Making the Effort to Attract What You Need

making the effort to attract what you need

We have kids graduating from school, looking for work, looking for love – something great! My wife comments that the stories she hears sound the same, should they be job search or dating oriented. I get it – they have similarities. It’s probably why eHarmony developed Elevated Careers before realizing it would be happier with Candidate.Guru. And also why Switch, “tinder for jobs,” exists.

It’s not hard to imagine:

  • This one is perfect.
  • I hope he calls.
  • I can’t believe I haven’t heard back.

These could go either way. What got me to finally write about it was hearing a Belinda Carlisle song on my 80’s playlist. “Gotta Get to You”, from her 1985 debut solo album, Belinda.

Here I go again

Looking to you, you pass me by

Gotta get to you

Catch your eye

Gotta get to you

If only I could tell you why

The chance is wasted when

I wait too long and you slip out

I could get lost in 80’s music references. Her group The Go-Go’s have other songs that at least in title can relate to today’s workplaces; “Our Lips are Sealed,” “Vacation,” “Stuff and Nonsense.”

Is “Gotta Get to You” a love song? Is she talking about her job search? Is it about a recruiter trying to land an elusive candidate for a hard to fill role?

Our daughter has lists of expectations and aspirations for her job search and for her relationships. She’s put a lot of time into them – contemplating and debating with friends. She has both hard and soft criteria. She knows what she wants and where she is willing to be flexible.

Recruiters Have Lists Too

We call them job descriptions, job postings, required and preferred qualifications, fit, etc. It’s these that I’d like to hone in on. Are we aligning what’s written with expectations and characteristics of success? Are we putting as much effort into defining and communicating roles as we expect candidates to put into aligning with what we need?

“Looking for Love” (Johnny Lee, 1980)

A friend of mine was helping someone recruit for a position that had been open for eight months. She told me that they really needed someone with international organization development experience. So I looked it up. The 1,300-word posting did not include “organization development” or “international.” It did include “global” but only in the company overview.

The Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Report gets to the point in its forward,

. . . the best candidates . . . have a newfound disdain for employers who ‘don’t know what they want until they see it’, fail to set or deliver on expectations, listen without hearing, and do not hold themselves accountable for respecting all those interested in their firm.

We cannot afford to have a position open because of a mismatch between what’s needed and what’s understood/advertised. There are plenty of tools available to help bring alignment between the two and if policies or technical configurations are in the way, I’m confident they can be fixed with conversations around the negative impact they have on organizational effectiveness, productivity, and reputation.

Hand(ful of)Tools

Speaking of it – conversation! Hard, real, time-intensive conversation. Recruitment intake meetings when no one wants to. Maybe a perceivably over-the-top but breakthrough Design Thinking approach – to build a couple of personas that could fill the need and fit the organization. Ask, what needs to be accomplished? What are the characteristics of people who can accomplish those things? Where are they? Advertise and get to those people. A little more time on your dating profile can pay off a few ways.

Talenytics can help frame and capture that conversation reinforcing the push-pull and prioritization of requirements. It also facilitates communication amongst stakeholders throughout the process.

Need to up your attraction game? Get hiring managers and teams in front of candidates with Sparcstart’s video job descriptions. Leverage Ongig’s platform to present compelling information and facilitate communication with candidates. They also have a team of copywriters that will rewrite postings for you.

Speaking of writing, Textio is a writing augmentation tool that evaluates and recommends changes to your job postings based on research and data they’ve gathered about what works within different industries and functions. Because they are “word nerds” they also have a great blog in which they highlight best-practices!

Then there is me. With experience from staffing to talent acquisition and recruitment outsourcing as well as in human resources and as both a hiring manager and candidate, I’m energized putting my broad perspective to use across the recruitment process specifically in the crafting of job postings and candidate communications, but also by chasing down other opportunities in the recruitment process.

Don’t Waste Your Chance; Don’t Wait Too Long

Get to “The Heart of the Matter” (Don Henley, 1989) – refine and align the expectations and aspirations for your openings. You’ve got to “Get It Right the First Time” (Billy Joel, 1977) because “You Get What You Give” (New Radicals, 1998). If you want to attract great candidates, be great.

Jim Fox

Jim Fox

Jim Fox has been in the recruitment business long enough to have some good stories. Admittedly, that doesn’t take very long, but you get the idea. Jim led the Human Resource team for Recruitment Process Outsourcer, The RightThing and for ADP’s Talent Acquisition Solutions businesses. Currently, as ThePeopleFox, he provides advice on talent acquisition and human resources with respect to brand, process, and technology. He believes in the importance and power of people in the workplace and welcomes robots too if they have the right skills. You can follow Jim on LinkedIn.

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