Candidate Engagement: What Your Job Ad Says - Doesn't Say - About Your Company

Originally posted on the SmashFly Intern Blog.

As a college student gearing up to graduate in a few months, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time searching job boards and social media sites for job ads and future opportunities. While perusing through never-ending lists of companies’ job descriptions, expectations, and requirements, I repeatedly experienced an overarching emotion, or perhaps I should say lack of emotion. Initially I couldn’t pinpoint the culprit of my indifference, but eventually it hit me: almost every job ad says so much while saying nothing at all.

Less cryptically speaking, job ads are generally great at describing a position and terrible at giving candidates a sense of the company’s culture and personality. Understandably different companies have different personalities, but these differences can be advantageously addressed through the style of a job ad. Recruiters should utilize any opportunity to distinguish their company and market their open positions as unique in character. This in turn tells the right candidate why he or she might be an excellent fit, differentiating your job ad from others.

Candidates are interested in more than how well their credentials and experience match up; they want to know if they will be happy in their potential new environment. By tweaking your recruitment marketing strategy to add character to your job ads, you also benefit by creating a more interested and appropriate applicant pool and prospective talent network. Here are a few considerations for a more successful job ad:

  • Describe the job position in the context of the overall company in order to give candidates an impression of their potential place and value in the larger picture. This provides a more complete portrayal of the position while indirectly signifying a type of work culture to the candidate
  • Don’t be afraid to discuss what is fun about the office or position. A candidate shouldn’t have to wonder if the work environment is friendly, so describe the social perks of being a part of the team. Use current employees’ direct positive feedback to shape the description; this ads a sense of believability and impartiality
  • Instill a more personal tone in your job description by utilizing different forms of media. Embed a video or include a link to the company website to a page with video descriptions of different positions and employee testimonials if you can. If you already have these resources, don’t leave it to candidates to find them for themselves, the job ad itself should include this information

The recruitment process is a competition, and it seems to me that similar job titles across companies translate to similar job ads. With solid candidate engagement, recruiters have the opportunity to create successful job ads while using the same amount of space it takes to create mundane job ads. My only question is why don’t recruiters tend include a more personal and personable element to their job ads? Is there perhaps some aspect of the process I’m unaware of that creates this tendency?

About the Author: Tim is a Online Marketing Intern for SmashFly Technologies. SmashFly is the provider of the first recruitment marketing platform called WildFire that enables companies and staffing firms to easily distribute and more importantly measure the performance of their recruiting efforts online.

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