A helping hand in how to advertise job roles
Updated: May 5
Ok, this may be just me getting on my high horse again and having a bit of a rant over the hiring process, but it appears that even though the world might have changed – it’s currently in a state of flux so that remains to be seen, but you don’t need to be forecaster to know that some things are never going to be the same again – however, the hiring process seems to be stuck in the same old grind.
While most of us are out there re-inventing, reconfiguring, “pivoting” (a word I have grown to loathe) and endlessly re-working our cover letters, for the mainstay the job application process remains largely unchanged.
What set me off today was an advertisement for a freelance creative copywriter, but within the job spec I saw nothing – absolutely nothing that connected creatively.
In fact, I closed it down due to the way the ad was structured.
Little tip, when you are looking for a creative to exponentially grow your business in a fast-paced, thriving multinational corporation… (you get the picture), I for one would not suggest listing – particularly at the top – a range of acronyms, nor would I bury my message for “a natural impactful storyteller” under ROI, KPI, conceptual outlook, ability to pivot etc.
In actual fact what it appears the company needed most was a copywriter for their job advertisements to engage and get across the brand story – not to mention the role – in an appealing way.
Actually - #ideaalert – maybe they (as well as many other companies out there) should hire me to write their job advertisements for them. Because, not kidding, I would write with a different ToV (tone of voice - for anyone not down with that acronym), and vastly different approach to different structures and positions. Not to a HR (I am sure we all know what that acronym stands for) template.
You can bet money on that.
Professions exist for a reason, each carries its own weight and oftentimes language that those in the know will intrinsically understand. This should be a first-step to sort the wheat from the chaff per se. Not in a tricked up “…if you can decipher this then you are in with a chance” style, but in a language that speaks directly and succinctly to the professional tribe. This needs to be considered when trying to reach various professions on any scale or level.
A sculptor and an oil painter are both considered artists, but they speak in different tongues, if you get my meaning.
So, in the interest of attracting the best candidates for the job it would bode well to actually understand and succinctly convey this in the advertisement.
Who we are.
What we want.
What you can offer.
People are busy applying for jobs at the moment (that most companies are busy not even responding to), that it - just the application process - can become a full-time role in itself.
So, you need to get to the point.
Listing 25 attributes for an entry level position and corresponding pay bracket is very uncool (subtle hint – entry level generally means they need to learn these attributes – otherwise you need to pay for someone above that level), as is making the applicant jump through 20 hoops, uploading a re-written CV that matches all the keywords for the algorithm to pick up, creating a crisply written cover letter (to do the same), attaching portfolios that need to be vetted to fit the role – because apparently no-one in HR, or indeed the department lead, can sift through various work and see what speaks to the role they are offering – taking quizzes, not to mention writing test copy (even though a comprehensive tailored portfolio, CV and cover letter – with a website link no less – has been submitted)… all after reading a thesis for the actual job position beforehand.
The imbalance in the world is not new.
What is new is that people are finding their voice.
Yes, even despite a pandemic Gen Z feel that they are invested just as much in the interview process, as they are being interviewed – they tellingly feel they are also interviewing the company for the fit to them. And it remains true that over 70 percent of Gen Z and Millennials will leave and/or take a pay cut if a company does not fit to their values, even despite a pandemic. Actually, because of the pandemic and the focus it has put on the importance of fulfillment.
It’s time companies got on board with that, instead of posting verbose doctrines on what they demand of a future employee.
If you want a creative that thinks outside the box (another one of my pet descriptive peeves) then write to engage them; know and understand their core values. After work drinks on a Friday and a ping- pong table don’t make up for sub-standard wages, and let me give you another insider insight – while Gen Z might be fun, they definitely are not stupid – so don’t even go there.
In this day and age there is no excuse for not knowing your audience or targeted professional. And if there is any concern, at the very least google it, like we have to do for your company.
I'll say it again - people are applying for roles in an unprecedented pandemic.
Companies need to create unprecedented ways to approach them.
Oh, and one last thing – you have made me put 30 years of professional expertise into one sheet outlining all of my strengths, weaknesses, attributes and extra-curricular activities (the only thing I don’t have to include now is my gender) – the least you could do is condense what you need me to do to roughly the same.
Make that considerably less, given that it is for one role, and not the 15 I have performed throughout my career.