Are Candidates Really Part of Your Conversation?

Ryan Porter
Nov 14, 2018 · 6 min read
Candidates need to be part of the conversation if you want to attract and engage right-fit candidates.

Not too long ago, my wife’s friend from her high school days was in town visiting and my wife thought it would be a great idea for the three of us to go out for dinner together. We met her friend near the hotel she was staying at and headed to a local eatery.

After a few basic questions and polite convo, my wife and her friend — who grew up together, on the other side of the planet — immediately began reminiscing, giving updates on friends I’ve never met and talking about places I’ve never been. Me? I spent the night smiling, nodding and having no idea who or what they were talking about.

And that’s exactly how candidates feel when they land on job postings.


Far too often, job postings are a closed conversation between legal, marketing and talent acquisition, and candidates have no idea what they’re talking about.


We’ve said it more times than I’d like to count but context is the only king when it comes to job postings and in most cases, context ends up on the back of a milk carton. Missing.

Companies typically have no problem giving context on their career site but that context, for one reason or another, is lost in the click(s) between the career site and an actual job posting.

What’s worse, is that because most candidates are coming from social, email or some other source, they don’t even see the career site. They have zero context whatsoever.

Some larger, well-known companies have the advantage here because they’re, well, known. Candidates may have experienced the brand before or have a basic idea of what that company does and what they offer to candidates. And while they lack the finer details of the description, department, duties and day-to-day, candidates likely have an idea of what they’re jumping into.

If we’re carrying the conversation analogy over, a well-known company is like joining a conversation with a celebrity. You may not know them intimately but you probably know enough to carry a conversation.

But if your company is somewhat less-known, or unknown to the candidate, it’s that much more important to include context in your postings, both for the role, and depending on your company and goals, the company itself.

And I’m not talking about using your job description to tell candidates the company founding story or stock price. I’m talking about giving them a snapshot of the company, the team, the benefits and a few reasons they may want to click the ‘Apply’ button.

I’m not going to go over what context looks like for your company but I think it makes sense to take a look at what context looks like for some of the companies we work with.

[DISCLAIMER: the following companies are customers of Ruutly and are using Ruutly to achieve some of the following. However, Ruutly is not a pre-requisite for an outstanding, in-posting candidate experience]


Siemens

Imagine being a candidate browsing LinkedIn and clicking on a recruiter’s post for a job at Siemens. Siemens definitely falls into the category of the “celebrity conversation” mentioned above but what questions do you think the candidate would have?

Maybe questions like, how big is Siemens? What team would I be on? What does that team do? Who would I be working with?

Siemens is doing their best to answer those questions directly in their job postings, above the fold, in a way that is totally aligned with candidate expectations.

Take a look at how they’re doing that:

Siemens is giving candidates the experience they expect.

They’re answering candidate questions before they have a chance to ask them. Above the fold Siemens is giving the high level information a candidate may wish to know and they’re doing this in their job postings.

Every company uses different names for their internal brands, job families and business segments, it’s easy for candidates to be confused by the terminology. Siemens recognizes this and tackles it head-on by including information about their internal brands and even includes videos to help tell the story.

Show and tell candidates what they’ll be doing and who they will be working with.

In a subset of their job postings, Siemens goes the extra, extra mile by introducing candidates to people who work on those teams. And instead of a smiling face and a text quote, they include video where candidates can “meet” that person.

Give candidates a VIP pass to your company through video introductions

Johnson & Johnson

J&J is definitely another example of a conversation with a celebrity. But again, what questions do you think candidates have about them if they’re clicking into a career site job posting from social, email or a job board?

J&J knows that candidates are interested in the types of benefits they offer their employees because they have incredible benefits and it’s one of the biggest factors candidates generally consider before clicking the Apply button.

Instead of tucking those benefits away on their career site, they also put them front and centre of their job postings.

Johnson & Johnson gives candidates some great reasons to click `Apply`
Want to know more about each benefit? Candidates are one-click away.

Johnson & Johnson knows what their candidates are looking for and they don’t shy away from answering those questions up front, where it matters to candidates.

On the surface, this is a great way to communicate those benefits directly but it’s also doing something else: building trust through transparency.

J&J isn’t hiding that information. They’re making it completely accessible to every candidate before they ask those questions. And that’s what candidates want.


Workfront

Now imagine being a candidate and seeing this on your LinkedIn feed:

Maybe you think, “Oh, Workfront! I’ve heard great things about them! I’d love to work there” or maybe you don’t know exactly who they are or what they do. So you click the link to land on a job posting that looks like this:

Workfront’s logo is king of the jungle and their job postings are king when it comes to context.

Within seconds a candidate can get a sense of what the role is about. And if the candidate spends a few more seconds, they can understand what’s important to the people at Workfront:

Workfront’s values are important enough to include on every job posting.

And a couple of more seconds allows candidates to understand the kind of company Workfront is and the culture their people are crafting.

Candidates get the answers they’re looking for, directly in Workfront’s job postings.

For the examples above, I used the word “imagine” to prompt you to think about what questions candidates want answered by the companies mentioned. Why? Because chances are you aren’t working for their Talent Acquisition teams.

When it comes to your company however, you don’t need to imagine what questions your candidates want answered. You have access to your candidates, you know what questions they ask again and again. And chances are, there is some way to work the answers to those critical questions into your job postings.

I completely understand that this post seems like a giant showcase of what Ruutly can help with. And it partially is. But you don’t need to add technology to your recruiting stack to crank the volume on context in your job postings. You have access to the things you need to make that happen right now.

Candidates want to be in on the conversation that you’re having. And with a few tweaks to what you’re talking about and how you’re talking about it, you have power to involve, engage and convert right-fit candidates.


If you enjoyed this article, let us know by giving it some applause.

More importantly, we’d love to work with you in helping elevate the candidate experience in your job postings. Even if it doesn’t include using Ruutly, send us a note with your questions and we’ll help any way that we can.

Ruutly

We help employers brand their jobs and get the right people. We share our insights and opinions here.

Ryan Porter

Written by

Founder: Ruutly.com & RaiseYourFlag.com. Traveller: world. Author: “Make Your Own Lunch”. Lover: hip hop, sushi, dogs, laughter, life.

Ruutly

Ruutly

We help employers brand their jobs and get the right people. We share our insights and opinions here.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade