How Employers Sabotage Themselves

The Attraction Phase

(Part 1 of 3)

The Talent Board ( the non-profit organization focused on the elevation and promotion of a quality candidate experience) and Maury Hanigan, CEO of SparcStart, joined forces for a recent webinar for Recruiters, HR Professionals, and Hiring Managers focused on what employers are doing right – and wrong – in the hiring process.  While you can click HERE to watch the whole thing (30 min), we’ve compiled the highlights and best practices in to a 3-part series that examines each phase of the hiring process – Attraction, Application, and Selection.  In Part 1, we will examine the attraction phase of hiring - how you get candidates to apply for jobs.  This includes job postings, social media engagement, and your company’s career page.

The recruitment process is long and challenging, and on both sides of the process, there is frustration. Especially for candidates.  And as we all know, there is little time in the day to respond to every candidate, especially the ones who are “not the right fit” for your organization or open position.  But remember, though that candidate is not “right” - their best friend, or child, or significant other may be, or they may be your future consumer. 

Ever have a friend tell you about a terrible experience at a restaurant?  I’m willing to bet you didn’t turn around and make a reservation there for next Saturday night.  Your company’s candidate experience directly relates to your bottom line.  And if you are providing a poor experience, that results in a loss of customers and future candidates.  In fact, according to Talent Board’s research, 66% of candidates will share a negative experience with their network. 



Job Information Candidates Desire

Remember that a job description is an actual description of the job, not just bullets of required skills and preferred skills.   Further excite the candidates by providing the information they want to know.  According to Talent Board’s recent survey, this includes salary range/ compensation structure, as well as what the target candidate profile looks like, and the career path for this type of role (imperative for entry-level positions). 


Company Information Candidates Desire

Now that you have candidates’ attention and they are intrigued by the job, get them excited about your company.  Ever thought about the information candidates actually want to know while they are deciding whether or not to apply?  According to Talent Board’s survey, candidates were more likely to apply for a position if Company Values were communicated in the initial job posting or outreach.  Having them posted on your career site is not enough - you need to get that candidate to visit your site.  And the easiest way to do that is to articulate the information candidates actually want in your proactive marketing outreach.

Check out this GREAT EXAMPLE of a company doing attraction right.  Not only do they have a very cool, tech-forward video job description, but they articulate the top 3 reasons to apply, include a note (actual prose) on the job itself, and allow candidates that aren’t interested in this position but nay be interested in others to stay in touch by joining their talent community.



3 Ways to Create a More Effective Job Posting:

  1. Have an intriguing first sentence that draws the reader in, and then follow that with information on why the job is great.  This is not the time to list company benefits; instead, focus on something that will intrigue candidates – it could be meaningful projects the candidate will be able to work on, or what they will learn. For example, a company that sells light bulbs started their Marketing Intern Job Description with “We are looking for the innovator in you to join our team as a Social Media Intern for the Summer.” When they added “So, start thinking.  How would you sell a light bulb?” they immediately saw an uptick in applications.  It intrigued the reader.
  2. Consider highlighting “Top 3 Reasons to Apply” or “3 Reasons Why Our Employees Like It Here.”  Something to draw the reader in and make them want to visit your company page.  Remember the job description is a marketing document.
  3. Rely on the data from Talent Board and your internal surveys.  Include information in the initial outreach that tells the candidate what they want to know.   And consider your Call to Action – is it to get them to visit your company page, attend a campus info session, or apply directly?  Ensure your job description leads the candidate to the action you want them to take next.


Felicia Fleitman is the Founder of Savvy Hires, a workforce development & on-boarding firm specializing in Intern & Apprentice Programs.  Check us out at

Views: 376

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on September 22, 2017 at 9:40pm

Those firms that most need to do this are the ones least likely to.


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