If You Want to Attract Talent, Start with a Good Advertisement

As per SI’s blog on Friday that noted that you have a talent management problem if your job advertisement reads like carbon copy blah-blah-blah, if you want to attract talent your have to have an interesting job, an exciting career path, and an advertisement that conveys both.

So what makes a good advertisement? There are various theories out there, but, at a minimum, it must:

  • Be Specific
    From a clear and simple title or headline to a detailed job description to details of the company, specificity helps. “Sourcing Manager IV” means nothing outside your company, “buy goods and services” is part of every Sourcing Manager’s job, and “at a top tier CPG company” doesn’t differentiate you from Discount Dave’s trying to pretend they are bigger than they are.
  • Focus on the Role
    Remember, you are focussed on recruiting Gen-Y and they want a challenge, excitement, and an opportunity to advance their career. Not an opportunity to be stuck in a paper-based back office faxing POs to suppliers who haven’t heard of the internet yet. And if you don’t go into details, they are going to assume that your organization is a Supply Management laggard. Also, be sure to list the top five to 10 duties as well as normal working hours. If you expect the Sourcing Manager to be on the phone with China for 2 hours every day during normal working hours in Beijing, that better be clear.
  • Clearly Specify Minimum Experience and Education
    If you will not interview anyone with less than 3 years of relevant experience (which should include experience with the product or service in question and not just a Sourcing Role — who better to source a product than an engineer who used to make it who has had some financial and sourcing training), state that. Also, if your policies demand a bachelor’s degree or a professional certification, state that too. But don’t make ridiculous requests, especially if the pay is not on the high end or the locale is expensive. No Sourcing Manager with a Masters, 2 professional certifications, and 10 years of experience is going to accept a position for 90K in downtown Manhattan.
  • Sell the Culture
    Remember, Gen-Y is the most social, hooked-in, “hip” generation yet. They want a constantly communicating culture. (But don’t promise what you can’t deliver.)
  • Advertise the Benefits
    “Great Benefits Package” sounds like Used Car Larry’s “Solid as a Brick” sales pitch. Sure the frame is solid, but so is the engine. (And an engine that doesn’t turn doesn’t run.) Advertise the benefits. Health Plan. 401-K (or RRSP) matching. Gym membership. Show you put some thought into what prospective employees need.
  • Include FULL Contact Information
    Specifically, the company web-site and a link to a more detailed job description, the mailing address and fax number, and a contact number of someone to contact with questions.
  • Guarantee a Response
    And follow up. Guarantee receipt of application. Guarantee a time by which applicants will be notified of whether or not they will be interviewed. Guarantee a time by which selected applicants will be contacted to set up an interview. To find someone who will work hard and respect you, show that you respect them and their time.