December 19, 2011

What Business Insider Does Right

Business InsiderWhat’s the secret to attracting top talent? Whether you are a startup or massive enterprise, certain key truths remain the same. A job at Business Insider for a recruiter made us take notice – they do a lot of things right that you might be able to learn from.

They posted this open talent acquisition job on their internal company job board. At first glance, you can tell that this is remarkably different from a normal job post. How is it more effective?

  • It’s not a job post, it’s an article about their company. It starts off with a succinct employment branding statement. They are growing fast and frame the responsibilities of the position immediately within that context. It makes the job understandable; i.e., it gives the business reason/purpose that the job is open. Translation: this job is real.
  • It’s got a… picture? Since when did you see original pictures on open job posts? It’s refreshing and in some cases, quirky. For an open development job, they use a picture of a bearded man wearing a chainmail helmet. Stereotypes aside, it’s just the kind of thing that might appeal to a CSS developer.
  • They use persuasive language. Granted, they are a journalistic entity, but still. It matters and is essential to conversion performance. If you can write stuff like “to join our hard working, ping-pong-playing, tech-talking, and fast-growing engineering team” and use metaphorical writing like “pixel-perfect HTML,” do it. It’s a lot more enticing than a ridiculous keyword list of programming terms that no one has ever heard of. On that note, you’ll want to prune your requirements like they do. Notice that they don’t include a hundred technology programming languages? It’s because the required skills are put in the context of what the job function actually is. Again, translation: it’s a real job.
  • Design layout: Notice that they use “See Also” and all the social sharing options, just like their normal articles. It’s a straightforward blog, most likely. But blogs do a lot of things right – they encourage interactivity within the site and promote distribution. A lot of job board systems don’t include any of this rich functionality.

Granted, Business Insider uses the old “apply to xx AT abc” email link instead of a link into a sophisticated applicant tracking system. As a company grows, having this kind of organization system isn’t adequate or sufficient to manage thousands of applicants. However, there is no reason the big guys can’t also do the things that Business insider does right: create a story of their company and a compelling, visual portrayal of clear job function that attracts, compels, and converts.

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Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.