August 2, 2017   view past issues

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Getting Past Consideration

NOTE: Peter Weddle is on vacation this week, so we are republishing one of his more popular columns.

The news couldn’t have been better. A recent LinkedIn survey found that 90 percent of all workers would now consider a new job. Impressive as that figure is, a 2010 Spherion Staffing Services survey reported an even higher result, with 95 percent of its respondents saying they were willing to look at alternative employment opportunities. Whatever the correct number, it’s clear that a significant segment of the so-called “passive job seeker” population is now ready to move to wherever the grass is greener.

So, why don’t they? Despite literally millions of job ads posted by recruiters, most of that ready-to-go talent pool stays right where they are. They consider new jobs – they read those job postings – but they don’t apply. They simply aren’t convinced, persuaded, or sold well enough to ditch their passivity and act.

Why is this happening?

In a recent online article, Dr. John Sullivan opined, “… as the economy improves, the power will inevitably shift away from the corporation to the job seeker. With this shift, most corporate recruiting functions simply aren’t ready for a return to intense competition where the candidate holds the power. Solving the intense competition problem will be difficult because the primarily “active” recruiting approaches that have worked and dominated over the last handful of years will simply fail when you have to fight over prospects and candidates. Having to fight to fill every position qualifies this problem as the one with the highest impact unless you have developed a plan to return your function to a war-for-talent model.”

Okay, but how can you put your recruiting team on a War for Talent footing?

As Sullivan notes later in his article, there are a whole range of actions that could be taken, but almost every one of them is as much a problem as a solution. They require a significant increase in funding, organizational priority, staffing, technology or other resources. In addition, they also take time and considerable effort to implement, and recruiting teams are pretty busy with requisitions they have to fill and hiring managers they have to satisfy today. So, what’s to be done?

There is one simple action you can take that will have an immediate impact on the ad response rate of passive prospects and is capable of being implemented at no cost: reformat your job postings.

The format of most job postings today are an artifact of messages and documents designed in the 1950s. They are based on:
• classified ads in print publications, where words were expensive and responses were expected from even bare-bones information; and
• position descriptions, which provided information – requirements and responsibilities – that was designed to help employers manage their internal compensation schedules.

While the resulting ad format has largely been tolerated by active job seekers, it has the exact opposite effect on the passive population. Nine-out-of-ten or more of them are now willing to consider a new job, but they won’t go any further than that with a job posting written for the 1950’s. If you want them to apply, they want you to provide:
• a lot of information; and
• information that’s useful to them in their consideration of an employment opportunity.

Instead of organizing your job posting to address a position’s requirements and responsibilities, therefore, use a format summarized with the following acronym: S-ABC-S.

The acronym stands for:

S = Summary. A statement of no more than 4-5 lines that uses engaging, compelling language to describe the value proposition of both the opening and the employer.

A = Advancement. A description of how the opening will enable a person to progress in their field and/or career and of the skills they must have to do so.

B = Benefits. A description of the formal benefits offered by the employer as well as other “intangibles” they would gain by working there (e.g., the capabilities of those who would be the new hire’s coworkers, the caliber of the company’s facility, the quality of life where the company is located).

C = Culture. A description of the employer’s work environment and how it can help a person perform at their peak and achieve success both in the organization and their field.

S = Sign-off. A call to action with several options: 1. Apply now. 2. Don’t apply now, but stay in touch for information about future openings. 3. Refer the job to a friend or colleague who is better suited for the job.

As we all know, there are many ways to improve recruiting outcomes, but very few that can be accomplished quickly, without cost and with almost immediate results. Changing the format of your job postings is one of those few.

Thanks for reading,

TAtech® Insights and Peter Weddle’s Technacious Recruiter are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2017 & 2018 events give corporate and staffing firm recruiters the unique ability to interact with the leaders – rather than the exhibit booth salespeople – of TA tech companies.
• September 27-29, 2017 Denver: The TAtech Fall Congress & Deal Center, with The World Job Board Forum and the 2017 ReSI Awards Gala.
• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland TAtechEurope 2018, The TAtech Industry Congress in Europe – the premier event for recruitment technology thought & business leaders worldwide.
• April, 2018 in Las Vegas: The TAtech Spring Congress & Deal Center. See the 2017 conference details here.
• June 5-6, 2018: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying. See the 2017 conference details here.