Job advert not attracting right candidates? The Power of Words
Date: 30th November 2016
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A simple choice of words can make the difference between recruiting and retaining top performers 90% of the time or getting it right only 50% of the time.

Is your job advert not attracting the right candidates and giving all the wrong signals about what the job is really about?

Which of these would be your job advert?

  • “We are looking for a good team player, with excellent communication skills. You’d like to be a part of a fast paced, growing business.”
  • “Dynamic outgoing personality with customer facing and commercial awareness. Excited by working in a fast-paced environment.”
  • “Are you good at problem solving under pressure? Looking for a technical support specialist to hit the ground running in a fast moving business.”

Many recruiting managers and recruiters are under pressure to get the recruitment ball rolling, and therefore don’t invest enough time in writing their job advert and job description. They often forget about the power of words!  Two simple sentences in a job advert that is not attracting the right candidate can make the difference between recruiting right – and recruiting wrong.

Let’s take the third job description example:

“Dynamic outgoing personality with customer facing and commercial awareness. Excited by working in a fast-paced environment.”

The problem with this job advert lies in the wording and interpretation of two of the key criteria: “problem-solving skills” and “fast moving business”.

Why? These phrases often mean different things to people.

Problem Solving

Fast moving

Prevent things from going wrong 

Work towards finding a solution 

Evolving regularly 

Constantly changing 

Drop everything to fix what is broken 

Achieving something

Growing quickly in a controlled way

Formula One fast! 

 brown-arrow  brown-arrow

On which side of the continuum are you? What would the phrases mean to you?

We all have different motivations and our patterns of behaviour are evident in the way we interpret language. An applicant may be attracted to this job advert because they thrive on change and having to come up with solutions to problems, fast. Once those problems are overcome and the pace of work slows down, they are likely to become disengaged and bored and therefore leave!

Words have power. They have the power to make or break someone’s career or send your business down the pan. When writing a job advert, it’s important to consider the long term. Don’t be tempted to act in a panic, trying to fill a position fast and ultimately just concentrating on the short-term needs.

Remember that words are vital throughout the employee life-cycle, not just in recruiting. They have an impact on:

  • The questions you ask in the interview and how you decode the answersemployee-lifecycle
  • How you write the job offer so that it taps into how that individual is motivated rather than a standard letter
  • They enable you to adapt the induction process so its in synch with how that individual likes to learn, make decisions and do things
  • They are crucial when developing them and managing them on a daily basis by using words they will find motivational and creating work environments that will make them more productive
  • If you do this the motivated candidate who joined your organisation won’t need motivating – they will stay motivated and stay with you
  • Should you part company, do it in a way that they will benefit from it by providing outplacement where they can learn about how they work at their best.

The power is in your words.

Interested in learning how to improve your recruitment process? Get in touch with me today – and find out how to avoid recruiting the wrong candidates.