New and Improved, Part II

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Gone is the day of the simple radio and tape deck in automobiles. These days, even economy cars have the newest technology. To spice up the experience for the driver, you decide that the more ways the driver and the car can communicate the better.  You design systems for information delivered in heads-up display, audio and video systems to rival a movie theatre, and state-of-the-art communications to keep the driver connected to world outside.

It has become increasingly important to realize fully the impact of communication (or lack thereof) during a job search. From not communicating with candidates to communicating with little substance or elements that invoke or entice, it is not difficult to lose candidates throughout the search process. The burden truly is on the employer to create a communications plan that includes marketing, supporting materials, and a communications calendar that bolster the chances of securing a well-informed and dynamic professional. Granted, some institutions require that communications/acknowledgments come from Human Resources (HR), but there are typically no rules that preclude an employer from supplementing what is often a minimalist approach by HR.

  • Posting your position:  if you are not impeded by institutional human resources that require a boilerplate posting of your position, then your posting can begin setting your position apart from the rest.  Substance over flash, a posting can still be dynamic and excite professionals to apply.  Just as search committees bore of reading the seemingly same tired résumé, potential applicants can also fail to notice a position that appears to be the same as the next.  Introduce your department and your opportunity (the position) with real thought.  If you are not the strongest writer in your office, ask for someone else to take a stab at creating an announcement worthy of your organization. Click here and here for a comparison of a posting that was revised to solicit a stronger pool (the bulleted posting did not garner a strong pool and so was retooled to be more dynamic and engaging to candidates).
  • Marketing your position(beyond the posting):  important to note that marketing your position also includes marketing your campus.  Many positions are similar in write up, but might provide a different experience based on the institutional and community experience.  Whenever possible, show how your position is different or what makes it special.  Peer review (current staff anecdotes) is always popular, but provide unique details about the campus/division as well.  Moreover, enough cannot be said about having a viable online environment for potential candidates to find information and read about your organization.  If you have the resources, creating a page/s on you website dedicated to the search is a must.  Strong images, even small videos of staff and events are great items to share with potential team members. If you are seeking truly informed candidates, include important documents about your organizational culture and future developments.
  • Each of us have endured the job search black hole:  you apply for a position, and never hear anything—or maybe just a formulaic letter/email acknowledging your application and maybe one to announce the search in concluded.  While search chairs need not create a plan to “hand hold” applicants and candidates through the process, it is arguably better to over communicate than under communicate. Create a communications plan for all applicants, and then for those applicants who ultimately become candidates.  There is a difference:  all that apply are applicants, and those who are interviewed are candidates. If the process is a long one, then scheduling an update(s) to all applicants is important and professional. Be mindful of applicable HR policies, but be as transparent as you can with all those involved.  It makes the process runmore smoothly , and can likely garner repeat applicants for future positions.

There are many elements to a successful search, and much has to go right for the best candidate to be found, selected and secured. These are just two of those elements, marketing and communications, but potentially the most important. The experience of the candidate from start to finish goes a long way to selling you to them, and them to you.

With a throaty yet smooth engine bemoaning the tired experiences of others, and a dynamic audio visual cocoon encompassing those you invite to enjoy it, The Placer is ready to set the world on its ear.

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