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.
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)