How to Know if Your Recruiting Strategy Stinks (And How to Fix It)


What do candidates think when they see a job ad for your company for the first time? Are they excited about the idea of working for you? Or are they bored, uninspired and likely to keep looking elsewhere? If you’re not sure, chances are your ads are like the majority of others out there: nothing special. Fortunately, that’s a situation that you can easily improve.

Unless your company is a household name with a longstanding reputation, your job ads might be a candidate’s first impression. And you know what they say about those. If you’d rather be in that slim margin that nails a great job ad every time, here’s what you should focus on.

What’s in it for Them?

The best job ads, which are admittedly hard to find, sell the job. They focus on what an applicant wants, which is a 180-degree switch from the angle of most ads. Unfortunately, the usual approach is little more than a slew of bullet points that list requirements. There are education requirements, skills requirements, experience requirements, and so on. That’s what’s in it for you. But what’s in it for the applicant?

If you think that the job itself is its own reward, think again. The market isn’t nearly as tough now as it was a few years ago. Unemployment is down, and most of the best talent is either already employed or at least able to be choosy. Sell the job as if you’re selling a product. In many ways, you are.

Find What’s Driving Your Approach

If you have a usual approach at all, it probably developed for a reason. Once you find it, you’ll have an easier time reversing it. ERE Media says that oftentimes recruiters or hiring managers are just too comfortable, set in their ways and don’t have the time or inclination to work differently. What would you think about an employee who didn’t improve because it was too much trouble?

Switching to a better job ad model is the smarter angle because it attracts more of the right people. It does more than meet the minimum requirements for announcing that there’s a job opening. It makes the job look more appealing, boost the company brand, helps get positions filled faster (and with better talent), and it can make you look good in the process.

Create a New Job Ad Model

To sell the job, you have to know what’s awesome about the opportunity. The manager over that job probably has a better idea about its benefits, so that’s a good place to start looking for pros to weave into the ad. Better descriptions also help, says ERE. They not only paint a picture of what it would be like to work for your company, they promote the idea of your company as a leader.

Tell candidates what makes the job better than a similar one at another company. Demonstrate how the job that’s offered can benefit their lives more than working elsewhere. And don’t be shy about talking money, says ERE. It’s the elephant in the room. Every applicant wants to know the dollars and cents. So if that information is available, provide it. Just avoid vague language about pay, which is worse than not addressing it at all.

Recruiters, hiring managers or anyone else who is in charge of writing job descriptions should look at ads as an opportunity. They’re not just a mandatory means to an end. They’re your shot at luring a better-qualified candidate onto your team.

Just as marketing has a strategy, so should talent acquisition. Put more effort into job ad than the next company. Candidates will notice, and you’ll likely have a better quality of talent from which to choose.

Talent acquisition sometimes feels like a moving target. But it’s also an opportunity to continually outperform the competition.


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