Who Do Your Job Posts Attract?

The answer:  Maybe not who you think! If your job descriptions are like most, they probably explain how senior management perceives the job, not what a candidate wants to know. For instance, a recent glance at LinkedIn and Monster.com yielded these gems:

The main responsibility of the role is to understand, identify, drive, and manage efficiencies and cost improvement opportunities.

This employee will ensure all financial information issued to wider business is correct and validated by all stakeholders.

Job responsibilities include overseeing a talented team working on high visibility projects while cultivating an environment of sustained creativity and professional growth.

Not exactly inspiring, are they? That’s because they’re written for HR leaders, not your ideal candidates. More importantly, they lack the messaging, authenticity and cultural voice that communicate what it’s like to work at the company and why people enjoy it – In other words, your employer brand. And, if your job descriptions are technically accurate but motivationally empty, you’re likely to attract people with the right skills, but not the right fit.

Fortunately, here are four steps you can take to ensure your job posts reinforce your employer brand and attract people who have the capabilities you need and who also belong at your company:

  1. Remember your audience. Most job posts read as if they were written to fulfill specific job parameters. Instead, write your descriptions for your ideal candidate. If you’re looking for a creative marketing writer, don’t be afraid to express your needs in a creative, clever, or even slightly poetic way. If you’re looking for an engineer, write precisely and concisely about how they will be able to innovate and solve problems.


  1. Remember your identity. Be clear not only about what you do but also who you are as an organization – what it feels like to work there and the kind of people who should find it engaging. If the personality of your company is energetic and fun, your descriptions should feel that way, too.


  1. Empathize. Show that you understand the challenges that people in this type of position often face – and what your company does to reduce the impact of those challenges – or make them easier to overcome.


  1. Be clear. Tell your prospective candidates what they can expect to do in this position – in language that makes sense to them. Instead of saying that they’ll be managing efficiencies and cost improvement opportunities, say (for instance) that they’ll be responsible for tracking costs, managing specific budgets and developing supply chain procedures for vendors.


If you’re still struggling with how to pull away from the usual way of writing job descriptions, take a look at how these companies are doing it:

Who’s right for this job? A negotiator. An ambitious lead generator. Someone who is driven to go above and beyond for customers. (ADT)

Under Armour is all about performance. Because. What we make empowers athletes in every form to push themselves to turn good into great, and to stay hungry for whatever comes next. And this is exactly what we expect from each other. (Under Armour)

 We’re looking for someone who has experience working across many technologies/projects and wants the chance to lead a growing team of hungry, hard-working, local developers… if you’re tired of the mundane cubicle jobs and want to join a friendly, passionate team with limitless potential, we’d love to meet you. (Wildebeest)

And, if you really want to go all-out, you could try something like this.

However you do it, allow your employer brand to shine through in your job postings, and you’ll be more likely to attract the people you truly want for those positions.