In last week’s blog I opened up the enquiry into recruiting the best possible person and discussed the first step – defining your needs. If you haven’t read or seen last week’s blog I would suggest to click on this link 10 Major Steps to Successful Recruitment – Step One – Defining Your Needs and read the first step before continuing. It will have this blog, make more sense!
Let’s unpack Step 2,
Attracting the Best Possible Person: How will you do this?
Your advertisement has to stand out!
There are many options available to you when attracting the best possible person.
Seen a person who matches your Person Specification working for someone else?
Been approached previously by a suitable candidate looking for a job?
The key is to spend time ensuring you get the best possible person the first time. This will save time and money later on.
Take some time now and list the ways you might go about attracting the best possible person.
In this blog we will focus on head hunting and advertising.
You may have:
Seen the sort of person you want working for someone else.
Been approached previously by a suitable candidate looking for a job.
What to do now?
1. Observe the person working (at least 2 – 3 times, at varying times).
2. Approach the person.
Be mindful to wait for a time they are by themselves and approach them to gauge their interest.
Be professional: don’t approach them in front of their work mates or boss.
If you already know the person, call them at home.
Your aim is to attract the best possible person.
What you learn in this blog can easily be applied to radio, notice boards or any other communication method you come up with.
Writing a recruitment advertisement
Developing the one main selling point.
Think about the job and the kind of person you’d like to apply for it. Put yourself in their shoes. What is going to attract them to apply for this job?
For example, You love serving people or Are you a night owl?
Make your advertisement fun. Your advert has to stand out. Otherwise, your competing against everyone else.
You have to remember that you know what the good things about this job are, but other people might not. You have got to give them a reason to apply.
There might be many reasons (i.e., Selling points) for the job. You can and should use all of these selling points in the copy.
You must, however, select just one to focus on. You could use your main selling point as your headline.
Writing your advertisement.
Keep your text short, simple, and informal.
Short paragraphs give added impact and short sentences make it easier for your reader to understand your message.
Avoid using bullet points. They take up a lot of space and they’re not very friendly to read. If you’ve got a list of points to get across, link them in one or two sentences.
Think about the tone of voice you are using. Think of your advertisement as a conversation between you and your ideal applicant.
Keep it informal. Use “you” rather than “the applicant” or “the candidate.” Use “we” when you’re referring to your organisation. This stops you sounding stuffy and pompous. It also saves space.
Try to avoid using cliches.
Words and phrases appear in recruitment advertisements which people would never consider using in everyday verbal and written communication!
The following list of words and phrases should be avoided when writing your advertisement. They appear so often in recruitment advertisements that they have become meaningless to the reader, therefore have little or no impact. It’s far better to say what you mean in simple language.
Phrases to avoid:
- ‘Our organisation is looking for’ ‘Good standard of education’
- ‘A vacancy has arisen’ ‘Proven track record’
- ‘The successful applicant’ ‘The person appointed’
- ‘Wide variety of work’ ‘In the first instance’
- ‘Applications are invited for the position of’
- ‘According to age, qualifications and experience’
Words to avoid:
- ‘Commitment’ ‘Dedication’
- ‘Articulate’ ‘Rewarding’
- ‘Ambitious’ ‘Challenge’
- ‘Self-motivated’ ‘Aggressive’
- ‘Initiative’ ‘Demanding’
- ‘Dynamic’ ‘Interface’
Used by themselves, these words don’t mean much. Everyone wants to employ people who are articulate, ambitious, and self-motivated. You need to explain why you require someone with these attributes. If you think you’re presenting someone with a challenge, tell the person what it is.
You should also gather information under the following five basic headings. These are the building blocks of any really great recruitment advertisement.
I have included a frontline position example in the following steps to clarify:
1. The Company
What is it known for? What is its image in the marketplace? How does it compare with its competitors?
How forward thinking is it? Is it large or small? Is it doing well?
Future projects and developments?
2. The Job – Headline and Sub-heading
Does it have a title that means something outside the company? Is there anything unusual about it? How has the vacancy arisen? (Is it due to promotion or expansion or because the company is setting up a new operation?)
Your title becomes your Headline
This does most of the job of initially attracting your target audience to read the advertisement. You can use a job title as a headline, but it must mean something.
Always ask yourself whether the person you are trying to recruit will understand the title. If the job title isn’t appropriate, you can use a phrase describing the role instead.
What are the day-to-day responsibilities? Are there any special duties or features of the job, which make it different from others of a similar type? What are the prospects for promotion?
Other things to think about are: What is the likely level of competition? Is the position likely to be difficult to fill? Why? (For example, rare qualification, non-competitive salary, unsociable hours?)
You can add a sub-heading to your headline. This is usually one or two words or a short phrase to amplify the main headline.
3. The Person
You will find the details about their attitudes, personality and experience from the Person Specification that you developed in Step 1: Defining your Needs.
Where are they now? (With a competitor, in a more junior role, doing something completely different?).
What kind of experience and qualifications do they need?
What motivates them? (Job content, money, freedom, teamwork, and responsibility?) Is personality important?
What is the wage/salary and how does it compare in the market? What types of benefits are on offer? Salary is not the only benefit.
Working atmosphere, flexible hours, a good location, a personal or staff car park, close to a railway station and extra holidays are also valid rewards.
As may be a role’s autonomy, influence, job satisfaction, prospects, training, and level of responsibility.
How do they apply for the position?
Who do they write to and with what details?
Can they telephone for more information?
It is important that this information is clearly stated and that you make it as simple as possible for someone to apply.
The information should be personalised and suitable for your audience, for example, you wouldn’t ask a Managing Director to telephone for an application form.
And when we pull it all together this example advertisement looks like this,
These notes are for guidance only. You should include all of these categories in your advertisement, though not necessarily in this order. It’s up to you whichever points you wish to include.
If you are interested to learn more, share your expression of interest with me by clicking on the link below.
If you would like to have a chat with me about how the 10 Major Steps to Successful Recruitment can support you in attracting the Best Possible Person contact me I look forward to hearing from you.