There are 2 things that most companies do a terrible job of.
They write job postings that do a terrible job of selling the company.
They completely mishandle interaction with applicants.
Let’s address the first one first…
Job postings are a marketing vehicle. In fact, I’d argue that the marketing function should sign off on all job postings. They are an external communication piece that talks about the company as much as any other marketing piece.
Job postings are an opportunity to get potential employees and other people who may read them (Read: potential customers) excited about your company. If your job posting lacks purpose, clarity, excitement, the company’s story, a glimpse into the company’s vision, etc., the results of your job posting will reflect that.
You’re trying to attract the best talent, so put forth your best effort to write a compelling job posting. And when I say “job posting” I’m not just referring to the job description. I’m referring to the posting that appears on job sites like mine.
Make sense? Writing a compelling job posting will help you draw more (and better) applicants. Take it seriously and take your time.
Now let’s talk about the 2nd topic…
In general, if companies viewed all applicants as potential customers, their entire business would perform better.
If an applicant spends the time and effort to write a cover letter, research your company and apply for a job of yours, there is a pretty decent likelihood that they are a fan of your business. You want those people to continue to be your fans.
It doesn’t matter if you sell a consumer product or a B2B product. The more superfans you have, the more people you have talking about your company, and the more likely it is that you’ll benefit from that in some form (i.e. a customer referral, a positive online review, etc.).
In my opinion, how a company treats applicants is indicative, of how well they treat their customers. So for all of you hiring managers and employers who are reading this, conduct an audit of your interactions with your job applicants and see how well you communicate with them. Do they leave the process (even if they don’t get the job) with a positive feeling about your company?
If you’re looking for ideas on how to do that, here’s a post I wrote about how one company turns applicants into superfans. It’s quite an impressive experience they provide their applicants.