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The Next Normal of Employer Brand - Episode #6

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Category: The Next Normal Video Series

Author: 'Google' Dave Hazlehurst

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The Next Normal Of Employer Brand

Welcome to this new weekly video series on “The Next Normal” of employer brand, by Bryan Adams and Dave Hazlehurst of employer brand agency, Ph.Creative. We’ll be sharing some cool content that we as an agency are interested in, and also some content that you lot as a community are driving. We hope you find our views and take on the industry just as interesting - and unusual - as we do.

In episode six, Dave and Bryan discuss…

The world of job descriptions

Job descriptions are one of those things that can be easily overlooked in your talent attraction strategy. It can be easy to underestimate how they play a powerful and important role in candidate experience and in compelling or repelling the right people to apply to join you.

There are lessons to be learned from the world of eCommerce. Retailers offer a huge amount of information to encourage us to buy a particular product - images, reviews, specifications - they strive to satisfy both sides of our brain so that features and benefits and logistics and details are all taken care of.

When it comes to a job description page on your careers website, a lot of blood sweat and tears goes into getting the right culturally-matched candidate to that page, it’s the sharp end of an awful lot of hard work, so it’s incredibly important that it does its job. And it’s important to remember that the job description isn’t there to convert everyone, it’s there to convert those with the right culture fit.

Follow the Hollywood Formula

Think about what you want to say as an employer in your job description, and write with your audience in mind so that they engage and hit the apply button. What’s the best way to tackle this? Go to Hollywood!

We write job descriptions based on the teachings of the acclaimed award-winning Hollywood scriptwriting and story expert Robert McKee. He has a formula for creating engaging and memorable screenplays and short scripts that leads and engages an audience, and we’ve adapted it for job descriptions with great results. Here’s how it works…

Lead with empathy

Start with creating empathy with your reader - make a basic human connection. This isn’t a product page where we want to sell to everybody, it’s about creating affinity. The first empathetic connection might turn some people off, and that’s fine, but the job description needs to start off with an emotional connection creating affinity. That may just be by talking about your organisation -  its purpose and meaning, what it’s all about, - something that resonates with people.

Create curiosity

Having led with empathy, the next step is to create some curiosity. Get your reader to lean in, pique their curiosity so that they are interested to keep reading and learn more, This can be done by creating a link between your organisation and the team that the candidate will be part of, revealing something that’s curious and interesting.

Add some surprise

If you can’t add something at this point that creates some surprise for your reader, it’s fair to say that you most likely don’t know enough about the role to be writing the job description. If you know the ins and outs of the employee experience from the perspective of the role that you are writing about then it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with something surprising - and that maybe something about the impact that that team makes, the work environment or the scenario or situation that you are in, but find something that makes the candidate say, “Well, I didn’t know that!”

At this point, by following the first three parts of the formula, the brain has been opened up in such a way that the reader is ideally positioned to receive information in a place where it will be memorable. So it’s time to add some detail...

Share some insight

Now add in details about the role that the candidate needs to know. Tell them what it takes to thrive, what they might be asked to do, what certain skills and attributes they will need to bring to the role - the nuts and bolts, traditional description information. Keep it relevant and tell the story of the role.

Spark some action

The final part of the formula is to make sure you have a strong call to action that gets the candidate to apply for the role. Ideally, this is achieved by way of a tangible link to the opening empathetic statement and the specifics of the role.


So with this simple structure, we are naturally demonstrating purpose, impact and belonging.


To help create a job description using this formula, gather your team and ask them some simple but revealing questions - such as what makes them feel good about working in your organisation, and look for the patterns and connecting threads in the answers. Questions that unearth what excites them about their work will help with creating an element of curiosity, and asking for some of the secret things that surprise them now that they are working with you will help you with the surprise element. The formula is one thing, but making sure you are asking the right questions to inform the content you use in the formula is where the magic happens.

Technology is your friend

As well as the McKee formula, make sure you are making the most of some handy tech to help your pages be engaging and always converting. Altru, for example, allows you to capture short videos of your team talking about their role that you can add to the page. It’s a really powerful thing to have someone talking directly to your prospective candidate about what it is like in your organisation and why they should join. 

Our free to use tool https://jobpagegrader.com/ analyses your job pages and scores them for the likes of time to load, sentiment, readability, gender bias and SEO. Give it a try by pasting in the URL of one of your pages. 

Finally, SEO is undoubtedly the most cost-effective way to get candidates to look at your pages. Have a look at our advice in this free download

With some of the tips above and some of the Google for Jobs advice included in the full episode, you will be well on your way to creating job descriptions that people will want to actually read and engage with.


Watch the full episode below, and don’t forget to sign-up to our newsletter to receive notifications on The Next Normal of Employer Branding.

'Google' Dave Hazlehurst

By 'Google' Dave Hazlehurst

Partner

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