Like many small businesses, we don’t have an HR department and we’ve never hired a headhunter to do our hiring. Over the years, I have written our job postings myself when our company needs to hire. I always felt like this was a little outside my expertise but we have had amazing luck finding and hiring the right people over the last 13 years anyway. This always seemed strange to me until I started thinking about it.
A marketing pro is actually a great person to sketch up recruiting copy. After all, marketers know how to use language to target the right crowd and incite interest. And that’s exactly what you want to do when you’re looking for a candidate: Find the right person and get them to like you. Here is what I do when it’s time to hire.
Identify the Audience
Just as marketers have to take time to figure out who exactly is their ideal customer, effective recruiters need to define their ideal candidates. Just any Joe Schmo won’t do. The job requires certain skills and the team needs a certain type of person. Narrowing down the candidate pool will help everyone save time.
Once you have identified the skills, location, experience, and personality you’re looking for, you’re ready to start crafting the message that will bring the right candidate your way.
Construct an Effective Message
Getting the point across in a professional and authentic manner is the next challenge for the marketer and, likewise, for the recruiter. The message should grab the candidate early on.
Many job postings start off with when the company was founded, how many employees it has, and other dry facts. Candidates want information relevant to them so start the posting with something that speaks to their needs and interests. There is always the risk that if you bore candidates, they’ll move on before reading your ad. So get to the point.
You don’t want to use unprofessional tactics to achieve this though – no explosions or confetti necessary. Just state the relevant information and leave off all the fluff. Being authentic and concise helps convey your company’s culture and ensures your ad gets read.
Sell the Company and the Team
Marketers paint a glorious picture of their product or service to get people to take notice. Presenting a false image is never a good idea, but highlighting a product or service’s strong points is the only way to get people to take notice in a sea of products and services. The same is true for jobs. Great talent generally have a larger pool to choose from. They’ve got the experience and track records needed to get the job they want. The best ones have more freedom to be picky and so you need to convince them that your workplace is the right one. Describe the company culture, the employee benefits, and the position itself.
The candidate is wondering questions like the following so be sure to answer them!
- “Is this job going to be interesting?”
- “Will the job give me freedom to be creative and grow?”
- “Will I have independence or will I follow a rigid set of duties?”
- “Is the location ideal or flexible?”
- “Will I get along with the team and fit in with the culture?”
- “Are the benefits attractive?”
Marketers have learned the power of personality in recent years with the advent of social media. When people have so many choices, the deciding factor often comes down to something relatable. When three products are basically the same, we’ll make a choice to buy based on something that we can relate to on a personal level. Often times, it’s the conversation we had with a friendly salesperson that seals the deal. Developing relationships with people works and marketers know it.
Recruiters can attract talent with personality too. Revealing the personality of the team and interviewer can be the icing on the cake for an interested candidate. After all, they’re going to be spending a large part of their life in this place with these people. An honest representation of the company culture and the personalities of the team may be one of the most important factors for a candidate to consider. So be sure and show it in copy and in the interview.