Performance management starts at the hiring phase. Too often, companies don’t realize that they need to be worried about attracting the “right people” for a position. They simply create a job listing, or use their HR-approved template listing, and put it out there for all to see. Unfortunately, if the listing itself doesn’t take a specific approach to describing the role that needs to be filled, candidates are not going to see how much of an ideal fit they would be.
Not only that but some top candidates don’t pursue positions or immediately rule jobs out because of the job listing or the way the position is presented. It’s easy to come up with a list of duties or expectations, but candidates that are worth your time need more than a list to catch their attention—starting with that. Your organization has to captivate candidates from the second they find your job listing.
Start by Telling a Story
The best job ads tell stories, rather than just listing job needs. Human nature loves a good story and when you’re persuasive about it, you’ll get the right people to apply right away. You can’t expect a top performer to come along and infer things from your post. You need to instead think about who that “top performer” is in the first place and then write a story that gets their attention. Skip the templates and the stale, formal terms of job listings. Keep the legal department on call, but don’t leave them in charge of writing the copy.
Make sure that you create a story that explains exactly what the job entails and what is expected of the person filling the role. Then, see who responds. If you test this next to a “standard” job listing that’s very matter-of-fact, you’ll quickly see why the former is a better option.
Highlight What They Get from the Role
Today’s candidates aren’t interested in what they can do for you. They’re obviously going to work for your company and deliver the skills and duties that are expected of them, and they’re going to get the perks that come from that. But just what are those perks? People need to know that they’re getting something out of the job besides a paycheck. Top performers are more interested in culture and contributions than they are in getting paid.
Take the time to explain as much as you can about the benefits of taking the role, including what it could entail now and in the future. Make sure that you note any significant benefits or perks like PTO, day-one healthcare, and so forth. The market is competitive and if you want to get the top candidates, you have to deliver the top perks.
Show the Career Trajectory or Future Potential
This is another part of making sure that people know what they’re getting. No one wants to be hired into a static role where they will be tasked with the same job day in and day out for the entirety of their career. Today’s candidates want to know where the position is going or what kind of advancement opportunities there will be. They’re thinking long-term and if you want to ensure they’re thinking that’s with your organization, you need to be thinking about the long-term, too.
Explain what kind of trajectory is anticipated for the role or if there is a natural progression up the ladder and into leadership. Explain what comes next and what’s after that so that people know you’re thinking about more than just getting someone on the payroll. It also gives people the chance to take ownership of a role and get excited about running with it. The only people that are motivated are usually the top performers.
Stop Balking on Salary Expectations
Organizations need to stop playing the back-and-forth game with potential candidates. There are still tons of companies that don’t even list a range of salary expectations in their job listings. And yet, they can’t quite figure out how people are just walking away and why no one is responding to their job listing. Money matters, even if we don’t want it to. Companies seem to want candidates to come up with a million reasons besides the paycheck as to why they want to be a part of the organization.
It’s time to accept the obvious and make sure that you’re stating it. Today’s candidates don’t care about all the fluffy language or the promise of a “competitive salary.” Jobs that list a salary range or expectation for their roles see an increase in interest significantly. Even if people rule out applying because the pay range isn’t right, that’s still a step in the right direction for everyone.
Stop Asking What They’ve Done and Find Out What They Can Do
Job listings often claim that they need to see previous experience or “proven results” to qualify someone for a position. Unfortunately, that gets a lot of top talent to walk away immediately because they don’t feel like they should have to go through a proving ground to get hired. Not only that, but what people have done in the past may or may not be relevant to your needs. Instead of guessing or trying to make the connections yourself, just ask people what it is that they bring to the table and what they can do for your organization specifically.
Keep it Simple and Straightforward and Watch Interest Soar
Writing the perfect job listing is a craft that takes years to cultivate. It’s also sometimes something that either works or it doesn’t. For organizations seeking top talent, having the best job postings will ensure that they are the ones interested in the role and that they take the time to apply. People know what they’re worth and they’re not going to apply for a vague job with little actual information and a whole bunch of template jargon. Organizations need to stick to straightforward listings with these tips in mind to attract the best talent. If you would like to improve your employee engagement and retain top talent, contact us today for a free consultation!