A Brave New Word

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Are you leaving out the most important words when you recruit new employees? On the television show Dragnet, Joe Friday was famous for cutting straight to the chase. "Just the facts, m'aam." He was to the point. He was always precise. And his style was utterly boring.

Employers make the mistake of simply making a laundry list of job requirements and job expectations when they post an open position on  their career pages. Many of them forget the power of a rich description- of communicating what it feels like to join their team. Using the right words, can compel a job candidate to consider employment at your company. And you have to be convincing. After all, the best recruits are already employed. Accomplished talent acquisition managers understand that they need to woo these people away from their current job. They know they have to persuade and sell. To do this effectively, they need the proper words to make their case.

Does that mean an effective recruiter needs to be a part time wordsmith? Not necessarily.  HR managers  hire pros (like me) to properly craft the right voice and tone for their communications. Here are three basic rules of copy writing to follow when you list an open position or market your company as a desirable employer:

  1.  Answer the question "Why?" As in, why is your company a great place to work; why your company exists (mission and vision); why other great people have joined your company. By answering these "Why" questions, you start speaking to intangible job benefits that sometimes get missed with boilerplate job descriptions. To market effectively, you need to address the heart as well as the head.
  2. Get them from the Start. People have limited time and attention. As newspaper editors always tell their cub reporters: "Don't bury the lead." Put the important stuff first. Make it succinct and descriptive and compelling from the very first sentence.
  3. Make it easy to read on the web. These days, most everything is read and consumed on a computer monitor or tablet device. Try to avoid huge blocks of text. Make important points BOLD so they stand out (but don't overuse this). Bullet points can be scanned and read easily.

Properly wording things can have a powerful effect on your hiring results. You don't have to be Shakespeare. You just have to remember that you're looking to connect to another human being.  The dictionary is full of useful words. You should use some of them.

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