One Size Does NOT Fit All in Recruiting! Here’s What to Do Instead.

To all hiring leaders: It’s time to stop over-engineering the recruiting process.

One size does NOT fit all when it comes to recruiting top talent.

One thing that COVID-19 is going to do is separate the really good recruiters from the not so good recruiters. Plastering of job descriptions everywhere and ‘posting and praying’ is not going to get you the best candidates. If you do this, your teams and business as a whole will suffer in terms of performance, culture, and morale. Over time, the results could be disastrous.

Why hasn’t it changed? Why do great companies keep posting boring job descriptions that put candidates to sleep?

Why not post candidate attraction ads instead? These are job ads that actually work. Whenever I post these ads, positive comments come flooding in. The thing is, these ads aren’t hard to write. It’s not rocket science. All I’m doing is telling an interesting story about the company and speaking to the candidate’s pain points and needs.

I know that companies that outsource their recruiting to external recruiters because 1) they’re so busy or 2) they think that’s the only way they can get great talent. You can absolutely find great talent on your own without spending too much of your time recruiting – just stop posting boring, cookie-cutter job “ads”! 

Put yourself in the candidates’ shoes – why would top talent apply to a bland job ad that’s just a boring laundry list of requirements? 

Here’s what you can do to stand out in a sea of employers:

1. Tell Your Story

Whether you’re an entry-level HR professional or a CEO, as a key part of the recruiting process, you need to know the company beyond the basics. You need to be able to tell your story and connect to the candidate on an emotional level. 

Why was this company started? Is there an interesting story behind that? Can you speak to the passion of the founders? What has the company accomplished thus far and how have your customers benefited from that? What does the day-to-day look like for this role? What’s the work culture like?

2. Know What You Really Want in a Candidate

HR and business leaders have to spend time to understand what they want in an ideal candidate. Have the right conversations to understand who the perfect candidate is. 

What kind of hard skills do they need? What kind of soft skills are necessary to be successful in this role? Will they be a culture fit? Do they have a desire to grow with the company? Are they passionate about your industry?

You also need to know what you DON’T want and communicate that very clearly.

Just because thousands of new job seekers have entered the market recently doesn’t mean recruiting will get easier. In fact, it may get harder because you need to sift through hundreds, sometimes thousands, of unqualified candidates. It’s in your best interest to detract those candidates from applying. It’s ok to scare them a little.

For example, you can say,  “You’ll be a great fit for this role if you have these five criteria. And if you have these five characteristics – don’t bother applying.”

One of my clients recently wrote in their candidate attraction ad, “We don’t want ‘superheroes’; we want people will work together as a team and won’t let huge egos get in the way.” The feedback on this ad showed how powerful this statement was.

3. Solve the Candidate’s Pain

Understand their pain points and address them. If you’re recruiting someone from public accounting, you should ask them what their goals are. Do they want to avoid internal audits? Do they hate month-end? Are they looking for a role where they can do financial analysis?

If he or she is an engineer, do they want more variety in their work? 

If you’re looking to hire a nurse, how well do they handle pressure in situations like the pandemic we’re dealing with now? 

Take time to think about exactly how your company can address those pain points and provide the right solutions. 

4. Help Them Reach Their Goals

How will your company help a candidate reach their career goals? Think about their future and how they will grow with your company. 

For example, if you’re hiring a salesperson, are you looking for someone that wants to eventually move into a senior role? How will you invest in their professional growth?

If you want to attract candidates that are looking for a great career opportunity, not someone just looking for a paycheck, then you have to give them more than just a fancy office and free snacks. Communicate to applicants that if they want to learn a new skill, you will give them work that will allow them to develop that skill. Demonstrate that you genuinely care about their advancement.

People you hire are just that, people, not robots who are there to do a job and clock out.

In conclusion, be REAL…

Make an effort to be different and stand out. Be YOU. Candidates and employees are looking for companies that are authentic. Show them that there are actually human beings behind the business.

Every company has a story to tell. When you do that in an authentic way, candidates will see that you’re not just a run-of-the-mill company and say to themselves, “I want to work here!”.

Want a proven framework for building a candidate attraction ad?