The job description is the face of your employer brand–one of the most important ways to market your job and your organization. If you want to attract the best marketers, you must present yourself and your opportunities in a way they’ll 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. Your internal recruiting team is probably comprised of very smart, hard-working professionals. But they probably have a limited understanding of your marketing needs and the state of the marketing industry, let alone the changes that occur daily.
When you publish a bland, unclear description; expect generic or unqualified applicants (or none at all). The talent you attract is only as good as the bait you’re using. Improve your job descriptions to get greater quantities of better qualified and more engaged candidates.
1. Start with What Makes Your Company a Great Place to Work
Most job descriptions jump right in and start talking about the role without providing any context about your situation or making your organization appealing. Ask yourself; what is in it for the candidate? Why would someone really talented want to come work here? Remember that the best candidates are usually already employed–what can you tell them that could draw them away from their current job?
That is how you open: sell the opportunity to top talent. 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.
2. Speak the Language of Today’s Marketer
Using the appropriate wording is essential for a productive marketing job description. Qualified applicants that actually have the skills you need will be looking for specific keywords and 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 terminology. Marketing moves fast, and its language is constantly changing.
Oh, and get it looked at by a copy editor to make sure you don’t have any embarrassing spelling and grammar mistakes.
3. Clarify the Level of the Position
Every organization has its own hierarchy and job title nomenclature. In the marketing world, titles and the responsibility that goes with them varies greatly. A Director at Company A might be a low-level manager, but could be running the whole show at Company B.
Save yourself and applicants time by explaining just where this position falls in terms of authority and leadership requirements. Share who they’ll be reporting to and what parts of the marketing team they’ll be directing.
4. Include Opportunities to Grow
The best marketers are always looking for ways to improve themselves personally and professionally. 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.
5. Use Performance Objectives as Compelling Responsibilities
The quickest way to put someone to sleep reading a job description is to list generic, meaningless responsibilities that provide no context to the actual purpose of the role.
No one applying for a social media manager position needs to be reminded that they’ll be “posting daily on the company’s social accounts.” You’re just insulting their intelligence. But interesting challenges like “double the amount of authentic Twitter followers over 6 months” or “create and execute social strategy to engage all employees via social on a monthly basis” tell applicants more about your needs and attract top performers.
High-quality marketers will be drawn to these challenging expectations. Pique their interest and give them something a little more specific to think about.
6. Leverage an Outside Perspective
Creating effective marketing job descriptions is hard in the best of circumstances. If you’re in a situation where you don’t have dedicated resources specifically to hiring marketers, it’s even more difficult. Sometimes your best bet is to draw on outside resources to help you out:
Check your competitors.
See what other companies, especially those you compete with, are posting for similar jobs. What are they doing poorly that you can avoid? What are they doing well that you can “borrow?” Whatever you learn from job descriptions written by others, be sure you put your own spin and personalize it to align with your employer brand.
Ask your network.
You do have a healthy network, right? Ask friends, coworkers, and professional connections what they think about your proposed job description, if there’s anything that’s lacking or erroneous. Find people with the same or similar positions and ask what they think is important.
Partner with a marketing recruiter.
Marketing recruiters and marketing staffing firms 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.