“Another employee resigned this week,” a manager relayed to me during our monthly coaching session.
“How many is that this month?”
“Two, but the big challenge is finding replacement workers, and we can’t seem to attract suitable candidates for our jobs.”
It is a common refrain across America. Employees are leaving organizations in droves. According to the Department of Labor, over three percent of the workforce quit their jobs in 2021. And it doesn’t look to be slowing down in 2022.
Yet, companies across the country are having problems finding new candidates.
And I blame the job postings or, more accurately, the people writing the job postings.
I did a quick search for Human Resources Manager positions in Nashville, TN, on Zip Recruiter. There were over three thousand jobs available, and they all read exactly alike. “Reporting to the business leader, the Human Resources Manager will handle the management of talent for the organization.”
There is nothing to entice high-performing individuals to apply for any of those jobs.
To attract the best talent in today’s employment marketplace, we have to learn from our brethren in the marketing department. We have to ask the question, “Why should a candidate choose our company?”
In my workshops, I asked the participants to write down a couple of words why an individual would want to work for their company. Most people answer, “Great Pay and Excellent Benefits.” Sure, it’s essential to offer great pay and excellent benefits, but that alone is not enough. According to SHRM, candidates choose a job because of company culture, possible career progression, benefits, flexible work schedule, and impact on their community. What does your company offer?
Marketers focus on the benefits and features of their products for customers. Likewise, companies need to focus on the benefits of working at the business for candidates. What are the advantages the candidate will receive from working for your company? If you aren’t sure what those benefits are, I recommend doing stay interviews with your dedicated and high-performing employees to ask them what advantages they receive from working at your company.
It might not be what you think it is. Employees are looking beyond pay. They want to work in a place that provides the opportunity for career advancement, a place where they have the flexibility, and a place where they feel like they belong.
Once we understand the advantages of working at our company, we need to write advertisements to highlight the benefits. Whether for a product or a job, a good ad catches the person’s eye from the moment they see it. In job postings, it is the first sentence that matters most. If I am scrolling through a hundred job postings for a company recruiter, telling me what I am tasked with doing isn’t going to get my attention. But what if I wrote, “Do you want to change people’s lives?” What could be more life-changing them offering somebody an excellent job?
Notice that I used a question to start the job advertisement. Questions are wonderful tools to pique someone’s interest, and the right questions pull candidates into the job posting, making them want to learn more. The other way to start a job posting is to use the number one benefit of your organization as the opening line. For instance, “Our Associates Flex their schedules to meet the demands of their lives, not ours.” or “We have been voted the best place to work for families six years in a row.”
Both baby boomers and millennials are looking to work at a place that will give them a sense of purpose or positively impact the community. If you want to attract talented millennials, be upfront about your organization’s vision and who it serves. For instance, “We help people stay in their homes.” (home caregivers) or “We nurture body and souls.” (Healthy food chain). A sense of purpose is a driver for many people choosing a company to work for.
After the headline is created, the rest of the job posting needs to be built. The central part of the job posting will do two things. First, it will provide enough information for the candidate to understand the job and qualifications. Secondly, it will intrigue them enough to apply for the job. It is a mixture of facts and marketing. For instance, instead of saying, “There are 150 employees at our company,” say, “You will work alongside 150 talented employees making a difference in the life of our customers.”
Then finally, tell them how to apply. The process of applying should be as easy as possible. Candidates will not apply if the effort is too much. Remember you are competing against other companies. If the candidate has to jump through a lot of loops to get a job, they may look for more accessible avenues.
The job posting is only as good as where you place it. Companies need to understand where potential candidates are looking for their new job. Is it on Indeed? Is it on your webpage? FaceBook? Linkedin? It changes depending on the job type, the industry of the company, and the level of job within the company. In one of my classes, I had a student tell me she had problems getting staff for her school. I asked where she posted the jobs, and she said on teacher websites. Custodial, maintenance, and landscaping staff are looking for a position on teacher websites; they are looking on Indeed or Zip Recruiter.
For my coaching client, we reworked the job posting and where they were posting it, and suddenly there was an increase in applications for the position he had open. Within six weeks, they had filled the two positions and had other candidates available if someone else left.
Are you ready to fill your open positions? If so, try marketing your positions differently.