One of the most important–and most overlooked–ways to make sure you’re hiring marketing staff the most effective way possible is to sharpen up your job descriptions.
The job description is the face of your employer brand. It’s one of the most important ways for recruiters for marketing positions to market your job and your organization.
Great marketers are busy. They’re also picky. If you want to attract the best marketers at all levels to your department or agency (and of course you should), you must present your business and your opportunities in a way they’ll both notice and appreciate.
As important as they are, job descriptions rarely get enough love. They’re usually written by busy HR staff juggling a pile of other searches for the rest of the organization. Your internal recruiting team is no doubt comprised of very smart, hard-working professionals. But they probably have a limited understanding of your marketing needs and the trends that are impacting the marketing industry today.
Think of the job description as the “bait” for top marketing talent. You need to use the right bait to catch the right kind of fish. When you publish a bland, unclear description and invite applications, you can expect only generic, unqualified candidates (or none at all).
Here’s how you can improve your job descriptions to get greater quantities of better qualified and more engaged candidates.
1. Speak Marketing
Using the appropriate terminology is essential for a productive marketing job description. Qualified applicants that actually have the skills you need will be looking for specific keywords in your skill and experience requirements. If your description doesn’t have the right content, most of them will never even see it. And those that do come across your job description will perceive your understanding of their ability as confused or archaic and will look for someone else who understands it better.
That means using accurate, up-to-date working from recruiters for marketing positions. Marketing moves fast, and its language is constantly changing. Skills and tactics that were commonplace a few years ago might well be obsolete today.
Recycling old job descriptions is a recipe for disaster when it comes to hiring marketing staff. Make sure you’re making major updates to old ones, or better yet; write a new one from scratch that’s customized for the new job opening.
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Oh, and get it looked at by a copy editor to make sure you don’t have any embarrassing spelling and grammar mistakes. Your job description doesn’t have to be an emotionally moving Shakespearean narrative. But if it looks like it was written by a 9-year-old you’re likely to scare off any qualified candidates that come across it.
2. Choose a Job Title Carefully
A job title isn’t just a description: it’s a sign of career growth, of prestige and responsibility. These are all things that matter to top marketing talent. And it only takes a small problem with the title assignment to completely misclassify the kind of role or the level of experience needed to execute it.
Every business has its own hierarchy and job title nomenclature. In the marketing world, titles and the responsibility that goes with them vary greatly.
For instance, a Director at Company A might be a low-level manager, but the effective Head of Marketing at Company B. Terms like “manager,” “specialist,” are vague, so make sure you specify just how this role fits into the organization.
Save yourself and applicants time by explaining just where this position falls in terms of authority and leadership requirements. Explain who they’ll be reporting to. If the job is part of a marketing executive search, give candidates an idea of the size of the team they’ll be managing and how much budget they’ll be responsible for.
3. Prominently Explain What Makes Your Company a Great Place to Work
Most job descriptions are focused entirely on the role itself, without providing any information on why a top marketer would actually want to join your business.
Ask yourself; what is in it for the candidate? Why would someone really talented want to come work here?
As recruiters for marketing positions, we’ve found that the best candidates are usually already employed. What can you tell them that could draw them away from their current job?
Sell the opportunity. The job description is often the firs impression a marketer will have on your employer brand; make it count. You don’t need to write a novel about your company. But a short introduction to what you have to offer and what makes the position interesting provides a strong foundation to build the rest of your description on.
4. Explain Growth Opportunities
The best marketers are always looking for ways to improve themselves personally and professionally from recruiters for marketing positions.
Mention ways the applicant will be able to gain new marketable skills, advance their career, be part of a growing organization, and earn more responsibility. If there’s opportunity for pay growth–through bonuses or performance-based raises, for instance–include that as well.
5. Make Use of External Resources
It can be difficult to draft a compelling job description that appeals to smart, cutting edge marketers when you’re caught in your own corporate bubble. Sometimes pulling inspiration from an outside perspective is just what you need to make your marketing job description a magnet for top talent.
Leverage your network
Run your job description draft by coworkers, friends, and professional connections (all the better if they’re marketers, too). Ask them for their first impression, and to point out anything that’s erroneous or absent.
Compare to others’ job descriptions
Search for open jobs similar to the one you’re hiring for. What are other companies, especially those similar to yours, saying in their job descriptions. What are they doing poorly that you can improve on? What are they doing well that you can “borrow?”
Whatever takeaways you glean from the descriptions others have written, be sure you put your own spin and personalize it to align with your employer brand.
Ask your marketing recruitment partner
Recruiters for marketing positions specialize in hiring marketers and have a holistic perspective of industry trends. A marketing recruiter creates and modifies marketing job descriptions on a daily basis, using their experience to effectively market the job to applicants that are most qualified for it.