• Expert Tips

Employer Branding — Part 10:
How job advertisements can be truly catching

  • Expert Tips

Special­ists and managers are urgent­ly need­ed in many areas today. Young talent is scarce and selec­tive, while the baby boomers are grad­u­al­ly retir­ing. Accord­ing to an EBZ study, this is hitting the construc­tion and real estate indus­try partic­u­lar­ly hard. Cred­i­ble employ­er brand­ing can give you the deci­sive edge — provid­ed that the message reach­es the appli­cants. We present­ed events  as one way of doing this in the March issue of this Valdivia Expert Tip series. But how can you also achieve success with the “bread-and-butter” medi­um of a job advertisement?

For managers, a detailed job spec­i­fi­ca­tion is recommended

Our work at Valdivia is primar­i­ly aimed at managers. That’s why we want to start with this specif­ic target group. New employ­ees for middle and senior manage­ment are usual­ly recruit­ed by approach­ing them direct­ly — with­in their own network or through consul­tants like us. Writ­ten adver­tise­ments are only used secon­dar­i­ly, whether inter­nal­ly or via exter­nal media. In any case, a care­ful, detailed job descrip­tion is the neces­sary basis. It does not only serve as a means to inform appli­cants. Your own HR special­ists or exter­nal consul­tants also need it as a guide­line for conduct­ing inter­views and candi­date selection.

Such an adver­tise­ment for a manag­er may be far more detailed than for other posi­tions. Never­the­less, it should be appeal­ing and with­out plat­i­tudes. You may not be able to formu­late the text your­self. Howev­er, make sure that the guide­lines of your employ­er brand are observed in terms of content, language and design. The follow­ing tips will aid you with putting this into prac­tice — for managers as well as for job adver­tise­ments for any other area of responsibility.

Show your independence

It has long been common for compa­nies to attract prospec­tive employ­ees with a whole range of bene­fits. Lunch vouch­ers, a trav­el allowance and member­ship with a near­by gym are just a few exam­ples. A compa­ny pension scheme is also popu­lar, some­times supple­ment­ed by compa­ny disabil­i­ty, health and acci­dent insur­ance. This also includes the bene­fits of the “new work” world such as remote work­ing and work­ing from home.

But how can your compa­ny stand out in a partic­u­lar­ly posi­tive way with its job offers in this envi­ron­ment? It is often enough to follow a few simple rules to convey indi­vid­u­al­ly and vivid­ly what your compa­ny stands for and what the job in ques­tion entails:

  • Avoid trite phras­es and euphemisms. You should be as authen­tic and open as possi­ble about how your compa­ny works and what values or atti­tudes you stand for as an employer.
  • Don’t expect your appli­cants to be perfect all-rounders. Be real­is­tic with your require­ments and the profile of the posi­tion and offer oppor­tu­ni­ties to grow into complex areas of responsibility.
  • Please also consid­er the visu­al appear­ance: with good read­abil­i­ty in all media, espe­cial­ly mobile, and a layout that reflects your employ­er brand.

Get specif­ic

When job adver­tise­ments still appeared in print­ed form, you had to rely on brevi­ty. This is no longer neces­sary today. At the same time, younger appli­cants in partic­u­lar now pay a lot of atten­tion to intrin­sic char­ac­ter­is­tics, which, howev­er, say little as short keywords, such as:

  • Culture of trust and person­al responsibility
  • Flex­i­ble self-orga­ni­za­tion (e.g. of work­ing hours and location)
  • Further train­ing and career development
  • Diver­si­ty (e.g. in terms of age or cultur­al background)

Fill in such keywords with specif­ic details and exam­ples. For exam­ple, a culture of trust could be explained as follows: “Anyone who — unin­ten­tion­al­ly — makes a mistake at our compa­ny can approach their supe­ri­ors in confi­dence with­out fear of recrim­i­na­tion or sanc­tions.” Or on the subject of age diver­si­ty: “We rely on mixed teams of young and old and also support the exchange of expe­ri­ence through self-tuto­ri­als during work­ing hours.” Mention­ing specif­ic resources in this way is a strong argu­ment in many areas. Exam­ples include a budget for home office equip­ment or extra days for further train­ing beyond the statu­to­ry framework.

Address indi­vid­ual needs

Formu­late target­ed offers for indi­vid­ual appli­cant groups that are of partic­u­lar inter­est to you: Young adults with chil­dren, for exam­ple, are happy about a compa­ny daycare center (also possi­ble in coop­er­a­tion with sever­al compa­nies). City dwellers are inter­est­ed in a public trans­port job tick­et. For a rural catch­ment area, an intranet app for orga­niz­ing car pools and charg­ing stations would be useful. Appli­cants aged 50 and over will be impressed by a gener­ous partial retire­ment scheme, for example.

Trend-conscious employ­ers are even rethink­ing the entire approach and letting­turn the tables on appli­cants: “You tell us what you can do and we’ll find your way with us togeth­er!” This may sound utopi­an. Howev­er, accord­ing to the current Deloitte study “2023 Glob­al Human Capi­tal Trends Report”, it is an emerg­ing trend: the future of work is no longer deter­mined by fixed job profiles, but by indi­vid­ual skills and strengths. This new para­digm will also make it easi­er to inte­grate career chang­ers and free­lancers — and ulti­mate­ly expand the poten­tial for the posi­tion or func­tion that you so urgent­ly need to fill.

(Image source: Valdivia Consult­ing GmbH: Antho­ny Baum­ruk, Partner)