N.B. This post was first published in June, 2014.
Last week, our Twitter feed was abuzz with reaction to the rather innovative, and undeniably ballsy, approach to hiring adopted by a soon-to-open Dublin pub.
Using the tagline, “Make an impression if you want a profession,” the team behind Sober Lane launched their new recruitment drive, boldly announcing that they would only be accepting applications submitted via Snapchat.
For those not already in the know, Snapchat is the popular messaging app that allows users to take, edit, caption, and send pictures to their friends.
Its secret weapon, and the feature that sets the app apart, is the fact that once opened, each image exists for a maximum of 10 seconds only before "self-destructing" i.e. being deleted from the recipient’s phone and Snapchat server.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner about the decision, Sober Lane owner Ernest Cantillon said:
"First impressions are everything in our game. Sober Lane [Cork] is quirky and different . . . If someone has a good personality, it will come across on Snapchat and we’ll offer them a job or invite them in for a chat."
This novel approach to recruitment got us thinking. Not about the absolute craic the Sober Lane team are going to have filtering through those applications, but rather, about how it's becoming increasingly important for employers to go the extra mile when seeking to attract job applicants.
Hiring is a competitive game. With companies constantly vying for the brightest and best candidates, standing out from the crowd is essential if you’re to be in with a chance of catching the eye of the cream of the job-seeking crop.
And a discerning eye it is, too.
This is an audience that is constantly bombarded with online content that is both visually engaging and well-written. They're used to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Buzzfeed, where rich media and snappy copy are par for the course.
Not only that, the attention span of online consumers is growing shorter. Content is encountered, judged, and within a matter of seconds, a decision has been made on whether to consume or ignore.
This is a ruthless audience: one that needs to be engaged and one that expects to be impressed.
In this landscape, if your company wants its hiring efforts to stand out, your recruiting collateral has to stand up to the test of shortened attention spans and a hunger for content that counts.
So, how do you do that?
You get creative.
You embrace the authentic.
You embrace transparency.
You level the playing field by giving job seekers insight into life at your company, just as they, in sending you their CV or resume, offer you insight on themselves.
You go above and beyond simply listing a job: you give that job some context, and you appeal to the human being on the other side of the screen.
If yours is a company with those cool office perks — the slide, the fireman’s pole, the free lunches, the kegerators, or adorable puppies on hand to soothe and delight you after a tough day — by all means, show them off. But don't forget that at the end of the day, if this hiring effort is going to be a success, it's going to come down to one thing: the person you hire being a fit not only for the job itself, but for your company, too.
Make life easier on yourself: give the job seeker the chance to make an initial judgment call on whether they might be a fit by painting an honest picture of what it's like to work at your company.
That means focusing on the personal: the people who work there, the core values of the company, the little quirks and details that make your workplace what it is.
Snapchat may not be your thing. That’s ok. But one thing that companies today cannot overlook, is the importance of standing out from the crowd when scouting for new talent.
Next time you sit down to write up a job ad, be sure to look beyond the boring plain text and industry jargon of traditional job posts.
Remember that hiring is about nothing if not people, so when you go about creating that recruiting content, keep it personal. Be honest. Be authentic.
Your team, your culture, your processes . . . they're unique to your company. Bring those elements to the forefront of your jobs ads and careers pages, and you're bound to make an impact.