Job ads are your brand
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Your job ads are your brand

Next to “Marry me,” the two words that are most likely to change a person’s life are “You’re hired.” Accepting a job offer is one of the biggest decisions a person will ever make. So if you’re hiring, how do you convince a job seeker that joining your company is the right choice? Even harder: persuading someone who already has a good job. That’s more likely the challenge today, especially in high-demand sectors like tech and healthcare.

It’s not just about the money; research shows that 80% of millennials say working with great people is also a top priority in deciding where to work. Compensation and benefits matter, but they say nothing about what makes your company a great place to spend 40 hours every week for years. The job ad you write is a candidate’s first impression of your company—it needs to sell your brand, otherwise you are missing a lot of highly qualified people.

As my colleague Allie Hall has pointed out before, the average candidate spends about 6 seconds viewing a job ad before deciding whether to continue reading or move on. So at most, you have a few sentences to make the case for your employment brand.

Take a look at this job posting for a Cashier position at REI in Seattle. This is the very first line:

"What’s cool about this job: As the Cashier, you will be the last interaction a customer will have when shopping at REI. This gives you the opportunity to leave a lasting impression with each customer to walk in and out of REI’s door."

Wow. I think I want this job! Already I know three things about REI’s employment brand:

  1. They want their employees to have cool jobs
  2. Cashiers play a role that is far more critical than just taking money
  3. With customers, lasting impressions count more than transactions

The “opportunity” in the last line also suggests that REI empowers their cashiers in choosing how to make that lasting impression. Even the section headings speak volumes about how REI thinks of employees:

“What’s cool about this job”

“Bring your passion and expertise”

“Why you’ll love it here”

Out of curiosity, I pasted this job into Textio: sure enough, it scores an 80. That means it performs better than 80% of similar job posts in the Seattle region. There is a reason REI made it into the Textio 50.

I checked other companies in the Textio 50 to see if they were selling their employer brand as well as REI does. Here is a job post from Nike that I put through our platform:

Example job post in Textio. Title: Knowledge Management Process Manager. Job listing for an Information technology role in Beaverton. Become a Part of the NIKE, Inc. Tesm. NIKE, Inc. does more than outfit the world's best athletes. It is a place to explore potential, obliterate boundaries and push out the edges of what can be. The company looks for people who can grow, think, dream and create. Its culture thrives by embracing diversity and rewarding imagination. The brand seeks achievers, leaders and visionaries. At Nike, it's about each person bringing skills and passion to a challenging and constantly evolving game. (cuts off before next paragraph)

What I love about this one is that regardless of how stiff the job title sounds, the very first paragraph is all about the unique workplace that is Nike: “It is a place to explore potential, obliterate boundaries and push out the edges of what can be.”

Also, notice the key phrases that Textio recognizes as important to the success of the post: the green highlights “dream,” “diversity” and “create” are words that statistically predict a faster time to fill. The blue phrases tend to increase the ratio of men applying, while purple phrases do the same for women.

If you’re looking for examples of strong employment branding that actually helps recruit more qualified candidates faster, you can’t find much better than these. Use them as inspiration when you are writing your next job post!

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