10 Things You Can do to Attract Scarce Talent Series: #3 – Job Descriptions That Will Knock Their Socks Off
“Abacus Accounting seeks highly motivated, self-starting accounting professional with great attention to detail and organizational/interpersonal skills who loves challenges. Bachelor’s degree and three years experience minimum.”
Are you asleep yet?
Your prospective candidates sure are!
Candidates today have MANY options…
..why would they EVER apply for a position with a job description like that?
Attracting these professionals to your company is getting harder:
- KPMG and Harvey Nash surveyed 3,000 tech leaders in its 2020 CIO survey and found that a whopping 65 percent said that “hiring challenges are hurting the industry.” (By the way, 59 percent said the same thing the previous year.)
- As for public finance professionals, “online job postings surged 84 percent between 2016 and 2020.” The private sector is also low on available finance talent and will be competing with the government for these in-demand professionals.
So with competition fierce, what’s an employer to do?
So how does one create a job posting that simply can’t be ignored?
- Minimize the “cutesie” job titles – “IT ninja,” “accounting rock star, “etc. While such words conceivably could show that you’re fun, hip, and with-it, most candidates search for positions that match their experience and skills, so using the terms above could be off-putting.
Aim instead to integrate language that is standard to your industry. This may seem counter-intuitive – after all, you don’t want to write a boring description – but your potential candidates are searching by keyword for job titles. Make it easy for them to find your offering, and then use the information within the posting to make it interesting.
- Begin with an engaging, yet short, job overview. This intro should be no more than four sentences. It should include a description of the position’s primary function and then move into how it fits in with your company’s larger objectives. Think: how does this position contribute to the company’s success, or how does it improve clients’ lives? Does it possibly solve a social problem? (Millennials, in particular, are attracted to companies that take their social responsibility seriously.)
- Use inviting terminology. “Come join a team of professionals that….”
- Avoid over-the-top language. “World-class,” best-of-the-best,” “like no projects you’ve ever seen,” actually can turn people off. As can terms that emphasize narrow focus, skills, attitude, etc.: “forever tinkering,” “you never settle.” “Perfectionists encouraged to apply.” Do so, and you risk discouraging capable talent that actually could excel in the role even if they don’t self-identify with the qualifiers used.
- Beware of the “boring” lists. Rather than highlighting a laundry list of tasks, qualifications, and responsibilities, aim to describe the job’s key functions in no more than ten bullet points. Consider creating categories such as “Communication,” “Technical Skills,” ”Goals/Objectives,” etc.
- Showcase the future. Be sure to mention something along the lines of “We believe we’re in for some great growth in the coming months, possibly as much as 25 percent.” Or, “We anticipate that we will need to add even more people in the coming months, individuals who may need some leadership. We feel this position could be one of those management slots moving forward.”
- Create a sense of urgency. Consider stating specific start dates. You might also wish to think about providing an email to a person – possibly the actual hiring manager – rather than giving a generic email address.
- Highlight your culture. What’s a top question on candidates’ minds? “Will I fit in there?” So give a taste of what your corporate culture is like within the posting. Do you offer unlimited PTO? Mention it. Do people take sabbaticals of at least three months after working their five years? In other words, your benefits and perks speak volumes about your culture, and you need to let candidates get a taste of it from the get-go.
- Watch your biases. DEI is HUGE in candidates’ eyes. We can’t emphasize this enough. Remember that gender-biased content can be subtle yet is still damaging. It’s known to discourage qualified talent unconsciously because it lowers their sense of fitting in. The American Psychological Association has found that words that appear innocuous in job postings do signal gender bias.
- Consider videos. Can you shoot a short video with the hiring manager about the position? Could you do the same of the people with whom the hired candidate will work? Videos are an excellent “enlivening” job posting tool.
Looking to hire IT and finance/accounting professionals for your contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire opportunities? We can help! Sourcing, recruiting, vetting, and placing IT and finance folks is what we DO.