Recruiting is a sales job, and a marketing job. And effective job posts are where everything begins.

That's the premise of the presentation delivered at the recent Minnesota Recruiter's Conference by Eric Putkonen, president of Minnesota TechJobs.com and a senior recruiter at UnitedHealth Group.

"Recent surveys shows that job boards and our career sites account for about 30% of hires," said the 10-year veteran of corporate and agency recruiting. "That means your actual job posts account for at least 30% of your hires. It could even be higher than that if you are effective in differentiating your company and influencing your candidates to take action and apply."

The first statistics Putkonen cited in his presentation were the external sources of hire nationwide from 2011. This is how they break down:

  • Referrals - 28%
  • Job Boards - 20%
  • Career Site - 9.8%
  • Recruiter Initiated - 9.1%
  • College - 6.6%
  • Rehires - 4.3%
  • Social Media (new) - 3.5%
  • 3rd Party - 2.8%
  • Print - 2.2%
  • Temp/Contract-to-hire - 2.1%
  • Career Fairs - 1.9%
  • Walk-ins - 0.8%
  • Other - 8.8%

"One of the best ways to get referrals is to be remarkable," opines Putkonen, referring to the number one external hiring source. "Be interesting with your job posts, and get people to pass them on and share them."

"One of the best ways to get referrals is to be remarkable. Be interesting with your job posts, and get people to pass them on and share them."

So how do you do that?

Putkonen has some best practice suggestions:

  • Make sure the job title describes the actual job, then say a little more
  • It's not about you!  -  it's what's in it for the candidate
  • Target your job posts
  • Be unique and concise
  • Make a bigger deal of your differentiators
  • Trying to appeal to everyone is the same as appealing to no one
  • Be transparent

"If we do a good job of marketing our jobs, we don't have to work so hard at selling our companies," Putkonen stated.

He also gave some examples of things you don't want to say when attempting to answer the question, "Why Work For Us?":

  • How old your company is
  • How large your company is
  • How great your company is
  • Your company values
  • A summary of what your company does
  • That you are "committed to your employees, provide unique challenges and opportunities to grow and succeed," etc.
  • That you are expanding your team
  • That you are a well-funded start-up

"Think of job posts as targeted direct marketing," suggests Putkonen. "The best hires come from the best job posts and the best job posts include the most ways you are different. Typical job posts do not impact a candidate's desire to apply. Unless we can affect that, we will not get the right candidates, the best candidates."

"Think of job posts as targeted direct marketing. The best hires come from the best job posts and the best job posts include the most ways you are different. Typical job posts do not impact a candidate's desire to apply. Unless we can affect that, we will not get the right candidates, the best candidates."

Putkonen says for example if your office is dog-friendly, then make a big deal of that. Put it at the top of your job posting, as in "dog-loving java developer wanted to bring their dog to work."

He also told the story of an accounting firm who had a job opening for a CPA consulting position. With 70% travel. The first job posting they used made the travel kind of a downside of the job, and they didn't find the right person. When they turned that around and said instead, "Use your CPA to see the world," they attracted a different quality of candidates, and had several highly qualifed candidates from which to choose.

"The recruiters and companies who effectively use sales and marketing in their job posts are going to get the best talent," says Putkonen in closing. "And as the war for for talent intensifies, this will be even more critical."


Tags: Social Media, News, Job Descriptions, Recruiting, Hiring, Job posts, Referrals, Job Boards, Career sites, Temps, Talent war