Content is key in getting candidates to reply to your company's employment message
Finding the right employee is often a time-consuming process, especially in the wireless industry where there is a severe shortage of key personnel.
A quick check of WirelessEstimator.com's help wanted ads will provide some idea of the competition your business faces in attracting qualified applicants. You can, however, find top-notch employees by writing effective advertisements.
Too often, human resource directors and company owners will run an ad with a paid service or place a notice on an internet employment bulletin board and receive limited or no results, blaming the messenger and not considering that it could be their message that is the culprit.
Here's one recent pathetic post: "Tower climbers wanted in many areas. Must be willing to work hard and prove that you can be a team player. Send your resume to info@…"
The adversarial ad opposes every known marketing convention for obtaining a response from qualified candidates and surely doesn't sound like a company that fosters an enjoyable work environment.
Be the first to win over the worker
Since an interview may result in a job offer and remove that applicant from the job market, the strategy is to attract the job seeker to your company first. Some advertisements are more appealing than others, even when the jobs are basically the same. The ad that stands out from the rest is going to attract more applicants.
Be concise, but thorough. Make sure the person reading the ad knows exactly what you need in an employee and what the job entails. Before writing the actual ad, figure out what tasks the hired employee will do, as well as jobs that they may need to do in the future. If you are looking for someone who may be promoted quickly to a different position, keep those things in mind when listing desired traits.
Once you have decided which tasks the prospective employee will do, write them out in order of importance in short phrases. You might be surprised at the number of companies that do not have job descriptions for employee positions - over 65 percent, according to recent studies.
Remember that non-essential job requirements may screen out good applicants. In example, if you state that the applicant for a wireless construction estimator position must be conversant with Primavera, you might pass up an excellent candidate that is familiar with other construction estimating programs and could easily learn your software.
Too many "must haves" will reduce candidates
Describe the job requirements but only include "must have" skills or training certificates that are required. The more skills you list, the fewer candidates you will have applying to your job posting. If you can teach these "required" skills, you have just created job benefits (free training) and increased the number of good candidates that will apply to your job ad. Be very careful not to scare away great candidates by listing dozens of skills they may never use.
Highlight your company's benefits. Some businesses are not as apt to offer an extensive array of benefits, so it is important to list those that are available. Emphasize non-monetary benefits like use of a company vehicle or limited travel outside of the employer's home state. Perks such as tuition reimbursement are important to list if you are going to separate your company from the competition and help you attract the best candidates.
List the location of the employment position. Large and small companies alike frequently forget to provide a city and state where the potential candidate will be employed. It is sometimes one of the most important considerations of the applicant.
If the job requires travel, let the viewer know what states they will be working in and the number of weeks the employee will be away from their home office. Be truthful; you may capture the candidate with the promise of mostly local work, but if he or she is sent on projects for weeks on end you will clearly lose their trust and possibly them as an employee. If you have a policy - that's enforced - where the employee is returned home every so many weeks at your company's expense, ensure that it's promoted.
Create a workplace expectation: "Expanding company, friendly workplace, advancement opportunities." People have definite preferences about the type of workplace atmosphere that they prefer. Describe your work environment and why an employee would want to work in those settings.
Describe the general scope of the work the applicant will perform. Walk the applicant through a typical workday describing the duties he or she will complete.
Listing salary range can be beneficial
If it will not create conflicts with your current employees, state the salary range: "$ to $$, depending on experience." A compensation range provides two incentives: credit for experience and the prospect of on-the-job increases. If bonuses are paid, let the applicant know.
If you are going to provide a salary range, ensure that it is obtainable by the applicant based upon your requested experience. Do not, do not, do not, offer a salary well outside the industry range. In example, a contractor looking for climbers to be placed on the company's payroll offered $45 per hour in WirelessEstimator.com's employment section.
That's quite a bit beyond the scale for climbers. Although the contractor received dozens of calls and emails every day, they alienated every candidate because the average amount being quoted following the initial contact was less than $20 per hour.
Provide clear contact information, notably a specific name, email address, fax and telephone number. A contact person who is expecting job inquiries is more likely to respond in a positive manner and reinforce the applicant's interest. Don't provide an email address such as info@buckytower that may not be received by the correct employee.
Include job dates: "Immediate opening, beginning July 5." Providing a date may make a difference to an applicant who wants to provide a two-week notice, or another applicant who is currently unemployed.
Make sure you mention any required education or experience. It's tempting to be vague here when you're willing to train the right person. But just coming out and saying the job requires an accounting degree and management experience will save you hours, days, even weeks of screening out unqualified people. Conversely, don't require a degree if it's not required.
Make your job advertisement a powerful marketing tool. Make your job ad exciting enough to be included in your company brochure. Sell yourself. Make no mistake about it - potential employees are interviewing you as much as you are questioning them. If you've been in business for many years let the reader know. The industry is wrought with failed startups and aborted promises.
If you want the best candidates applying for your jobs then you must create job advertisements that both attract and sell candidates on the benefits of working for your company and how your firm will improve their quality of life.
Don't tear down your company's image
A poorly written ad reflects poorly upon your company. It will be clear to potential candidates that if you threw together a sloppily written three line ad in a couple of minutes, it's indicative of the time that you spend on important employee considerations such as reviews, pay increases, benefits and all other issues that ensure a low worker turnover. It also projects an unprofessional image to your current and prospective customers.
Just remember, the golden rule in writing help wanted ads is: be honest. If you don't ask for what you want, chances are you won't get it.
Take advantage of the generous space allowances on sites like wirelessestimator.com to write great ad copy and provide detailed information describing the job and the company offering the position. However, try not to write more than 500 words per ad because ads that are too long may bore the reader with too many details.
When writing the ad, the format should be of an outline rather than one big block of text. Using an outline format makes it easier for candidates to read the job content. Dashes or asterisks should be used instead of bullets because many job boards cannot correctly post bullets.
Repetition, repetition, repetition!
Don't ignore the benefit of placing ads for the same position every month for occupational areas that have a high turnover of employees such as tower technicians. It will help you to farm the industry and create a portfolio of available talent. In today's transient environment you can't afford to wait weeks before you can replace employees that need to be terminated or have taken another position with your competition.
Set a note on your management calendar at the beginning of each month to review your employment needs and post them on WirelessEstimator.com . You'll be able to target many thousands of potential candidates each day. And it's a free service!