I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about hiring recently. It’s been a while since I’ve written any job ads, so I’ve been looking at ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor a fair bit, to see what the status quo is like out there. As it turns out: Not great. Which is sort of embarrassing, given that hiring is probably one of the most important things about building a company. You wouldn’t believe how many job ads don’t actually explain some of the most basic information. Like, say, what the company actually does.
It’s not about selling your product, it’s about selling your company to your future employees.
Come on, guys… If you’ve got enough money in the bank to hire someone, you should be far enough along to realize that when you’re hiring, you’re selling. It’s not about selling your product, it’s about selling your company to your future team mates. You are asking them to invest some of a non-renewable resource in you: Their time. Make it good.
I get it: After 3 years building UniCorp, Inc, you’re up to your eyeballs in your vision. You know every aspect of your company. And if someone doesn’t know about the awesome UniCorp, and can’t be bothered to take the time to find out about you, screw, them, right?
Yeah… No. Storytelling is a crucial aspect of creating a new company. Never is that more true than when you’re hiring the next generation of talent for your co. That is true everywhere, but especially if you’re hiring for highly competitive jobs in competitive markets.
Try this: Search for ‘Product Manager’ in SF on ZipRecruiter. There’s more than 20,000 companies currently hiring for PMs in SF. Which means that if someone is browsing for a PM job, do you think they’ll bother doing a Google search for what your company does?
Job listings and job descriptions are storytelling and selling, just like every other aspect of your business. Use the opportunity to shine. It’s all good and well that you offer all sorts of fun perks, but ultimately you’re trying to inspire your future employees. You don’t do that by offering snacks and unlimited holiday. You do that by selling the faith you have in your mission.
Think as a job advert the same way as you think about your sales. That means: think about the ‘pain point’ you are trying to resolve, and explain how your ‘product’ solves the problem. And just like all other sales, it’s not about you. It’s about them. Of course they solve your problem (being short staffed), but let’s be honest: They don’t care. They want to know what’s in it for them. They are considering to change careers for a reason — does your job ad make that a tempting prospect?
Against that backdrop — are you still proud of your job ads?
Time for a refresh. There’s so many things you can do to stand out among the throng of 20,000 other companies hiring. Use them to your advantage.
Haje is a pitch coach based in Silicon Valley, working with a founders all over the world to create the right starting point for productive conversations with investors — from a compelling narrative to a perfect pitch. You can find out more at Haje.me. You can also find Haje on Twitter and LinkedIn.