Most companies are aware of at least some of the important aspects of recruitment. Even if they don’t go about it as strategically as a professional would, they know that they should be leveraging social media to expand their reach, for example. But many are missing a simple, but important factor: presenting job opportunities in a way that sounds attractive to potential candidates.
After all, you aren’t just shopping around for employees, they are also shopping around for employers. What’s more, in today’s economy, it’s more common to have too many applicants to a position than not enough; the problem is that all these applicants may not be what you’re looking for. If you want to make sure that the most talented and qualified individuals are applying for an open position in your company, you need to catch their attention with an interesting offer.
Here are 5 ways to make your offers look better to attract the best candidates:
1. Words matter
Whether you’re posting to job websites, social media, your company website or even sending out a private email to a small number of potential candidates, the words you use to describe your company and open positions are important. Don’t just offer a dry list of requirements and duties, take some time to write one or two paragraphs describing the company and, most importantly, the brand. We aren’t just talking about using trendy words and catch phrases you’ve heard elsewhere (although these may be relevant), but communicating the values and vision of your organization. Most candidates are looking for some sort of meaning in their work beyond a paycheck, so it’s best to let them know what working for you will mean. This tactic will also help attract the right kind of candidates who aren’t just qualified, but find value in your vision.
2. So do the practical things
That being said, everybody wants decent working conditions and whatever benefits they can get. There’s no need to bankrupt yourself offering extravagant bonuses and months of vacation time to every employee, but take some time to consider what your company can realistically offer and highlight those things that might stand out as particularly attractive over others in the industry. Do you have extra cash on hand and are willing to pay a little extra? Then include the salary in your job listing somewhere near the top. Can your company give certain employees the opportunity to work from home once a week? Highlight this perk in bold so that it makes your listing and your company stand out for anyone hoping to be a little more flexible in their work.
3. Practice your interviews
Making your job offers sound good isn’t just about what you post online. It can be argued that it’s even more important how you present your company and the position when finally meeting a candidate in person. You’ll find that many candidates, especially young ones applying for entry-level jobs, will come to an interview with the mindset of wanting to impress you. More experienced or talented individuals, however, are aware that their skills are in demand and will at least expect to be treated as an equal during an interview. And we recommend you take this approach no matter who you’re meeting with. Even a young candidate applying for his first job likes to be put at ease during an interview, and will likely tell others about the experience he had in your office. If you create enough positive impressions this way, it will help build your company’s persona as a desirable employer over time, a process known as employer branding.
4. Try to generate excitement
This tip can be a little bit tricky and there are several ways to go about it. As highlighted in #1 above, you might be able to generate excitement in what your company does, offering candidates the potential of work with meaningful purpose. If you’re a young company, don’t shy away from this fact. Instead, highlight how exciting it can be to work for a young company with big hopes for the future. Many candidates will see in this an opportunity to make their mark and dedicate themselves to something. But excitement can also be created and supported with your own attitude and energy – if you are excited for the future, those around you will feel it too. It’s hard to be optimistic, light-hearted and hopeful all the time, every day. But when you can put yourself in that frame of mind, it’s contagious. Make sure this is a part of your messaging and do whatever you can to sink into this mood before an interview.
5. Use the right channels
Sometimes the attractiveness of a job offer depends a lot on who offers it to you and how. That’s just one of the reasons so many organizations recruit by word of mouth, letting current employees and partners refer friends and other professionals. As an employer, a personal recommendation from someone you’ve already worked with and come to trust is a valuable thing, but this principle works both ways. A potential candidate who hears about a job opportunity from a friend or former colleague is guaranteed to be more interested in an offer than if they stumbled across it online somewhere.
Recruitment in general, and specifically making your job offers more attractive to better candidates requires a healthy amount of people skills. They key is to ask yourself what would make a job offer sound better for you. Everyone will have a different answer of course, but this is a good foundation to build on and to start strategizing from. Far worse would be launching your recruitment efforts with no thought or strategy in place.
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more changeable, more engaged and better equipped for creating a better future.