Your recruitment message is an essential part of the recruiting "mix." If not crafted thoughtfully and strategically, the result can be a dismally boring and un-engaging delivery of what is probably a very exciting opportunity. Still, recruitment messaging is easily overlooked when you're tasked with managing the sourcing, screening and interviewing of candidates.
Your message and voice are formed in candidates’ minds as a combination of every interaction they have with the organization. This message can be formed by accident, or it can be created strategically; which do you think might result in a more effective voice?
Know Your Audience
Recruitment messaging should purposefully change as recruitment needs change. Each position will speak to a different person, and job listings should be crafted with that in mind. HR thought leader, Dr. John Sullivan said in an ERE piece:
“In recruiting, the need to match your 'bait' or attraction features to your target is no different. The job and company features that would attract the average Joe to a job (I call them 'paycheck jobs') would barely get the attention of top performers, techies, and innovators.”
While social recruitment is only a piece of the recruitment-messaging puzzle, it’s a pretty darn important piece. Talent sourcing and attraction specialist Bryan Chaney recently wrote an interesting piece on LinkedIn about choosing your voice. He uses a great example of three sample tweets to show his readers what an impact the right voice can have on attraction.
Option #1: “I have a great opportunity available. Know anyone who might be a fit?”
This option speaks to everyone, and therefore no one. It isn’t targeted, engaging or informative. Social media platforms, LinkedIn and job boards are vast resources; untargeted messages float around like debris in the Twitterverse.
Option #2: “I have a challenging role available for a Java developer. Know anyone looking for the chance to write some high profile code?”
This is better, but we’re still not there. There is nothing about this listing that would speak to a cultural fit on a personal level. While this version is a little more exciting, there is nothing about this post that sounds fun or inviting.
Option #3: “Is your JSP code strong enough to pull the ears off of a gundark? Have I got a challenging role for you!”
I think we have a winner.
Chaney provided us with a great example of how to use what you know about your engaged workforce to attract more like them. In this example, he uses the known pop culture common to Java scriptwriters, allowing this post to reveal that the company understands the potential candidate.
This post also does a great job weeding out those non-cultural fit applicants. Star Trek fans will surely know that this position isn’t for them. I’m kidding! This post addresses multiple facets of this company’s culture. If you don’t like to be challenged, don’t apply. If you aren’t confident in your strong coding talent, don’t apply. If you don’t like to have fun at work, don’t apply.
Like I said, social isn’t the only outlet that a company has to spread their recruitment message. Chaney has provided us with a strong example of how just one message can really craft an opinion, evoke excitement and peak interest, using what you already know about your current workforce to craft the workforce of the future.
So then leaders are left with the issue of gathering, organizing and implementing those engaged employee analytics. That sounds like a lot of work, because it is; but it doesn’t have to be. Every day, I help clients post and track their jobs. Our talent alignment platform tracks analytics, reports on them in real-time and helps leaders figure out what to do with that information to drive individual and organizational success.
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent hundreds of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.