1. HR and Recruiting professionals need to be the Chief Marketing Officers for jobs.
Write concise, narrative job descriptions that tell the story about the position. Some employers are still inclined to advertise job requisitions designed to screen candidates by listing every skill, requirement and degree imaginable. It’s time to get more scientific and strategic about job advertisements. Put emphasis on the word “advertisement” and tell your story. Avoid the obligatory laundry list and get higher click through rates. That’s right, make your job ads interesting and more people will read them.
2. Emphasize unique qualities that show you appreciate employees.
Tell applicants what makes your company a great place to work. Free flowing artisan coffee and all you can eat snacks are nice. Gaming areas and nap rooms fine too but in many circles, these “perks” aren’t really that unique and furthermore, they aren’t things professionals look for in a job. It’s time to tell applicants about the meaningful things that you do well. Maybe it’s an education stipend, some sort of special training, great benefits or simply flexible hours. The key is to share the unique and valuable qualities that let applicants know that you care about all of your employees. Above all, job seekers want to know that they will be treated well, compensated fairly and appreciated. Tell them.
3. Make the transaction easier.
Creating a cumbersome application process is restrictive and ineffective.For example, requiring applicants to create a user name and password to apply for a job not only presents a barrier but it also predicates that the applicant will come back and apply for other jobs, check on the status of their application or update their profile with new skills, degrees or certifications. They won’t. Very few companies have the brand equity to command this type of interaction with top applicants. People have too many other places to update their professional profiles these days to expect them to come back to visit your careers “portal”. And, while this may make me wildly unpopular with some of the HR crowd, when was the last time you hired someone that applied to 6 jobs at your company or came back to update their original profile, resume or application? Top applicants aren’t going to come back and “login” and they don’t knock twice.
4. Less is better.
Tailor your application process to capture the information that will allow you to assess applicants. In short, an online application behind a job ad is NOT a true application for employment. Employers shouldn’t ask for date of birth, social security number and other sensitive personally identifiable information (PII). Most applicants won’t provide that type of information. And, more importantly, why collect risky information from every applicant you receive knowing that you won’t even speak with 90% job posting respondents?
Ask for information that will allow you to better access applicants’ skills and experience to determine if they meet the minimum qualifications necessary to be successful for the job. And, remember, there’s still no better initial assessment tool than a resume.
Streamline you application process this year. The shorter your application process the better. Our research shows that every step added to the online application process diminishes completion rates. Use applicant tracking software to make your online application process leaner, smarter and faster.
5. Communicate with every applicant.
Whether an applicant is a go or a no, employers are obligated to communicate with every applicant. This is especially true for consumer brands, nonprofits and any other employer whose applicants can be their customers. The application process doesn’t end when the applicant clicks the submit button anymore. This isn’t 1990. We don’t have to send applicants a rejection letter via the USPS. A simple email goes a long way and there are applicant tracking tools available that make the entire communication process nearly effortless.
Aside from doing the right thing, employers that notify applicants about the status of their candidacy mitigate risks and protracted inefficiencies by reducing duplicate applications and follow up calls to HR and hiring managers. And, in our age of social media and the overall democratization of public sentiment, it doesn’t hurt to treat others like you’d want to be treated.