10 Ways To Turn Your Job Description Into Real Content

LinkedIn for Job ContentAre you drafting yet another uninspired job description or worse, re-using an out-dated job posting from an ad you ran five or ten years ago?

Say it’s not true. You know the recruiting game has changed.

LinkdedIn is now the top source of recruiting among companies of all sizes. According to Bullhorn, jobs posted on LinkedIn received more views than jobs posted on Twitter and Facebook combined. The playing field is new, faster and more efficient. So the content you use to recruit talent has to be more than just average.

Consider this:

  • 64% of recruiters used only LinkedIn for social recruiting in 2012, compared to 48% in 2011.
  •  Social sharing has dramatically increased the speed of job opportunities being shared across networks.
  • The larger one’s network, the better. More potential candidates and influences will see the job opportunity.

The rules are redefined by technology and human networks.

  • Influencers and connectors leverage their network in seconds and minutes not hours and days.
  • Referrals are critical to good hiring
  • LinkedIn is the go-to resource for smart recruiting today.

The players are a kaleidoscope of active and passive, skilled and not-so-relevantly skilled. It may be an employer’s market but if you are seeking passive candidates then you need to be creative, compelling and content-driven.

  •  80% of LinkedIn’s audience is passive candidates. These are people already employed and highly sought after.
  • Skill sets like innovative, forward-thinking, creative and results-oriented are not really the skills you are seeking, they are more filler than skills.
  • Learn to search by skills, see how you’re connected to a prospective candidate, and then vet references inside of LinkedIn.

It’s not just about posting a job description and hoping for the best. Be proactive, stand out. What’s the worst that happens? Yep, you might attract more applicants. Job postings are about sparking curiosity, creating interest and driving action. With a job description and posting? Yes, absolutely. Mike Sweeney mentions this in his blog post, 5 Types of Content That Deserve More Attention.

I read quite a few job postings for clients and sometimes I have no idea what the position is, who could possibly be interested in it or who would want to work for a company that could say so much that means so little. The best job descriptions I see are those that are written with some heart, a sense of understanding of the company culture (even with all those corporate descriptions,  the culture actually does come through loud and clear…it’s a bit frightening, actually), a sense of who the ideal candidate is.

In marketing and sales, we are always defining the ideal customer and writing to them specifically, in their language. As a recruiter or hiring manager you should do the same.

Look across your organization. Content is everything and visible through the search engines. If your marketing department is working and driving a brand message that says you are innovators and forward-thinking, and your job descriptions haven’t been updated in the last three or four years, my guess is there is a brand message disconnect.

Here are 10 ways to turn your job posting into real content

  1. Do an audit of all your recruiting content. Review it critically, ask employees and other departments their opinion.
  2. Review your competition’s job descriptions.
  3. Ask yourself, “Would I work for this company based on the current job description?”
  4. Benchmark your positions, think about the person who currently excels in the position and write a job description to inspire that person.
  5. Once those positions are benchmarked for the ideal candidate, realize the language that attracts a salesperson is different than the language for operations, finance, research and development, human resources. There are keywords that resonate with each group, determine what they are and weave them in to your job description content.
  6. Review, rewrite and revisit more than once. Erica Swallow shares some additional tips in her blog post, How To: Write A Standout Job Description.
  7. Change your language. Transition from job description to job content, candidate content, talent content or some other worthy iteration. Job description is bland, don’t you think?  Yvonne Lyons shares  blogging best practices  to add oomph to your content. While you’re not writing a blog post, there are some tips you can apply like writing a great headline (yes, even for a job description), pulling the reader in with an intriguing introductory paragraph and more. Remember, use active language rather than company doublespeak.
  8. Add humanity and personality to the job content. Unless you’re the government or highly regulated and institutional, of course, no amount of peppering of personality will change the reality of that culture.
  9. Work with your marketing department and rework the language without compromising your compliance and human resource departments. I work with one company that has their marketing consultant write all their job descriptions. They read well, they are interesting and draw people because you can actually imagine doing the work and being a part of the team.
  10. Share your job content with all your employees so they can share it with their networks. Your employees are your natural evangelists, just ask them to distribute and provide a link for them to share. You may also want to provide a snippet or two of content they can use as an intro so that’s reasonably consistent, as well.

For companies who aren’t blogging regularly or creating consistent content, the job descriptions and postings are where they are most prolific. Large companies typically have several positions open at any given time, that’s a lot of opportunity to share your marketing and employment brand message with an almost unlimited audience.

Do you see the potential? There’s no reason to miss the chance to roll your talent brand into the marketing mix and come out with more concise, compelling and creative content messaging from all departments. Yes, internal communication should be tackled, too.

Remember the next time you are drafting a job description,  you are trying to engage the best talent and those people will always have choices, will be more discerning, and will have the highest expectations. When you are trying to court the best you need to be able to match their expectations in order for them to come on board and stay. Ready? Now, print all your job descriptions out, place them on the table and give them a grade.

Get started today, turn your job descriptions into content that speaks to the right candidate at the right time, aligns with other corporate messaging and differentiates you from the competition. Learn more about the U.S. trends from LinkedIn’s latest survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our blog posts, tips, and suggestions are accurate at the time of publication. 

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