Everyone knows first impressions count. When you have an interview scheduled with a top candidate do you leave them waiting in the lobby for ten minutes after your meeting is supposed to start, and then greet them with a greasy handshake while you wipe bits of the steak burrito you just scarfed down from the corners of your mouth? Of course not! Plenty of top candidates would walk out, and the rest would never return your calls. Take it from someone who has actually been interviewed by someone eating lunch at their desk!
First impressions make a difference online as well, yet plenty of recruiters seem to spend much less time ensuring their job description makes a great one. Some job postings grab a candidate’s attention, and some have them searching for the page back button.
Not All Posts are Created Equal
I read hundreds of job postings, and there is one thing the best performers have in common; they speak to the things that matter to Gen-Y. Gone are the days when job title, salary and requisite skills would bring top talent through the door. In fact, in a recent survey of 5,000 entry level candidates conducted by Experience, Gen-Yers told us salary was the least important consideration for them when looking for a new job. Most important? Today’s young professionals want to be in a job they enjoy. Now, we all know the work day isn’t a constant stream of excitement that rockets from one fun filled adventure to the next; but enjoyment can take many forms. Most of our respondents told us they would love the opportunity to get hands-on learning at work, and the ability to grow within their company. Does your job description make the position sound like an all-day after school detention clapping erasers for 8 hours, or are there opportunities for your new hires to collaborate on meaningful projects, learn new parts of the business and get on the job training in multiple aspects of your industry? Gen-Y can multitask like no generation before them. They are engaged, love the opportunity to get as many irons in the fire as will fit, and what’s more, they work extremely well in those conditions! If your online post only speaks to what you require, and neglects the candidate’s desires, you might be missing some really great talent!
What are the Benefits?
Most people wouldn’t sign on for a job without knowing something about the benefits. Our respondents told us benefits and perks were one of the most important things for a job posting to include. Forget huge salaries and corner offices (though it can’t hurt!) Our respondents told us training and mentoring programs are a top priority, if your company excels in this department; don’t leave it out of your job description! They also want to work for a company they can believe in. Does your company donate time to a charity during work hours? Do you sponsor events that benefit your community? Gen-Y is extremely socially conscious. A company that shares their values will attract more candidates than its non-recycling, huge carbon footprint having competitors. Lastly, don’t forget the perks. Tell a Gen-Yer they can wear jeans to work, come in at 11, leave at 8 and bring their dog to work. Your job just got a whole lot more interesting to recent grads! Even if you don’t allow pets in the building, your company probably has perks you love. You can bet it’s a good idea to mention them to potential applicants.
Don’t Leave Them Hanging
Just like a firm handshake and a promise to get back to a candidate within two weeks leaves a great parting impression after an interview, letting a candidate know a little about your hiring process can go a long way in your job post. While it’s often impossible to contact every candidate who applies to your company, one line about what they should expect after applying lets them know they’re not sending their resume into a black hole. Give them some idea when they might hear from you, if they match your needs. A simple line like “interviews for this position will begin on 12/2/10″ can help a candidate determine whether or not they’ve been successful, without wondering if anyone even saw their resume. Ending on a good note is always appreciated!
Want more tips on how to recruit the best Gen-Y talent, or have tips of your own to share? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.