How to make the candidates you want, want you. By Rikka Brandon, Building Gurus
You can’t find the perfect new employee if you can’t get them in the door for an interview. And getting them in the door means writing a job ad that stands out and makes people want to work for your company.
In other words: job postings can be a powerful tool in your hiring arsenal, but only if they are done right.
As mentioned in the last column, a job description is not the same as a job ad, and vice-versa. In fact, the biggest mistake people make is using a job description as their job ad.
The goal of a job description is to give a solid overview of the position and set expectations while legally protecting the company.Job descriptions definitely serve an important purpose in the hiring process, but most are way too long — and way too boring — to be effective as job ads.
A well-written job ad is more like marketing copy. Sure, it’s based on the job description, but it should be written with the goal of attracting the right people to read it and then inspire them to apply.
A well-written job ad includes:
- A Tell-and-Sell About the Company
- Tell them about the company. Provide a brief bio that summarizes what makes your company unique and attractive to applicants. You may be able to pull this directly from existing marketing materials or mission statements. For example, “XYZ Design/Build is a lifestyle-focused design firm focused on creating kitchens and baths that our customers dream about coming home to.”
- Sell them on it. Show them why your company or organization is a great place to work. Phrases like “We are privately held, offer a family-friendly environment, and foster a culture of success” or “We have won numerous awards for our work environment” are a few great ones to include — as long as they’re true!
Feeling stuck? Ask yourself and other employees what they love about working at your organization.
- A Tell-and-Sell About the Opportunity
- Tell them what you’re looking for. This is the “we are seeking” statement. This is where you describe your ideal hire’s attributes and experience. For example:
- “An outgoing, achievement-oriented salesperson;”
- “Past success with _________;”
- “Experience working with ________;”
- List any certifications, licenses, etc., needed or preferred.
Bullets are an effective way to communicate your needs concisely and quickly. They also increase the likelihood that the potential applicants will actually read the ad.
- Sell them on the opportunity. Lay out why they want this job by listing details such as:
- Opportunities the new hire will have;
- Perks they will be eligible for;
- The great things about working for your company and in this role specifically.
In this case, the call to action is pretty obvious: We want them to send in a résumé!
But make sure it’s easy for people to apply. If you force them to re-enter all the info from their résumé, you’ll lose a large percentage of applicants. In fact, I recommend you actually go through the process yourself to see how long it takes to apply. If the process is too arduous, you’re much more likely to lose the semi-passive candidate you really want then the active, “desperate” candidate.
Once you’ve written the perfect job ad, it’s time to get the word out. We’ll cover that in next month’s column.
Rikka Brandon is the founder and Chief Executive Recruiter of Building Gurus, a boutique executive search and consulting firm that works exclusively with kitchen and bath and building product companies across the U.S. Rikka is a member of NKBA’s Leadership Recruitment Committee. She is also the author of the Amazon best seller Hire Power.