Has your ad communicated your expectations clearly?
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Congratulations! Crafting a job ad means you are ready to bring on a new team member and that means one of two things: Your firm is growing, and/or you are taking the time to work ON your business and find the right-fit person to add to your team!
We have mentioned before that creating the job description is the first step in the recruiting process. Crafting an ad for your job opening, however, is just as essential and must not be overlooked. The job description is an important tool to be used internally, but the job ad is a candidate’s first glimpse at your firm. It’s essentially a marketing tool, and a very powerful one that can serve to entice and attract top-tier talent to your law firm! So, let’s make a good first impression, shall we?
In true Vista fashion, we recommend your job ad include TTE—Tools, Training & Expectations.
The ad should communicate your expectations clearly. Let’s start with the job title. After all, this will most likely be the first thing job searchers see. Be descriptive and intentional in your title. For example, consider “Director of First Impressions” rather than “Receptionist” or “Secretary.” “Director of First Impressions” sets the tone for your expectations of this position and explains, quite poignantly, how you believe this role can be an impactful and meaningful position at your firm.
Next, describe the position. Summarize the job duties and responsibilities. Don’t leave the candidate to guess what they will be doing in this role. Use this section to add a small blurb about your firm’s culture in the ad. After all, you’re looking for a right-fit team member. Including information like your firm’s culture, mission, vision, and values will serve to attract the candidate who will fit in. This section should clearly let the candidate know the ins and outs of the role, whether the position is in-person or remote, hourly or salary, etc. Set your expectations first by giving them ALL the details.
While you’re working to create an impactful job ad, consider asking questions like:
It is important to make these skill requirements easy to read. I suggest using bullet points to clearly lay out the non-negotiable skills your firm wants the candidate to have. Identify the number of years required and the type of work experience you would like candidates to have. We suggest being as detailed as you can be here without being alienating. The more a candidate knows about what you are looking for, the more likely they are to form a connection and apply. This also gives you a list of talking points to discuss should the candidate get to the interview stage. A word of caution here: You need to carefully consider these critical questions before you create your job ad. Does this position really need a Master’s level of education in order to succeed, or might an applicant with a lower level of education be able to perform the role well? If you set the bar too high without any real reason or intentionality behind it, you’ll scare off qualified candidates.
What tools will your firm provide this new team member to help them succeed and find balance at your firm? Are you offering health benefits, a 401K, PTO? Maybe you have a unique set of “perks” for your employees? Gym memberships? Free parking? A flexible schedule? A competitive salary range? You name it! With the way the labor market is these days, it is important to use this section of the job ad to sell those “tools” a candidate will receive upon coming to work for you. This again is a marketing piece of the ad. It should identify what sets your firm apart. What would make a candidate want to work for you? Sell it here, in writing!
Finally, I suggest you ask something of the candidate. The truth is: it is almost too easy to apply for a job these days. Applicants are going to job boards and applying for jobs with one click, without really looking at the ad in detail. Instruct the candidate to submit their resume as well as a paragraph explaining why they would be the best fit for the position. Ask them to provide their salary requirements. When examining the applications, review those and ask yourself if they align with your firm’s compensation plan? Can the candidate follow some simple directions? As you know, recruiting is a long and complex process. This is an easy way to sift for qualified candidates who are excited about your position!
Has your ad communicated your expectations clearly?
Have you listed the training or qualifications you would like this candidate to have to succeed in this role?
What tools are you going to offer the candidate should they join your team?
Have you asked the candidate to provide something?
That’s it! If you put in the work in these critical areas, you’re likely to create a powerful job ad! Now, what are you waiting for?? Go post it!
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