Updated: Nov 15, 2021
When you post a job on a job board, chances are you are competing for the same candidates as competitors. How do you make your vacancy stand out and spark interest in a sea of similarities?
The cost to recruit can represent a significant portion of an institution’s budget. In addition to the direct costs to advertise, hire, and onboard new staff, resources are drained in the process. When positions remain vacant, nobody wins. Overtime may be needed to fill staffing gaps, or worse yet, you may need to turn customers away. What if there was an easy way to reacher a deeper talent pool?
#1 Start with the title
What makes applicants look twice at job postings will not always work for every job. You can’t change a Kindergarten Teachers job title to Inspire and Educate Leader, but you can amend the title to help it stand out among the crowd. ER Physician/Community Caregiver may result in more than a passing glance. Whenever possible, add a bit of personality and insight to the job title; you’ll find like-minded applicants who will see themselves and apply quickly.
#2 Don't post the job – market the brand
The title catches their interest, and if candidates are qualified and in the market, there's little need for them to pore through the details. Candidates know they have what you need; they're looking for you to tell them you have what they want. Every communication from your facility is a marketing opportunity – don't waste it.
Think about it. The kindergarten teacher job duties don't change from centre to centre. What does change is the centre itself. "10 + years of experience in early childhood education" could become a "Modern, resource-rich centre with the in-house chef serving organic nutritional food". Tell the world if you have monthly volunteer days or undertake other charitable work. Offer candidates a reason to keep reading instead of another generic templated listing.
What makes your business better than the rest? What do you have to offer someone that will make them what to stay? What is your social impact doing inside your sector? How does your organisation give back to society?
We offer a consultancy service that helps clients improve their recruitment processes if you are running out of ideas.
#3 Stop posting a mini-thesis
Be honest – does that 2,000-word job description you copied and pasted to your posting inspire you? Do you even bother to read it? If this is how detail-oriented the hiring manager is, imagine what they must be like to work for. If you can't stay awake to get to the good stuff (benefits and perks at the bottom when they should be at the top), why would they?
Everyone knows the list of requirements and 'must-haves' in their field. If you're creating long lists, they're moving on. The bulk of your posting should be selling the business, not writing a list of demands. Stop listing the day-to-day duties and start recording how we help the community, each other, and our careers. The less you say about responsibilities they already know and perform, and the more you say about how working at your facility benefits them, the community and the institution, the more responses you'll receive.
#4 Change the order
A good job advertisement always starts with the benefits and perks of the job (which is what candidates who are skimming will see first) to get them reading more. One short sentence about what you need should lead directly into what you have to offer. 'Early Childhood Teacher wanted for a centre that rewards staff with a wealth of benefits. You'll enjoy trips abroad, caviar and champagne every Friday and more when you join our team.'
Once you've attracted them with stature and benefits, they're more likely to read through the short and succinct list of requirements and apply quickly. Make sure your posting attracts job seekers and doesn't put them to sleep.
#5 Make connections
The personal touch is critical to attracting talent. Nothing says you’re just another cog in the wheel more than an anonymous recruitment inbox. Many workplaces have an application funnel that prescreens and directs candidates to the right recruitment professional discretely. The nameless recruiter is free to respond or ignore, which doesn’t inspire you to apply immediately.
By simply changing the email address to a personal account (recruiters can set up specific emails for specific jobs or job categories) with an actual name in it, you demonstrate to job seekers their value and your willingness to talk directly to them.
If you use an online applicant funnel, include a personal note prominently in the posting. ‘We’re excited to talk to you! Please send an email or text to firstname.lastname@example.org when you apply so that I can schedule your interview ASAP!’
If the job board allows, always include a logo and a quirky image to spark someone’s attention. Images from unsplash.com can be downloaded free online, and there is a stack to search through.
If you struggle to find staff or do not know where to start your recruitment processes, please get in touch with us at email@example.com. We offer a consultant-coaching service for small businesses to provide tailored advice to your problem.