) with enormous courage, energy and passion. The stress they endure in the early years is significant. As the business grows and settles, the owner(s) hire people to support the growth and operations. At some point, the owner considers the succession options.

In some cases, the next generation is interested in the business; they will be educated accordingly, go in to the business and it will continue to thrive. In other cases, the next generation, while possibly interested in the business and having some energy to reasonably sustain it, might not have the same passion, despite being able to keep it (reasonably) afloat.

In yet another case, the next generation is simply not capable of taking over and it is obvious to anyone who is looking at the matter objectively. Some business owners know it and plan accordingly. Others know it but don’t want to have to deal with the reality, and ignore it (common!). And others probably don’t see it at all, although I sense this is the least likely circumstance.

There are many senior business executives – who have seen great success – who could step in to a family-run business in the event the next generation is not yet ready or might never be ready. Family businesses should do what is best for the business given the business supports their family. Doing what is (perceived to be) best for the family may be at the expense of the business which may bring serious consequences to the family – both financially and potentially, unnecessary family conflict.

While it is certainly difficult, this is a great example of what I like to call “lose the emotion and stick to the facts”. Emotionally, it might be best to hand the business off to the next generation. If the fact is that this might harm or even kill the business, this is a huge risk and one not worth taking.

Do you have a family business and if so, what are your plans?