Why Some Recruiters Almost Always Hire the Right Candidate

In the age of employer branding, recruiting is often compared to marketing. Like marketers, recruiters must reach and attract a specific audience to “buy” a product–in your case it’s an open position at your organization. 

While many companies use employer branding tools such as a website and videos, they often overlook the job description. It has the ability to attract the right candidates and deter those who are unfit. As a recruiter, the job posting is your most precise marketing tool. By creating clear job ads, you’re more likely to attract candidates who are suited for the position. 

Here’s how to approach the job description as a marketing ad: 

Define the Target Audience

Marketers have a clear picture of their target audience. They find out as much as they can about the audience’s behavior and attitudes relating to the type of product they sell. That’s why an advertisement for personal money management services is going to use different language and appeal to different needs than an ad for a free checking account, even though both are in the banking business. Likewise, your job description sells the work to the right audience.

  • Skills: Most job descriptions do this fairly well by providing a list of responsibilities and the skills required to complete them. See if you can match each responsibility to a required skill, and be aware that some skills might result in multiple responsibilities or vice versa. For an engineer, one responsibility might be “Build crawlers and feeds to support accurate data acquisition.” The corresponding skill is “Knowledge of DOM (Document Object Model), JavaScript, MySQL and regular expression.” If a prospect does not know what those things are, they will be less likely to apply.
  • Experience: Often job descriptions arbitrarily request a number of years of experience in a certain field. It’s better to think about experience in terms of what the person needs to be able to do in order to hit the ground running. For example, a statement like, “You have provided LTV calculations per traffic source or audience in complex data environments” sends a clear message, allowing the candidate to self-select based on this criteria.
  • Attitude: Think about the mindset prevalent not only in the company, but of the department and what is required in this specific role. Try to include descriptive, modifyingwords. For example, look at this sentence: “With grace, humility and confidence you will exercise good judgment in setting priorities as well as managing multiple, sometimes competing, demands on your time.” This gives additional meaning to the over-used phrases “self-starter” and “thrives under pressure.” If you make an effort to express the attitudinal requirements in unique and jargon-free ways, good candidates will notice.


Sell the Job and the Company

Marketers clearly communicate what their product offers. Your job descriptions do this by listing the position’s responsibilities and requirements. But what about the specific qualities that can attract people to work at your company instead of your competitor? What makes people loyal to Famous Amos over Chips Ahoy? Apple over Samsung?

Differentiate the offering. Some factors that job seekers consider when evaluating two similar roles with similar pay at different companies are:

  • Office environment
  • Team dynamic
  • Benefits – health care, food, company gym, etc.
  • Stock options
  • Training
  • Educational assistance
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Company leadership 

Think about how this role in particular and your company as a whole are unique based on these factors, and work them into the job description. Be honest about the work environment and the team dynamic. Communicating your culture gives candidates another way to determine if they are a fit. Describing differentiating factors allows them to consider your job in relation to competing jobs.


The Right Candidates Are Looking For You

The best marketers know their target audience and their product inside and out. Their job is to craft compelling messages that attract the right customers. When you think about your ideal candidates in terms of skills, experience and attitude and write a job description that accurately represents what the position offers and includes its unique characteristics, more of the right candidates will apply, and the wrong ones will move on.
At Simply Hired we want to navigate the ever-changing landscape of successful recruiting with you. Stay with us over the next few months as we explore best practices in recruiting and look at examples of employers that do it well. You can sign up to receive future newsletters and feature articles in our preference center.

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