NetHire posts hundreds of positions each week for companies all across North America and seeing all of these jobs has taught us a lot about how to write a great job advertisement. There are a few key things that you can do to make your job stand out from the crowd and they all have to do with selling:
1) SELL your job distribution
Where do you post you jobs? Do you only post to your corporate careers site? On classified sites? Only on LinkedIn? How about 1 job board? It is of vital importance to sell people on why they should work for you, but you only have the ability to sell them if they know it exists. This principle can be applied to anything in our everyday lives. If a product is not available where you shop then you likely will never buy it. If a job is not posted where you search, you're not going to apply for it. Put your job posting in front of as many candidates as possible.
2) SELL the Job Title
The “selling” of the job title follows the same principle as selling your job distribution. If potential candidates don’t know the position exists you won’t have a chance to ‘convert the sale’ or make that viewer an applicant. People search for job titles they have had or that they desire. These are usually common job titles that their company or competitors possess. If you have a very unique job title specific to your company it’s unlikely anyone is searching for it and thus less likely to see it. In my time at NetHire I have seen job titles such as “Sales Engineer” for a sales representative that was not an engineer, but the company thought it sounded better. How about, “Director of Happy” I believe that was either an HR or Customer Service Director. My favorite was “Sales Ninja” - I wasn’t sure if they were selling martial arts equipment ... turns out they just thought it was cool. You can have “cool” internal job titles, but remember that when advertising your job you need people to know it’s available.
3) SELL your company
As you face greater competition for talented staff you need to separate yourself out from your competitors. What makes you better? This is an often neglected part of a job description or company profile that is a lost opportunity to sell an applicant. Many things that make you great are often overlooked; include information such as: benefits to being a big or small company, what competitive advantage do you hold in your industry, awards that you have won, Christmas parties and other events that the company holds for employees, company social groups or sporting teams, working hours, relocation benefits and location.
4) SELL the job location
Location, Location, Location! Same as when buying a house, the location of a job is a massive factor! Many people are getting away from long commutes and looking to work closer to home, for those people make it easy for them to know where exactly you are located in that city/town. Are you on public transit lines? If so, that's a great advantage for those who do not drive. Are you in a remote location, or a location where it is very difficult to hire and you are looking to bring in people from elsewhere in the country? Sell people on why your location is a great place to live. Offering relocation expenses? Explain in detail how you can help people. How will you interview people living further away? Make the process simple and offer video and phone interviews.
5) SELL the duties and responsibilities
When it comes to including the duties and responsibilities in a job description it's all about balance; not too much, not too little, but just right. I have seen job descriptions that don’t tell people what they will be doing at all. This is especially prevalent in sales and skilled trades positions. Just because this person is an electrician, doesn’t mean they are qualified or want to do every type of electrician role. Is this working on machines? What kind of machines? Are they doing commercial, residential, construction? Give some information. For sales representatives, what are they selling? What industry? Why should they sell your product or service? The opposite end of the spectrum is too many details. Not long ago we had a position for a management position that detailed every single little thing this person would do. We realize you need these for internal purposes, but remember you are selling this position. You do not need to tell applicants for a senior management role they will need to photocopy the marketing outline each quarter. The ideal is 5-10 points on what this position is responsible for and what they will be doing.
6) SELL the qualifications
This is more about selling yourself. When including qualifications in a job description you want to create a balance between getting applicants that have the skills you desire and not discouraging those which may be a great candidate from applying. For each qualification ask yourself why this is needed? Do they need a university degree? Why not college, or years of experience? Minimum years of experience in this industry? If they were in another industry in a similar role could you train them on your industry? In general, what is truly required and what can you train someone on? Be clear and realistic with your expectations.
7) SELL the benefits and compensation
With competition for skilled people at an incredible high it is more important than ever to sell employed people to leave their current employer and come work for you. Rarely will someone leave for less money so be sure to evaluate your competition and other industries for similar roles and compare your compensation structure. If you have great health benefits, retirement savings, flex hours, telecommuting, pay mileage or car allowances, lunch or food programs, child care, maternity/paternity leave, vacation time, sick days, technology allowance, cell phone or computer plans - all these are something to promote about yourself.
All of these “Sales” techniques are to increase who sees your ad, entice people to apply and increase overall desire to work for your company. Don’t miss the opportunity.