There are many ways to lure top talents, such as through social media, in-person meetings, email, etc. When contacting top candidates via email or any means of electronic communication, employers must pay attention to the message written as an employer’s recruitment message is a major factor affecting whether people apply for and accept a job. Credible recruitment messages help boost candidate experience, find the right candidate faster, and strengthen compliance.
To strengthen candidates’ perceptions of recruitment message credibility, recruiting managers should consider three factors. First, recruitment communications have greater credibility if they provide some specific information about a job opening, for example “evening and weekend work required”. Second, credibility is enhanced if what is said about a job by different sources is consistent. Finally, credibility is increased if some of the information comes from sources external to the organisation. For example, positive reviews on third-party websites are generally seen as being more objective than employer-provided testimonials.
Meanwhile, to craft an effective recruitment message, organisations can start by asking the following four questions:
Does the message present information that is important to their target group?
Is the information specific?
Is the message phrased appropriately?
Is the information realistic?
Provide important information
Recruitment messages should include details about duties, work schedule, location and benefits. If an organisation is targeting specific types of people, it should be sensitive to their unique information needs. Parents with young children, for example, might be interested in working from home. Employers can address some of the details targeted recruits need in later stages of the recruitment process, but in some cases, potential recruits will not even apply for a position if they do not have particular information such as the option of flexible work hours.
Provide specific information
Employers often provide information in job listings that is too general to attract potential employees. For example, would you be more attracted to an organisation that says it “values its employees” or to an organisation that lets potential employees know that “no one has been laid off in the last 10 years”? Would a job seeker be more likely to apply to an organisation that says its “benefits are excellent,” or to one that specifies “new employees receive three weeks of vacation to start”? Of course there is a risk that providing such specific information will turn away some candidates, but those people might be unlikely to accept a job offer anyway. On the other hand, stating such specific information at the start might encourage some good job candidates to apply for a job. Another benefit of providing specific information up front is that it might result in individuals paying more attention to the information presented.
Compensation is important to job seekers, so employers might want to consider providing that information when advertising the position. Most organisations use phrases like “compensation is competitive” in job advertisements, but how many prospective applicants really know what that means? Therefore, it is advisable to provide salary range. This might seem like a radical step, but because much of this information is now available on the Internet (Glassdoor publishes salary ranges for jobs with employers), publicising a salary range allows an organisation to appear more open and transparent, and might allow it to correct erroneous information being circulated.
Correctly phrase the recruitment message
Wording matters. Using precise language is essential because the lack thereof could cause qualified individuals not to apply for a job opening or lead to possible legal challenges. Hence, recruiting managers must be careful how they write job advertisements. Although they might not intend to discourage members of a protected group from applying, it can still happen.
Provide realistic information
It is common for new hires to feel that their new job is not what they expected. They might feel they did not do enough research about the job or employer, or they might feel they were intentionally misled by the organisation. Because job disillusionment has been linked to high turnover and poor performance, a number of organisations have tried to improve the accuracy of the job expectations held by new employees. One approach is to target job candidates who are likely to possess accurate expectations. A second approach is to provide a realistic job preview during the recruitment process.
There is always a risk that providing realistic job information might cause some desirable candidates to withdraw their applications, but this should not be viewed as a negative. It is quite likely they would have been unhappy if hired into a job that did not meet their expectations, resulting in greater turnover or low motivation. A final benefit of providing realistic information is that candidates are more likely to view other job-related information as credible.
Your employment brand
An effective employment brand must be authentic and consistent with the organisation’s overall brand. This is particularly true today because information about employers is readily available from third-party sources like Glassdoor. In addition to accurately describing what employment with an organisation means, it is also critical that the brand be visible and engaging to prospective recruits. The brand can be described on the organisation’s website, conveyed on social media, featured in television ads or communicated during sponsored events on college campuses. Recruiters can also communicate the employment brand directly, by how they treat candidates during the application process.
Next read: Measuring and Evaluating Recruitment Results