Talent attraction: Why Maslow thinks your job ads suck



Are you a recruiter in a terrifyingly business park thirty minutes from the “trendy ” downtown center or city center? Getting when you crickets ’re trying to fill those vital developer roles in your company, knowing that software giants or exciting startups are constantly wooing talented developers? Struggling to attract candidates to your mid-sized “everytown” when they locale ’re moving into Silicon Valley, NYC, London or some other hub?

Face it: rsquo & there;s not much you can do about your location or the industry you’re in. You are where you’re. Where you can do something to improve your gift appeal: the job ad, but rsquo & here; s. Maybe when you’re trying to lure job seekers with you a job ad ’re forgetting to address their needs.

At the moment, the job description is a mishmash of the text from once the position was made some amendments from some sexier phrases stolen from several businesses & rsquo and an enthusiastic new hiring supervisor; career pages.

When you stop to take into account the army of resources that entrepreneurs invest to a banner or headline just to make a viewer click, it’s mind-boggling to believe that recruiters are not investing that same energy in their talent attraction plans.

If the majority of job advertisements out there are any indication, recruiters are now asking people to make an enormous change on the grounds of trite cliché and copy to their lives.

There has to be a better way. Rather than drily saying, “We’re looking for somebody to do X, Y, and Z for us, for this-and-that wages and benefits”, you need to appeal directly to the candidate’s deeper needs and desires .

That’s where Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs comes in.

The candidate hierarchy based on Maslow's model.

Some background: in 1943, Abraham Maslow published his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in The Psychological Review. In it, he posited a series of drivers that worked sequentially, the smallest order of that must be satisfied in order to achieve the next. For instance, when starving to death, rsquo & we;re unlikely to be concerned with how we are thought of by our peer group until we meet that basic need.

Maslow used the terms “bodily ”, “security ”, “belonging”, “respect ” and “self-actualization” to describe the pattern that human motives generally move through.

Because jobs are such a massive part of our life experience, why not use that theory to your own talent attraction plans? You can broaden the appeal of a job ad or careers page by hitting on more of the bases that Maslow identified.

What would such a “candidate’s hierarchy of needs” look like? Let’s go through the pyramid one by one:

The first level of the candidate hierarchy, "Financial Gain", based on Maslow's model.

1) Financial gain: how much will I make?

The first step in Maslow’s hierarchy is “Physiological”. This includes the complete basic needs for human survival; meals, sleep, air, water, etc.. Concerning jobs, the order motivator has got to be gain — a candidate must make money so as to live. They’re not going to work for nothing they can’t.

Make it simple by placing the salary range for them. That way, you know are probably OK with you and that range ’ve effectively weeded out those who aren’t.

An important caveat: promising adequate or even fair cover a candidate’s toil should never be your primary motivator for a job, nor should it be your “ace in the hole”. If your article is simply titled “Java Developer $90,000! ”, that’s a terrific indicator that you harbor ’t understood rsquo & the occupation;s your target audience for that job or real differentiators.

There may be other details revealed about the job, but at the basest level these will be generic and explanatory, e.g., “You will write code and fix bugs”. Like wages, these are statements that would be true of any job and barely differentiate. So, how can you create your job ad attractive and personal to your ideal candidate?

The second level of the candidate hierarchy, "Job Security and Benefits", based on Maslow's model.

2) Job security and benefits: lsquo;secure ’ am I in this job?

Maslow’s step in the hierarchy is “Safety”. People will need to feel protected and safe. They need shelter, a social structure where decorum and rules are followed. For job seekers, this could mean whether the job they’re considering is permanent or contract-based, or if the company they’re applying to is a powerful and thriving entity. These concerns can be addressed early on, from startups referring to themselves as “VC funded” or bigger corporates saying successes (e.g. expanded into a new area, merged with another big firm, in business since 19XX).

Details of indeterminate contract length or a salary will help candidates self-select from the process, and rsquo & that;s probably a good thing at this stage. An applicant looking for a six-figure base salary and a guaranteed one-year placement will not apply for a job offering half that wages at a risky startup. They ’re wasting their — and your — time. Remember:

A great job ad is all about gaining the interest of the right people, not the most folks.

Now, benefits: many companies follow in the footsteps of larger organizations that offer free bonuses and bonuses. These include the hyperbolic stories of free food, dogs in the workplace, on site masseuses and hot and cold running champagne.

Promising cash and free items are a great way to have someone make a small change such as changing bank account or internet providers. But changing employers? Let’s be realistic: people don’t work for businesses because of the ping-pong table in the lunch room. Job security ought to be implied in any job description and the advantages and perks are nice-to-haves — and a thought-out benefits package can have immense appeal in terms of talent attraction. However rsquo & there;s more to the pyramid than that.

The third level of the candidate hierarchy, "Team", based on Maslow's model.

3) Team: what will my group be like?

