Often articles about staffing seem to miss the importance of leveraging recruitment advertising in building an “employer brand.” The pool of great candidates out there is limited, so competing hard for the best and brightest is critical! At Local Eye Site, we’re passionate about employer brand because whether it’s intentionally cultivated or not, every practice has one. Almost every eye care practice devotes significant resources to developing a positive image in their community in an effort to reach patients; however, many practices do not think strategically about the reputation they develop as an employer.
If you want to hire the best, brightest, and most experienced candidates, then it can’t be only about reaching them with your ad; it also has to be about what you’re saying that will attract them to your practice. Craigslist does a great job of reaching lots of people, but in our opinion it is a poor venue for developing a positive employer brand. Like it or not, a Craigslist ad sends the signal that the employer is primarily concerned about the ad costing them nothing. Some job seekers might equate that with the employer’s estimation of the importance of its staff.
Most ads on Craigslist look something like this example:
Optician or Optical Dispenser (Triangle)
Optometry practice has a full-time position for an Optician with experience. Sales and excellent communication skills are essential to this position. Only serious inquiries please.
This ad is anonymous, featuring no employer branding, and offers no information about why the candidate would want to work for the organization! This is the employer’s opportunity to sell the virtues of working at their practice. Why would anyone expect the best and brightest to apply for this position? Whether intentional or not, this employer is sending the message - “we just need a warm body.”
And let’s take a closer look at that line: “Only serious inquiries please.” This is probably the most-popular, and most-ignored phrase in job listings on Craigslist, and it’s ubiquity points to the fact that huge numbers of job-seekers on Craigslist are not what most employers would call “serious.” They are usually applicants with little (or no) relevant experience, whose qualifications for your specific position seem to end with their clicking on your ad. This isn’t to say that there aren’t qualified applicants searching Craigslist, just that those few that truly match the skills you’re looking for are almost always drowned-out by the hundreds who clutter your inbox with applications that have no relevance to the opening you’ve advertised. In the example above, the employer is actually discouraging most applicants from sending in a resume, not encouraging quality candidates to apply. The expense in time, energy, and frustration that results from this should not be lost on the employer who decides to post to Craigslist.
Compare that ad to this one on Local Eye Site (not all ads are great, but we work with our customers, advising and encouraging them to compete for the best!):
In our opinion, the difference here is stark. Paid listings of this sort give off a strong indication to job seekers that this employer is serious about their work, and takes pride in their organization. Rather than coming off as skeptical of any job-seeker who views this ad (”Only serious inquiries please!”), this particular ad describes many good reasons why they want the right candidate to apply for their job, and what that applicant can expect if they are hired by this organization.
We feel that for too long, the eye care industry has looked to Craigslist as the go-to, default online recruitment tool. While I do think Craigslist is a great place to sell a couch, in our opinion this venue falls short as a place to enhance your practice’s employer brand and compete for a limited pool of great candidates.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below!