Recruitment Advertising Tips for your Staffing Firm
Alright, I’m going to get on my soap box right now. For the last 20 years, we have been teaching and preaching to the sales and recruiting teams of staffing firms the importance of the job description. I’m sure as leaders of your organization, you’ve had plenty of conversations about the quality of the job descriptions that are getting posted. When talking about recruitment advertising, the key is to always remember that it’s about getting your posting to have the result of new applicants. Most people in sales and recruiting look at the job description as simply something to do or to get done quickly. If the job is not posted, how are you getting applicants? This mentality should lead everyone to want to do it well.
After 20 years in staffing, I’ve found that the conclusion is that people don’t prioritize cleaning and enhancing their job descriptions because of all the other work they have. While I understand their workload, the difference between good and great in a job description is only about 4 to 5 minutes’ worth of work. This article goes into what’s necessary to drive quality job descriptions.
Beginning with the staffing firm job description
When your staffing firm looks at the job descriptions that come from your clients, you see extraneous information that won’t help find the right candidate. When I refer to extraneous information, I mean things like “must be able to successfully report performance on a weekly basis to your manager” or “must be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.” We’ve all seen this unnecessary information included in job descriptions. Who these days is not proficient in Microsoft products?
When a salesperson or recruiter in staffing looks at a new job description, they should be looking at it from a number of key points. The most important point that we emphasize is that whoever is cleaning the job description should C.A.R.E. In this case, C.A.R.E. is actually an acronym. C.A.R.E. means to focus on content, authenticity, relatability, and to put in the effort necessary to get the job description to perform well with the candidate audience. Bad job descriptions that are verbose and difficult to read as well as filled with typos and grammar mistakes all lead to a simple conclusion, which is that only the most in-need candidates are going to respond. Anyone proud of what they do with their career is likely to be turned off by terrible job descriptions.
When we say C.A.R.E…
1. Content – First, look at what is needed in the job description. Remove all unnecessary, redundant, and unintelligible information. All of that fluff makes readability and understandability drop down to zero. The content should be engaging to the audience and draw them into the ad.
2. Authenticity – It’s easy to write XYZ Staffing Firm is looking for a Java developer, business analyst, or a travel nurse in *insert city name here* and that our client is interested in finding the best possible people. This is something that helps, but is it truly motivational? Is that what the candidate wants to hear? Don’t write your job ad to simply satisfy the need of having a job ad. Write your staffing firm’s job ad to attract candidates that matter. You should be able to include information about the corporate culture of your client, what the position’s value is to the client, or about what you bring to their career. Avoid the buzz words that make job descriptions look like a template. Strive for words that the candidate notices and appreciates.
3. Relatability – Part of why we are so focused on content and authenticity is because the goal of the job description is to have your staffing firm stand out to the best and brightest candidates and to draw them to you. With competition for candidates being as heavy as it is right now, the only focus on job descriptions should be to get a candidate to react, and making it relatable gets reactions. All of this brings us to the E in care: effort.
4. Effort – Sales and recruiting at your staffing firm need to put forth at least the minimal effort to ensure that content, authenticity, and relatability are achieved. Ask yourself, “is the job description I’m reading selling the position to the candidate or simply advising them?” The job description is the first introduction that a candidate gets to your staffing firm. Your recruitment advertising strategy needs to put this at the forefront.
With screen scraping, postings across the web, Monster, Indeed, Dice, CareerBuilder, and all of the various boards that are available to your recruiting teams, SEO and the use of keywords becomes incredibly important. SEO is focused on matching content with search queries. If you’re looking for a Java Developer in Detroit, then the prevalence of those words becomes increasingly important. A good rule of thumb is three to four mentions of desired SEO keywords.
Another piece of SEO are internal and external links. There is no reason that your staffing firm cannot utilize existing content on your site to create links for a job ad. For example, do you have a benefits page that describes your benefits? Are there blog articles about writing a better resume or interview tips? All of these are assets that are used as links in job descriptions to enhance SEO for each job. Look for opportunities to enhance your SEO in your recruitment advertising efforts.
Please go out and find ten of your job descriptions that are posted either on your staffing firm’s website or on job boards and read them while asking yourself the simple questions, “would I actually read this entirely if I were a candidate?” and “is it selling the position to me?” The user experience in a job description is going back to C.A.R.E.
If this is performed, users have a positive experience with your job description as well as from a technological standpoint. It also causes the easy ability to apply to the job or share the job with other friends they think they are a solid fit.
Many times, we tell candidates that in the interview they should ask if they have the job or we inform them that they should ask good questions at the end of the interview to show they care. Very seldom do we read job descriptions and see that an effective call-to-action (CTA) was made. To put this in perspective, the Army, many years ago, came up with one of the best calls-to-action for recruitment advertising that anyone has seen. Uncle Sam saying, “We Want You”. In your job descriptions, are you explaining to the candidate why you want them and what value they bring to your organization or your clients organization? Are you telling them that it’s time to apply because “We Want You”? Your calls to action determine whether quality or general candidates apply.
We use C.A.R.E. as the acronym because that is exactly what your staffing firm’s sales and recruiting teams should do with your recruitment advertising in order to drive effective applicant flow. If you have determined that preaching to your team, like I discussed earlier, is something you are equally tired of, give us a call for us to help you with your recruitment advertising. Are you ready to get started? This is my call-to-action.