Sexy Sells: 4 Tips to Create Enticing Job Descriptions
April 20, 2017
How to advertise your job opening and pique a candidate’s interest
When writing a job description, managers usually focus on the responsibilities, requirements, and hiring pay range to ensure they get applicants that could get the job done at the correct experience level. But on the other side, what are a candidate’s requirements to show interest in this specific opportunity over others they are considering? What is it that entices them to take this job when offered, rather than another opportunity with the same job title and responsibilities at another company? In a study conducted by Korn Ferry, the highest motivational driver in a job is “the belief that [their] work has purpose and meaning,” at an incredible 73%, while both recognition/social status and financial rewards are the least important at just 3% each. This could be very insightful for you, the manager, as you either write a job description or speak with a staffing company/vendor regarding your opportunity.
One of the best account managers within our organization always asks, “What is sexy about this?” referring to the parts of the job description that are most enticing to the candidate and will get them interested in the role. If you are able to address the “sexy” points below, you will more likely attract a candidate looking for a long-term career, not just a job.
1. Go beyond job description—talk about the big picture
A great number of people will want to be able to answer the following question at the beginning of any new job: “What will I have accomplished in the first year of this role?” It could be the determining factor between Company A and Company B with similar job openings. The best candidates want to accomplish the most and advance their knowledge in the least amount of time. While there is no way of knowing their exact futures in new roles, they may rely on hearing specific milestones or anticipated achievements expected of someone entering this role. They typically like to know that in their role, they will be an integral part of what is going on, and will be able to claim their accomplished work within a reasonable amount of time. They will also want to visualize the impact this will create for the company, client, or industry.
2. Show how this job can lead to future growth opportunities
Specifically, when looking at the “big picture” of their careers, candidates also want to visualize where they could be within the company within a few years. Without at least an outline of what growth opportunities exist within the company, candidates may answer in their minds that in five years, they will be working for a different company where there are opportunities to grow. Not only do candidates want to know that there is upward mobility in the company, but also may want to know a realistic timeline for promotion and what they can focus on to make sure they are putting themselves in positions to be considered when a higher-level position becomes available. As an employer, this is also important for employee retention. According to Glassdoor, “Every additional 10 months an employee[‘s job title] stagnates in a role makes them one percent more likely to leave the company.”
“A good manager isn’t worried about his own career, but rather the careers of those who work for him.” – H. S. M. Burns
3. Re-emphasize why this specific role matters
Allow candidates to see how this role fits into the organization, potentially talking about who the employee reports to, who reports to this person, where dotted lines are, and how multiple teams or groups fit together. Why is this one role on this one team important, and how will it add value – not only to the team, but to its stakeholders and the company overall? Also, answering why this role is open (whether a specific need was seen and experienced or that someone was promoted out of this role) can help a candidate picture what his or her experience will be like beginning of the role. On one hand, the need was created, making this a brand-new role that may even evolve with a greater learning curve, and on the other, there may be predefined measures of success, training materials, and someone to help better train this individual.
4. Don’t just sell the role—sell the company
Candidates don’t just want to work for any company, but one that matters within its community and industry. What is great about your company that the candidate could not get from a competitor? Whether it’s the company’s overall financial health, or its projection for growth that will open numerous opportunities within the next five years, or its focus on corporate social responsibility, candidates will want to work for a company they can get behind and feel proud to work for. Tying in this last piece to what they’ve learned about the specific role, candidates will feel they’re getting the big picture of who your company is, and who they could be within it.
By Nicole Sangid
Nicole began her career at The Select Group in October 2015 directly following the completion of her MBA from West Virginia University. At that time, she made the move from West Virginia to Raleigh, North Carolina where she was hired as a Technical Recruiter supporting the hiring of networking individuals for Cisco Systems. She currently is a Delivery Manager on The Select Group’s National Delivery Team, and specializes in the recruitment of infrastructure engineers and project managers. Her favorite thing about her role is both learning and teaching technology to better understand hiring needs and candidate qualifications.