Writing a job offer: how to attract the best professionals

Writing a job offer: how to attract the best professionals

A virtuous circle for your human resources management [1/7]

What is a job offer? Basically, it is the first contact in a recruitment phase. If we take a step back, it is mainly a way for your company to communicate with your external environment. So, your aim is obviously to address the right audience in order to achieve the objective you have set yourself: to hire a new employee and if possible the best or, at least, the right person at the right time for the right job.

Thus, the exercise should not be neglected, despite the fact that the writing of a job offer meets standards that leave little room for creativity.

This article is not intended to guide you through the components of a job advertisement. The idea is to highlight a perspective that we tend to forget as employers: a job ad is not just a one-way communication from the company to the candidates, it is also and above all the anchor of a relationship that is very similar to a buying experience.

Sell yourself

For some years now, looking for a job has been similar to any other shopping action on the net. Clicking on an ad in a search engine or shopping in the Market Place of a social network is the same logic – after all, we are talking about a job offer just like we are talking about an offer for a service.

To illustrate our comparison, let’s say you are a finance professional and you want to find out about opportunities in your sector. Chances are you’ll go to LinkedIn, a search engine or Jobeo, a specialist recruitment portal, and type in keywords related to your field. Given the range of choice, you will select the advertisements that appeal to you most in the first instance.

Differentiate yourself

Apart from the visibility issues that your advert might encounter – which would merit an article in itself – you hope to get applications from the best qualified candidates, or, to return to our sales comparison, the challenge would be to get prospects who are considering buying your service. To that end, you only have a few seconds to capture the candidate’s attention and make them want to learn more about your offer and not your competitors’.

So, back to our finance professional in his search for an opportunity: why should he consider your offer and ultimately apply for a first interview? After all, his qualifications allow him to do an identical job with your competitors. Apart from a few details such as language or location, your advertisement will be similar to all the others in terms of the profile sought and the job description. You have no choice, so you need to rely on other arguments to stand out from the other recruiters.

The company’s values, your key selling point

The key selling point (or commonly referred to as the USP) in marketing jargon is the argument that must convince prospects to work with you because they simply will not find this unique feature in your competitors. By definition, it is a differentiator.

Applied to our field of interest: a professional may exercise his or her skills with many companies, but the benefit will be radically different depending on the framework conditions that revolve around his or her daily tasks.

The recruiter’s USP therefore lies in the unique characteristics of his or her company which are normally conveyed by its values.

So if we return to the question we asked earlier – why should our financial professional consider your offer and ask you for a first interview? -The answer is simple: because the values embodied by my company will benefit them in a way that no other employer can.

This is why the writing of your advert must imperatively show your values.

Be understandable to your audience

Congratulations! It looks like you’ve convinced a number of professionals to take an interest in your job offer, but are they quality prospects, or in other words, well qualified?

By analogy with our buying cycle, let’s imagine that you are a wedding planner specialising in country weddings. In a few sentences your advert presents your unique feature compared to your competitors and you receive many requests. Unfortunately, you realise that you will not be able to close any deals because these people have not planned to organise their wedding outdoors, as for them the word ‘country’ only refers to a type of decoration.

To avoid wasting time and energy, you should therefore think about the description of your ad beforehand to make sure that you and your target group are on the same wavelength.

Forget your HR terms! Use their lingo

To take a concrete example of a content marketing agency recruitment: the advert read “100% project manager” and then began by explaining that the company was responsible for creating personalised content for various brands. After 3 weeks, the applications we received had absolutely no project management skills for this agency, even though all these people had been project managers in one way or another.

Only after a few clicks did we realise that marketing professionals in similar positions in other agencies in the region fit the title of “Account Manager”.

So the fishing was good for the “project” fish, but the bait was not right for the “account manager” fish.

The job description: an opportunity to build relationships

Let’s keep it real with a second job offer. We recently came across an advert posted by a recruitment agency that was looking for a professional in the media world.

The offer specified that the professional should know and know how to use the various tools that certify media audiences, listing some of them, including “Net-Metrix”, which unfortunately ceased to exist more than a year ago.

Although it may seem harmless, this “mistake” could cost them time and energy in the best case scenario. Indeed, some professionals who have previously used the tool will consider themselves competent for the position and will apply only to learn after the fact that they do not have a command of the tool used in the company.

A small error in the job description can even cause you to miss out on applications from expert candidates. To explain, let’s use the sales cycle analogy: when a salesperson presents you with product features that you know are wrong, does this give you confidence and the desire to investigate further?

Describing the skills you are looking for is a great way to show potential candidates that you are interested in their job and therefore by extension their contribution to your company.

Thoughtful writing for a good HR experience

Careful writing of your job offer can save you time in attracting the right candidates to your business. In fact, by revealing your values, you will make professionals who share the same values as yours want to give you preference over all the other offers available to them.

Moreover, reading your job advertisement already guides the experience that your future expert employee will have throughout their relationship with your company. By choosing your words carefully when writing, you will have already gained some valuable goodwill for the next step: the job interview, which we will discuss in the next article.

In our experience, business is best when those involved are committed to it. If you agree with us that the job offer is the first step in this investment, do not hesitate to contact our HR and Communication experts to develop a people-centred HR approach.