Tech Recruitment Mistakes - My Job Advert is enough!
My Job Advert is enough!
Here is one of the biggest areas of recruitment that really could do with a complete overhaul. I mean think about it, when considering looking at a new job, how boring is it to read through description after description that has no real identity?
Most tech leaders or business leaders think this is usually the answer when recruiting people and feel an advert written by them will be enough to attract the right people to the position.
So, once you have identified you are looking for someone specific you then start writing the job description or job advert, which should be the easy part of recruitment but actually when you get down to it, it can be quite difficult.
Once you have finished with it you feel you have written something that should be informative about what you are looking for. For example, it usually follows the same format;
Giving an intro to the business
A few bullet points on the responsibilities
A wish list of skills you are looking for
Some benefits of the job or joining the business
Once written it’s then posted to the company's website or a couple of job boards and left it to do its magic so you can sit there and wait for the ideal candidates to apply. Or not, as the case may be.
Why it’s a mistake;
The main reason this is a mistake is that job adverts are everywhere, and, in the end, they are all the same and if I’m honest, pretty boring.
Firstly, in most tech job ads you will always find a wish list. By this, I’m referring to the skill or requirement section in your job ad. This is the first part that often goes wrong. Be real with it, don’t just fill it up for filling up’s sake. Trim the fat of the specification, just state the facts of what you need. If you must put more detail in it, I feel the best way to do it is to list must-have skills followed by nice to have skills to make it clear.
With job adverts, there is no personality in it and no way to show your enthusiasm for the business or company. It’s very difficult to convey all the challenges you have in your open position. You cannot show what it's like to work there or the culture of what's cool about your business. Just by releasing job adverts will not find you the A-players.
A-players don't spend time reading job ads, hell, they don't even look for new jobs. If you want the best people in your business you have to be pro-active and add the human element to it to get people interested or you have to try really hard to stand out and be unique.
It’s time to re-think the job advert. Take it out of the stone age. Why does it have to be written in such a boring formal way? Be creative, make it stand out. Heck, get rid of it altogether and replace it with a video, make it more engaging and distribute it in more places your targets (which includes passive candidates) spend their time. Not standard boring job boards.
For even better results actively target the people you want and write targeted emails to them. NOT SPAM messages.
Better yet, try not to write the job advert yourself. Why? I hear you ask. As the leader, sure, it's your responsibility to write what you need but this is a great opportunity to involve the team. Ask them what they think is important for the role. If you have someone comparable who’s working in a similar role in the team, ask them to tell you what’s cool about it. Get geeky about it, ask them what kind of things would attract them or pique their interest. Talk technology, highlight the actual technical challenges. Maybe start with the challenge you are working on right now and what's in the pipeline for the future. If it’s written for engineers and like most engineers I know, the more complex and challenging the problem is, the better.
If your product or service has kudos in some way, talk about it and bring it to people's attention. Does your product reach millions of people? good - tell people about it. Your service unique, good - explain it.
Always try to put the ad in a way that looks at it from the candidate's perspective, not only yours. I particularly like thinking of closing the ad with 'what's in it for them'. Here, it's your chance to really show off all the great things you do for your employees and why people should get excited about applying to work here.
Once complete, test it. Don't just leave it and think the job's done. Ask your recruiter what they think. Does it capture their attention too? Most recruiters should be able to analyse it well enough to give you the thumbs up but also when speaking to candidates you can ask directly for feedback about their thoughts and if it did the job well. If not, understand why and keep improving it.
By Paul Turner - Director / Co-Founder - DigiTech Search