I have been told many times over the years that recruiting is a sales/marketing position; and yet, we don’t follow the basic 101 principle of selling the benefits, not the features (when it comes to our sales letters/marketing collateral…primarily seen by our job posts, but also our emails, social media, etc. etc.).
Said another way, sell the sizzle…not the steak. And yet, we keep selling the steak. You see it all the time on job boards and company career sites…
XYZ is a (fill in the blank) company looking for (fill in the blank).
The responsibilities of this position are 1, 2, 3, etc.
We require the following to be considered – 1, 2, 3, etc.
We would prefer candidates that have the following – 1, 2, 3, etc.
We offer competitive salary, 401K, benefits, bonus, etc.
Granted, that the last, “we offer competitive salary, 401K, benefits, bonus, etc.”…very loosely are benefits, but they are so vague and exactly what everyone else is offering that they truly are not benefits of working for you…specifically.
What are the real benefits of working in this position, department, and company? Is there a well-defined career path with multiple tracks depending on interests? Is there some great experience someone would acquire in this position they couldn’t get easily elsewhere? Would they get to use the latest tools or technologies? Have you never laid anyone off during the past 5 years? Do you get to work with some of the biggest thought leaders in the industry (be sure to name them)?
What is in it for potential applicants? Not features, but benefits…and emotional benefits are better. Be specific…immediately highlighting what this position/department/company can do for the potential candidates – don’t make them guess why it is worth their while to work for you (let alone take the time to apply). How will their life be better if they apply and get hired?
We are no longer in the age when people are grateful just to have a job and will apply because you posted an opening (when there are not enough jobs). How many times do we hear (as recruiters) that there is a talent shortage and war for talent? If you feel there is a shortage…then potential candidates are not be beating a path to your door just because you posted a job.
No, it is a job seekers’ market when there is a talent shortage. The ones with the talent have multiples places they could go because they are in demand (and there is not enough supply – i.e. candidates). If he or she is passive – not actively looking for new opportunities – then all the more reason to list benefits that might entice someone to apply and not the features of the job.
We need to affect a potential candidate’s desire to apply, if we want to entice passive candidates to apply and win the war for talent. The features and facts of the position, department, and company will not affect the desire to apply.