A New Model For Creative Recruiting Messages
A new Model: Creating Recruiting Messages that Attract Top Candidates
Many employers use a recruiting message that is not conducive to attracting top talent…and then they wonder why their job posts, LinkedIn Inmails and recruiting emails are ignored. There’s a fix for that… a different model as explained below. But first…
Some Historical Perspective
For the past 25 years, I have been responsible for recruiter certification as part of Performance-based Hiring certification, part of which requires each recruiter to create an EVP (Employee Value Proposition).
Only about 4% know how to correctly construct an EVP., but it's not the Talent Acquisition professional's fault. They've never been taught how to create an EVP, nor why it's critcially important. The historical way of creating messages just keeps being passed down over time.
The majority of employer’s recruitment messages have an extraordinarily strong tendency to focus on what they want vs. creating a message that focuses on what top candidates want.
Most recruiting message are far too heavy on extrinsic values and contain little if any intrinsic values.
Extrinsic rewards - usually financial - are the tangible rewards given employees by managers, such as pay raises, bonuses, and benefits. They are called “extrinsic” because they are external to the work itself and other people control their size and whether or not they are granted.
In contrast, intrinsic rewards are psychological rewards that employees get from doing meaningful work and performing it well. What is most challenging and interesting about the work? What will they learn? How will the job help in their career advancement?
The New Model's Foundation
Everything changes when Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Professional shift their focus to the needs and desires of top candidates. Your EVP should quickly and easily answer questions such as:
- Why would a top person want this job?
- Does my message describe their work as interesting and challenging?
- Does my message help them see they can achieve their career aspirations, i.e. where does this job lead in terms of career growth?
- Does my recruitment message describe the job as more compelling than a competitor hiring the same person?
- Does my recruitment message clearly describe what is important to my ideal top candidate?
- Does your job post or inmail/email have always have a clear CTA (call-to-action)?
From this orientation, the value we as employers receive is no longer the driving force in our recruiting. Instead, our reward of hiring top people is the by-product of addressing the needs of our candidates.
The value we create is the cause. The value we receive in return is the effect.
Let that sink in for a moment. It's important.
Flipping the Recruiting Script
Recruiting teams would do well to study how their marketing colleagues create personas for their ideal customer and from that construct their marketing and selling messages. This process can be copied and extrapolated for recruiting.
Don’t use terms like candidate, incumbent, or “the person taking this job." Instead write your ad as if it was to be read by only ONE person which means using the word ‘you’, ‘your’, ‘you’ll’, etc. That makes your message sound personal for each person.
Paint a word picture focusing on intrinsic motivator terms. Phrases like "join our world-class team" are NOT impactful UNTIL you tie a benefit to that. You do that by asking this question, "which means". This moves your message into job branding vs. company branding.
A great tool - called an Emphathy Map - developed by Dave Gray, can be used to begin this transformation process. While this mapping tool was initially intended for marketing products and services, it is ideal for understanding your ideal candidate and constructing a compelling recruiting message.
I've modified this well-known and respected model to focus on recruiting top candidates.
Here are the 8 key elements of this Emphathy model. Click on each of the steps for details.
Who is the person we want to understand?
What are the most common job titles for this person?
What is their role in this job, i.e. individual contributor, team lead, manager, director, VP, etc.?
What industries, markets, products, might they have experience in?
What is the least amount of experience a top, fast-track person might have?
Who might know this person and share network connections?
Where do they "hang out" professionally?
What are the key words found in their resume and LinkedIn profile?
What industry, association and employer terms/words might they include?
What "achiever" words, terms and phrases would a top person likely include?
What job titles might they use for current and past jobs?
What location information and/or zip codes might they include?
What job are they doing today?
What behavior have we observed about their job satisfaction?
What can we image them doing in their job day-to-day?
What would they potentially like to do differently?
What changes in their job or culture would make them more satisfied?
What changes in their job or culture would make it more interesting and challenging?
What decision(s) would they need to make to reach their goals?
How will they know if they are successful?
What do they see in the current job market?
What types of jobs do they see in the job market they might find appealing?
What do they see their colleagues saying and doing about career growth?
What are they watching and reading?
What have we heard them say about their job and career goals?
What can we imagine them saying about their job and career goals?
What are the key job or career related topics are they talking about?
What are they hearing from colleagues about the job market, job changes and long-term career outlook?
What are they hearing from friends about the job market, job changes and long-term career outlook?
What are they hearing from news, social media, and similar sources about the job market, job changes, and long term career outlook?
What are their fears, frustrations and anxieties?
What would they like to change?
What are their wants, hopes and dreams?
How soon would they like to move toward achieving their wants, hopes and dreams?
Imagine Knowing Your Ideal Candidate This Well
Get “inside the head” of your ideal candidate and imagine how much more effective your recruiting could be, if you knew your candidate well enough to provide answers to most of the above questions.
Get together with your recruiting colleagues and hiring manager and brainstorm until you come away with a compelling EVP message. Then use this for both written and verbal communication to top candidates.
The next step is how to use the information gained from this exercise and wrap it into a well-crafted EVP. Next ensure your EVP appears in ALL recruiting messages tied to a SPECIFIC job. And worth repeating - this includes all written AND verbal discussions with your ideal candidate.
You may also want to read a related article - Candidates Not Responding.
An ideal way to experience this difference is working with Carl Bradford conducting either a full search or a blended search.
A new model to create a recruiting message to attract top people. Learn 8 step formula for creating a compelling EVP - Employee Value Proposition.