The Need To Sell The Vision Of The Firm…And Yourself!

The vision of the firm is critical to know when you're in the interview process. Here's what you need to know.

Why aren’t people getting hired?  Why aren’t firms hiring? Two very important questions and both are answered the same way.  No vision.  What do I mean by no vision?  We are still in a candidate-driven market, so it’s up to the hiring firms to sell the vision of the firm.  Also, the candidates that get hired in my opportunistic world of hiring are the ones that sell their vision as well.

Does The Firm Have Vision?

Let’s start off with the hiring managers of the firms that want to hire candidates.  I am hearing more now than ever candidates that who are interviewing for new positions are not being enticed enough to leave their current position and move on. It doesn’t even matter whether the positions are being created specifically for them in the opportunistic model or are traditional hiring where a position already exists.  The hiring managers are not selling the firm enough, nor are they selling the vision of the firm.  What does that mean?  They are telling the back history of the firm, and where the firm has been traditionally.  They are telling the candidates about the position and all its details, and clearly sharing what a successful employee needs to be like to get a head at the firm.  But what they are not doing is creating that vision in the candidate’s mind of a clear career path.  They are not sharing their goals and aspirations for the future.  They are not showing enough clarity on where they want to take their department and the firm.  They are not showing that there is an actual growth plan.  With all of these areas of conversation being missed, it is no wonder that the opportunistic candidates are not excited about moving forward with a new firm.

What’s To Be Done About It?

Well, if we go back to a blog, I wrote a couple of months ago about comparing a job interview to a date, they need to put the first-date mentality back in the conversation.  A clear plan must be demonstrated to the candidate when selling the vision of the firm.  How he or she fits in is now more crucial than ever.  A candidate that cannot see the whole picture about how a firm wants to move forward is not going to be as excited.  On the converse, where a hiring manager can lay out how the future is going to look for the new employee and how that new employee is going to become a key part of the firm’s expected and planned growth will definitely excite the candidate.  Where their business will help expand the growth of the firm, not just his or her book of business but their ideas will be very welcome.  If there are going to be management opportunities in the near future because of the greying of public finance, then that is something to share and create a ‘buzz about” too.  All these intrinsic things are needed now more than ever to get the candidate, especially the one that is gainfully employed and really excited to continue in the interview process.

Consistency Really Is Key With The Vision Of The Firm

But the next step is even more crucial than the initial step.  As more and more firms are having multiple interviews to get a candidate hired, each interviewer must share that same vision with the person.  If your firm tends to have an interviewer that does not share the same vision of the firm, it’s going to cause conflict in the eyes of the potential new employee.  I have heard many times over the last couple of months that candidates were excited after the first interview, but the second one was clearly a letdown.  The interviewer did not share that same common vision, so the candidate starts to wonder if they were just “sold on an idea, but the rest of the firm does not support that idea.”  The last candidate that we closed relayed to me over and over how everyone sold the same vision, they were honest about the ramp-up time; however, what sold the future to the candidate was the consistency of the message.  Most importantly, they sold how they would become an integral member of that future.

Do You Have Vision?

It’s not only the firm’s responsibility to sell the vision of the firm. Looking at it from the hiring manager’s point of view, the candidate that is interviewing also must do the same.  If the candidate is not able to sell the hiring manager on their vision, they are not going to move further in the interview process.  It’s up to the applicant, especially in the opportunistic model, to share their vision for how they can help the company grow and how their particular area of expertise is needed today more than ever.  It’s definitely going to help them expand, and their talent is additive rather than duplicating something or someone they have on the team already.  These thoughts must be conveyed with enthusiasm.  The bottom line is that vision must be shared both ways by the hiring manager and the team of interviewers.


You don’t need a resume to chat with us! If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.