Write a Career Posting Instead of a Job Posting

Frequently, the deeper goal of a hiring executive is to hire for tomorrow – what they will need one or two years down the road – instead of just hiring for a job that needs to be filled today.

Traditional job advertisements, online or otherwise, usually include an accurate job description of the current job.  They are posted, replied to and then the applications are screened, the initial finalist interviewed, references are checked and then the ultimate finalist is hired. The focus is on the ability to meet the job requirements as they are today, and fit into the organization culture/team.

But what if the hiring manager actually has longer term plans or expectations from the hiring process?  To understand those, you need to go deeper during the initial job analysis process. Using key questions,  you will often discover that senior level managers don’t want to just hire someone to perform the required tasks, they want someone who will generate a longer-term return on the recruitment dollar investment.  Specifically, they want someone who will grow with the company and have a long term career within the team.  They want to recruit once instead of having to replace people on the typical two-to-three year cycle.

Sometimes hiring managers who have been with the organization for a long time assume their brand is perceived as offering a career, instead of a job opportunity.  However, I have found that assumptions like that can, more often than not, lead to misunderstandings.  The question becomes, how do you clearly convey that you are offering more than just a job? How do you go from a job posting to a career posting?

I have found that a successful approach is to make the career point right in the title of the career e-mail/advertisement.  For example, “Career Posting with Salary, Accounting Manager – future Controller…”.  To really send the career opportunity point home within the body of the posting, consider repeating and bolding the statement “Accounting Manager – future Controller”.  Additionally, to raise candidate confidence even higher, indicate what goals or milestones need to be achieved by the right candidate for them to qualify for the promotion from Accounting Manager to Controller.  This even applies to more senior career opportunities, for example, from Director, Finance to VP, Finance/CFO.

As simple as this seems, it is often overlooked as a simple way to attract candidates who are more interested in a career than a job.
Stephen Smyth is the CEO & Managing Consultant of Chief Financial Interviewer, Inc.