Most job ads are bland at best and downright unappealing at worst. That can be a tough message to hear, but a majority of HR and recruiting executives do understand the reality that recruiting messages need to get better. In fact, a Leadership IQ study found that more than half of HR executives think their employment brand is average or below average.
The hard part, of course, is figuring out how to dramatically improve your messaging to attract more and better candidates. It can be especially difficult when you’ve been staring at the same job ad or messaging for months; being too close to the text is something that virtually every writer struggles with.
But this is where AI can help. By giving you a fresh set of eyes (metaphorically), AI tools like ChatGPT can spot problems that a fatigued human might miss.
Imagine that one of your competitors has been significantly outpacing your organization when it comes to recruiting; Their job ads get better responses, and they have more candidates. Perhaps this is one of their job posts:
Innovative Lead Software Engineers Sought to Shape the Future of Tech at a Leading Consulting Firm. As Lead Software Engineer, you’ll manage, mentor, and deliver tech solutions for high-impact projects. Take on the challenge of creating innovative solutions, resolving complex issues, meeting quality standards, and timely delivery. Engage with stakeholders to translate requirements into sustainable software. We seek innovators, undeterred by challenges and always in search of solutions. And lifelong learners, keen to inspire others towards their potential. And individuals who thrive under high intensity, rapid change, and little downtime.
Now, let’s compare that to one of our job ads:
By joining our consulting firm as a Lead Software Engineer, you’ll be joining a team critical to our enterprise-wide digital transformation. You’ll partner directly with business stakeholders, designers, and technical leads across different areas of our business to understand enterprise needs and help to build optimized and scalable digital platforms, capabilities, and analytics that transform how consulting is purchased and consumed across product lines and regions globally. Working within an agile framework, you’ll have an opportunity to guide your business partners in thorough requirements and testing strategies while owning issue resolution and leading user acceptance testing. This is a highly visible and impactful initiative that will revamp both how we do business and how our customers engage with us.
It doesn’t take AI to figure out that our competitor’s job ad feels more compelling. But AI can help us pinpoint precisely what makes their job ad better. We can paste both ads into ChatGPT (or another AI tool of your choice) and ask it to compare the two ads and tell us why the competitor’s message is more appealing.
I did just that with those two ads, and here are some snippets of what ChatGPT wrote:
Emotional engagement and excitement. The competitor’s ad creates a sense of excitement and portrays a more dynamic work environment. They’re directly challenging applicants (“Take on the challenge of creating innovative solutions…”), implying that the work will be interesting and impactful. In contrast, your ad uses more formal, business-like language that could be perceived as less exciting.
Clarity of role. The competitor’s ad offers a clear idea about the expectations from the role: managing and mentoring a team, solving complex issues, and delivering high-impact tech solutions. On the other hand, your job ad provides details that are less specific and can be perceived as more complicated (“optimized and scalable digital platforms, capabilities, and analytics”).
Values and traits. The competitor’s ad is very clear about the kind of people they’re looking for: innovators, lifelong learners, and individuals who can thrive in intense, rapidly changing environments. This helps to attract people who identify with these traits. In comparison, your ad doesn’t mention the type of employee you’re seeking or the values your company stands for, which might be important for potential applicants.
In about 30 seconds of work, I received a pretty detailed analysis of what was wrong with my job ad and how to correct those problems. If I wanted to invest another two minutes, I could even ask AI to give me some less jargon-filled language to fix some of the wording in my ad (like “optimized and scalable digital platforms, capabilities, and analytics”).
This exercise has the potential to dramatically improve your recruiting messages. And there’s another reason to do this: AI is coming whether we like it or not. Unfortunately, a new study finds that roughly 73% of leaders have minimal to no experience with AI tools.
Those who bury their heads in the sand about the power of AI are doomed to obsolesce. But those who embrace AI and get themselves reasonably adept with the available tools are far more likely to succeed in what is sure to be a dramatically changing world.
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