Recruiting ebbs and flows. You could be in a hiring freeze one moment and a hiring blitz the next. The start of the new budget year is a good example of this. It’s typically a time of high-volume recruiting, although it immediately follows a period of low-volume (or no-volume) recruiting.
But how do you handle the increased workload and yet still make great hires and meet diversity goals? (The things that often suffer in times of high-volume recruiting.) The short, possibly surprising answer: do job ads better.
By creating inclusive, clear job ads, you can be more efficient and more equitable during hiring blitzes. Here’s why.
Bad job ads and high-volume recruiting aren’t a good mix
Job ads don’t get the respect they deserve. But they’re actually the single most important piece of any recruiting effort. Done right, they’re the hero (although unsung). Done wrong, they’re the villain (oddly also unsung). A lot depends on job ads, and that’s true at any time but doubly true during high-volume recruiting efforts.
There are lots of ways job ads can be bad. They can include biased language (inadvertently), a wishlist for requirements, a title that doesn’t match the responsibilities, stale copy from old job posts, and many other things. Regardless of how they’re bad, they end up attracting unqualified applicants and candidate pools that aren’t very diverse.
This is the exact opposite of what you want during high-volume recruiting efforts. It means sifting through a lot of unqualified applicants, which is a drag at any time and a nightmare in a blitz. And it means struggling to meet your diversity goals.
Inclusive, clear job ads, on the other hand, attract qualified applicants and diverse candidate pools – exactly what you want during high-volume recruiting.
Here are three very important things that job ads do (or should do), especially during a hiring blitz.
1. Job ads introduce your brand to job seekers
Unless you work for a household name, most job seekers who read your ads won’t know your brand. So not only do your posts have to paint a picture of the job, they have to paint a picture of your company.
Potential candidates want to know what a company is like before they apply (or at least before they accept an offer). And the only way they’re going to know that is if you tell them. Things like reporting structure, benefits, remote-work policy (if applicable), and diversity statements convey who you are. They help job seekers understand your company and culture.
“Job ads are, in most cases, the very first thing that the candidates see from us. First impressions matter because it only takes a few seconds to decide whether or not to read more and potentially apply!”– Caroline Mancioppi, Recruitment Brand & Marketing Manager at Givaudan
2. Job ads (should) paint a clear picture
When a potential candidate reads your job post, they should get an accurate picture of the job and your company. Without it, they can’t tell if they’re right for the job or if they even want it.
Uncertainty, again, leads to qualified candidates passing and unqualified candidates applying. Which, again, leads to more time sifting through unqualified applicants. During normal hiring efforts, but also during high-volume recruiting efforts when you really don’t have the time.
Your ad has to be clear about the job and its responsibilities, requirements, title, reporting structure, location, and more. And everything has to match up. It’s confusing if the title seems either too junior or too senior for the requirements or responsibilities. Or if the requirements are a wish list that no single employee could possibly fulfill.
A clear ad enables candidates to picture themselves in the job and better gauge whether they qualify and want the job.
“That’s what we’re after. I want them to feel for this job, to see themselves in the job. That’s the point.”– Jon Drogheo, Senior Recruiter at Mental Health Partners
Not only that, but your job ads have to be consistent across your entire organization. That way every job seeker sees the same picture of your company. The best approach is to write job ad templates with uniform companywide messaging (e.g., About Us, benefits, remote-work policy). And to store your jobs in a central repository.
With templates, recruiters and hiring managers only have to fill out the information specific to the job. They don’t have to chase down messaging in Google docs or emails or wherever they may (or may not) be. And with all job ads in a central repository (old, recent, and live), recruiters don’t have to chase those down either. Combined, these two things improve your efficiency, which is crucial during high-volume recruiting efforts.
“I think sometimes people underestimate the power of your tone of voice in job ads. Something I’ve worked incredibly hard at is making sure that we have a consistent tone of voice across every medium. So, our LinkedIn posts, Facebook posts, Twitter, website, emails we send out to candidates…and job ads.”– Laura Paton, Global Talent Acquisition Manager at PaperCut
3. Job ads (should) invite everyone to apply
A job ad is your invitation to all potential candidates, so it has to be accessible and inclusive. If someone doesn’t see it, for example, they’re obviously not going to apply. Similarly, if a candidate does find it and they’re turned off by it, they’re not going to apply. Neither is good for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
That’s unfortunate at any time, but it’s particularly painful during high-volume recruiting. The last thing you want during a blitz is an ad that’s either invisible or a turnoff for qualified job seekers. Because you don’t have extra time to ensure that qualified applicants from underrepresented groups are advancing through the hiring process.
Job ads need to be accessible. That means industry-standard titles that potential candidates can recognize and find on job boards. (You can title positions any way you want internally. But titles are search terms on job boards, and you want to pick common search terms.) Accessible also means published widely wherever job seekers are looking for work. (From common job sites like Indeed to niche sites like FlexJobs.)
Job ads also need to be welcoming to everyone. That means unbiased, clear language that speaks to everyone regardless of their background, gender, or anything else. Neutral language, in other words, that doesn’t exclude certain groups or signal a preference for other groups. (That second one is subtle, because it’s not easy to write a job post for someone very different from yourself.)
Inclusive, clear job ads are crucial to high-volume recruiting
Bottom line, if a job ad is an invitation, it has to invite everyone. If it’s a picture of the job and your company, it has to be a clear picture. And if it’s introducing your company, it has to properly represent your brand, just like a marketing document.
“When you’re pitching a role to a candidate, you’re marketing something. You’re marketing a new opportunity, a new location you may be moving to, or even a new way of life.”– Amy Berlin, Head of Talent Programs at Square
High-volume recruiting begs for inclusive job ads. You just don’t have time in your recruiting process for candidate pools that are anything other than qualified and diverse. Not when you’re scrambling from one job to the other, unable to give any the extra time you’d like. Inclusive job ads make you more efficient and more equitable – exactly what you need during high-volume recruiting efforts.