HR Staff are the New Marketers

HR Staff are the New Marketers

By Brandi Leos, City of Tigard Oregon  (LinkedIn) and (Twitter)

What I’m doing: Figuring out how to send a kid off to college


Human resources staff, especially recruiters, can take a lesson from marketers. Local government is not great at promoting itself – telling our stories and selling our wares.  What do we have for sale? Jobs.  Lots of jobs. The job market is hot right now (see ELGL Facebook group and ELGL Job Board). We are not going to attract the best talent by copy and pasting job descriptions into a job posting, then posting the job on our website, and then praying for qualified candidates.

I am not an expert on the topic (if you are, please reach out because I know a lot of people who would appreciate some guidance), but here are some quick tips on re-writing your job posting to attract better candidates:

  • Ditch the class specification or official job description. I mean really, how long ago was it written anyway? Class specs are often designed to be generic descriptions of the type of work that might be performed. They have to include a bunch of stuff to keep your organization out of trouble and to help identify job accommodations when an employee has a disability. They should not serve as your marketing materials.
  • Get to know the job. Talk to the hiring manager about the challenges and opportunities are for the position. What makes the job exciting? What problem will the position help your organization solve? Share this information on the job posting.
  • Determine if a working title is appropriate. What is a senior management analyst? Use a job working title to better describe the job.
  • Consider special characteristics your organization would like to see from the hire. My favorites from the past year include sense of humor, creative, energetic, and eager to learn.
  • Be HONEST! There is nothing worse than getting to a new job and it isn’t what you were expecting. Sell the job, but be honest about what it is and what it isn’t.  This will ensure you get the right person for the job.