“I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.” -Ogilvy
If you approach someone and want to persuade them to, say, buy a car, or apply for a job, it makes sense to speak a language they can understand.
That’s even more important when your voice isn't the only one seeking their attention. Right now, in the midst of the most intense recruitment market in generations, there are many voices. A recruitment Tower of Babel. Thousands of speakers all vying for the attention of candidates who seem hard of hearing.
Now is not the time to simply post a requisition listing on your career site - if it ever was (it never really was, but that’s a side point).*
Here’s the thing: for most candidates, unless you’re a well-known commercial brand with lots of corporate marketing, their first real interaction with your brand will be your job ad. And: it’s always an ad. Even if it’s a terrible one (ie, a req you simply copied into your ATS and hit “post”), is still advertising. A bad one can cost you: according to Indeed research, 52% of job seekers say the quality of a job description is very or extremely influential on their decision to apply for a job.
You’re not alone if the idea of creating an ad makes you anxious. Not every recruiter or HR pro is a writer. Many are excellent at verbal communications, spreadsheets, and business writing, but stumble when it comes to compelling copy. So, we’re outlining some basic tips below to help you focus. If your company has a marketing team (ideally a recruitment marketing team, but that’s not always the case), ask for help. They’re likely hiring themselves right now, and will see the benefits to themselves in giving you some of their bandwidth. Or, see if you have a friend who writes, and ask if they’d be willing to look over your work.
About that copy:
Today’s job seeker has it good - they’re in demand, and know it. While they’re hearing a lot of voices being shouted at them, a great job description is still rare enough that its language will help you stand out. Invest some time up front getting it right, and reap the benefits.