I'd like to introduce you to my friend and guest author Dana Harrison. Dana wears many hats related to business leadership, team building, and professional training. She has worked with our team at TBH Creative to help us explore our strengths and talents individually, and then utilize that knowledge to shape the foundation of our company culture and working style as a unit. With a wealth of experience and a genuine desire to help individuals succeed, Dana is a wonderful resource for those navigating through the business world.
In this article, Dana will be offering her expertise on how to use marketing to find and recruit the best candidates for your company.
All too often, candidates read boring, tedious job descriptions that are posted on job boards or forwarded by a recruiter. Blah, blah, blah. They’re about as exciting as the nutrition panel on a box of granola bars. Don’t get me wrong – both the job description and the nutrition information are valuable and can help make the sale, but they’re both lousy at initially capturing one’s attention.
Think about when you buy granola bars, or a similar item. You walk down the grocery store aisle past the cereal, and then you come to the array of granola bars, breakfast bars, protein bars, fiber bars, etc. Are you drawn to the box showing the smiling, trim athlete and touting, “Decreases appetite and builds muscle?” Or do you reach first for the box with the gooey bar pictured and the words, “A delicious start to your day?”
Candidates scan the job boards and the notes from recruiters in a similar way. The more a candidate is a top-performer, the less time we have to capture their attention and reel them in. After all, they have options, and they may not even be formally looking for a new position.
By promoting your open positions using marketing-inspired approaches, you can increase success attracting the right candidates for your openings. (Not just any candidates, but the right candidates!) Follow these five steps for successful recruiting online.
1. Use job postings, not job descriptions.What is circulated through your network, added to your careers page, viewed on job boards, etc. should be a distinct job posting (i.e., the front of the granola bar box) with the sole function of attracting the right candidates. The job description (i.e., the nutrition panel) remains important and should be shared with applicants during the screening process, but don’t make that how you generate interest in your opportunity.
2. Be clear about who your target is.When you think about your ideal candidate, what is he/she doing now? Are they at a competitor and frustrated by their limitations there? Are they a stay-at-home parent looking to get back into the workforce full-time? Do they need to be a calm steady person, or an excitable person for success in this role?
Remember that unless you’re an exempt employer or it is distinctly job relevant, you should never set a target based on a protected class: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, ancestry or sexual orientation.
3. Write to your ideal candidate.Here are some examples.
- If you’re targeting employees at competitors, place extra emphasis on what is special about working for you. (“With the ABC Company, you will find the opportunities you are looking for to advance you skills and grow as a professional. We offer tuition reimbursement and invest at least $1,000 annually per employee for training.”)
- For that return-to-work-after-being-home candidate, promote flexibility and extra initial training. (“Worried that you’re rusty? No problem! We know the industry changes rapidly and we will give you unlimited training in identified areas of need, and even interest. Plus you can do the training from your phone and at home if you’d like!”)
- Does your candidate need to be high-energy, highly people focused? Keep the job posting short and sweet. They won’t read much anyway. When looking for a calm, focused individual, provide more detail. They’ll appreciate all of the information.
4. Be bold.A few years ago I needed to hire someone to oversee a team of recruiters and develop this area of our consulting business. Our salary range was on the low side, so my target was the hot-shot recruiter who could coach best practices in others, while also building new skills themselves as they did service development. The headline for the posting (i.e., what candidates saw on the lists of jobs available) was something like, “Are you a bored recruiter?” rather than “Recruiting Division Manager.” I had a fantastic crop of dynamic, outside-the-box recruiters from that posting.
5. Remember that it’s not about you.The job posting should generally only talk about you in terms of how you as an employer will help this person if they work for you. Put your company history elsewhere, or at least at the end. Yes, you’re wonderful, but the candidate is first and foremost asking, “What’s in this for me?”
Want to see some examples of great job positions? Zappos does well with being direct about what it means to be a great employee, what the job is, and what they’re seeking. Ontario Systems opens their job postings with questions that “hook” the ideal candidate.
Or perhaps you want a fresh look at how your attracting candidates? Contact me for a free audit of a job posting, or to help further with getting the right talent you need for your business.
As the Founder and Principle of Synergy Consulting Services, she works closely with business owners to see where there are opportunities to strength talent, systems and strategy.
In a given day, you can find her facilitating a senior leadership team exploring modifications to an org chart, then doing monthly coaching with a business owner, then helping a third client identify the leadership development trainings that will best support the company. Hiring challenges, culture struggles, under-performing employees, low leadership skills…she’s looking at all of it. Catch free insights and tools by following her (see below) or signing up for Synergy’s newsletter.
LinkedIn: Dana Harrison
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