Marketing the role
So once you’ve decided on your employer brand, you know why people like working with you, and you’ve put together a great EVP, the next step is marketing yourself to candidates. And that means checking out the competition.
1. Focus on the candidate
In the recruitment business, the most widely used marketing strategy is job ads. Recently I had a look at a job advertised on a major employment job board for a software developer in Sydney, Australia. As you may know, right now it’s very, very difficult to find software developers in Sydney and candidates are being offered a lot of money in an extremely competitive job market.
Now, this business decided to enter this competitive job market with an ad that did not mention the company name, it just said it was a “private advertiser”. It didn’t give the job location. In fact, it didn’t give any information about the company at all, other than one line that said it was an amazing opportunity at a growing company (which is something that, frankly, most companies say).
Instead, the ad focused on what the candidate needed to give the business, including the:
- responsibilities of the role
- skills required
- experience necessary
- selection criteria.
I did a quick search for the same job title on the same job board on the same day. I came across 35 other software developer roles being offered in Sydney. I chose one at random. The second job ad was much more attractive. First up, it included a description of everything the business was offering to candidates, including the:
- company’s purpose and awards it had won
- location of its offices
- position overview and the unique opportunities it offered
- company benefits that candidates would enjoy.
It was only after giving this information, that the ad went on to describe the responsibilities of the job and the selection criteria. If I was a candidate, and we should think about marketing to candidates like marketing to customers, I know which of these job ads I would find more appealing.
2. Avoid the formula
Often job ads follow a formula:
- company name
- role title
- role responsibilities
- skills and experience
- previous applicants need not apply.
This formula is all about the employer and what they’re looking for, and the fact that it says previous applicants need not apply gives you a hint that maybe they didn’t have much luck advertising the position in the past and they’re trying again.
3. Be human
Rather than trotting out the formula, do what you can to make your offering human. Make job ads visual and informative and include the details of a contact person. If candidates have got someone that can contact by phone or email, they can find out a little bit more before they take the big step of actually putting in an application.
4. Update your LinkedIn profile
Also, remember is to update your personal LinkedIn profile. Many candidates will take a look at the company’s profile, but also the profiles of the people who work in the company. So make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, and that it accurately reflects your business purpose and your culture.
5. Choose the right agency
If you decide to use a recruitment agency, make sure you’re using the right one. Use an agency that specialises in the role you’re recruiting for, rather than using a generic agency that works across lots of roles. It can be more expensive, but they’re more likely to target the people you’re looking for.