Maslow’s grade was “Belonging” or “Love”. In short, that’s the individual need for companionship, family, and yes, love. Nobody is an island. You want to convey that sense of belonging to a group. Everyone’s been unemployed at some point — they know all too well how draining the lack of sense of belonging could be.

Engage that need in your job ad by speaking about the people the candidate will be working with. Honestly, who wants to spend eight hours a day treading the same carpet as people you hate? At the opposite end of the spectrum, people would love to work with a motivational leader, or join a group of renowned experts in their field. Cultural fit is another powerful motivator.

A dry “you will work with our group of programmers ” statement will risk turning off a potential star candidate. Talk about your team and include employee testimonials. Advertise rsquo & the organization;s social activities, outings and volunteer projects via social channels and on your own website.

Sell the pedigree of a peer group that is potential.

Equally relevant, particularly in startups, is marketing the profile of the higher-ups in a business — i.e. founders that are ex-Google or ex-Facebook can influence candidates looking to build up their own experience via association and learning from “the best”.

It is also possible to show how the team works and arranges together. A job can be made more attractive if you state that the staff doesn’they collaborate closely with other areas of the business, or t hold meetings. For those that are frustrated about their current employer’s lack or bureaucracy of innovation, offering insight into how your organization will get work can be enlightening and revealing.

In a nutshell, this is all about building up your company brand and making your staff seem like an amazing set to be a part of. But group isn’t sufficient. In addition, you need to think about the candidate themselves. Moving on up the pyramid:

The fourth level of the candidate hierarchy, "Individual Opportunity", based on Maslow's model.

4) Individual opportunity: what’s my role in that group?

The level of Maslow’s hierarchy is “Esteem”. This is the requirement for respect and appreciation . People need to feel valued as individuals and that they are making a contribution. Concerning employment, candidates have a much stronger sense of admiration and self-value when they feel they have an opportunity to contribute. On the flip side, when employees become miserable and disengaged, feeling like they’re just another cog in the machine, they stagnate.

In a work description, communicate the role in such a way that it’s important to the rest of the group and to the company as a whole. While it’s a given that some roles you’re advertising are very similar to other roles at other businesses — or even in the same firm — the effective differentiator of “Individual chance ” is lost when you loudly proclaim that you’re hiring “one thousand software developers this past year! ”

Individual opportunities are a incentive compared to the more basic “stick and carrot ” incentives of wages and benefits.

Highlight the factors that appeal to candidates as individuals, such as opportunities and surroundings that aren’t overly harnessed by policies and rules. This can be a differentiator, but there’s one tier on the road to fulfilment.

The fifth and final level of the candidate hierarchy, "Personal Growth", based on Maslow's model.

5) Personal growth: what do I gain from being here?

The top of the pyramid in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is “Self-actualization”. This is when all needs are fulfilled, the final level of development which can be achieved, and the “rdquo & actualization; of the full potential occurs. Research regularly has found that if people live lives which are different from capacities and their true nature, they are likely to be happy lives and than those whose goals match. Gandhi said it best: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ”

In terms of your job ad, think of the kind of “personal growth” you could offer to a prospective candidate. As opposed to resorting to the ironic hyperbole of many existing job ads that do nothing but describe the occupation you’ll be doing and the organization you’ll be working for, be thoughtful and clear and remember the candidate experience — particularly in regards to hiring exceptional employees.

Inform candidates what they stand to gain at a level as a worker.

If you can address the following questions in you, your job ad ’re well on your way:

What are the experiences they’ll have that enable them to grow as individuals?
Will they gain new skills or be trained in new areas?
Can they get to mentor or be mentored, leading to relationships and rewarding interactions with other people?
Will they have freedom and the scope to be creative?
Are they motivated and empowered to innovate?

This might just be the tipping point to hit that massive red & ldquo; apply & rdquo; button, if you can describe the kind of brighter future a candidate gets by working for you.

Place yourself in their shoes

In the event you’re recruiting for Google or Tesla, the brand recognition alone makes your job simple Google gets two million applications each year. But you’re not them, of course.

Place yourself in the candidate’have a look at the job ad you & rsquo and s shoes . Does it look like a job you’ll be excited to do? Does this look like the kind of work where you can grow as a worker and as a person? Go through each of the degrees of this candidate hierarchy; benefits wages, staff, individual, and personal growth. Have you covered all of those?

If the answer is yes, then you’ll get an extremely motivated candidate who doesn’t mind the commute to the “unsexy” location nor that you’re an “unsexy” firm. You’ve shown them that they’ll get a lot of personal fulfilment that many jobs don’t even claim to offer in their job advertisements. You might even attract the kind of gift that you’ve been trying to lure from those “cooler” areas.

Matt Buckland also spoke about candidate hierarchy in a Workable webinar:

How to source passive applicants
How to write a job ad: 7 common mistakes to avoid
How to write the best job description ad ever: 6 Strategies for success

The article Talent attraction: Why Maslow thinks your job advertisements suck appeared first on Recruiting Resources: How to Recruit and Hire Better.

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