4 min read
It should have been simple. People recruit new team members all the time. With Reward Gateway growing in size, it was time to recruit another member to join the Internal Communications team. It wouldn’t be too hard. I wrote content day in, day out. A job ad would be easy, I thought.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
For far too long, the job advert template sat on my laptop with clear instructions from the recruitment team, “you just need to fill it out with all the tasks you want this person to do.”
Sounds logical, doesn’t it?
But every time I thought I’d got the description finished, it just didn’t feel right. The truth was, I’d never had to design a job before. In fact, I’d never even considered a “design” process as part of the whole “job” thing. I thought it was simply a “we have stuff that needs doing so find someone to do it” type of thing.
Going through the experience of recruiting our perfect candidate through a creative job advertisement taught me a few lessons. The biggest one was to throw out the rulebook for “job descriptions” and think outside the box. Here’s my experience writing (in this case, drawing) our perfect job advertisement:
Skip the template
As hiring managers, we’re given a template that says we’re recruiting for a permanent job, we write down a set list of tasks and a clause to say “performs other duties as assigned.” This isn’t honest.
How could I recruit based on a list of tasks when I knew the only thing constant at RG is change?
To say to someone that it’s a permanent role and it comes with a predetermined list of responsibilities just isn’t true.
Things would be changing all of the time and if they weren’t, we’d have some serious stagnation problems to think about.
So, why was I doing this? My best guess was that was the way it had always been done. We need to fill the job. Let’s make it easy for managers by making a recruitment template for them to complete. Therein lies the problem. By giving a set template, it’s already restricting the possibilities available that come with the opportunity of building a team.
Don’t be scared to redesign your job design
Internal Communications is a role that is so varied. Business transformation is what drives us. We want constant change. We want creative projects that enable us to innovate and shift the business towards success. We don’t want to be doing the same cookie-cutter stuff every day. I didn’t want to write this predetermined list when the truth was, I knew things would change. All the time. I don’t know what the future holds but I knew whatever project came my new recruit’s way I wanted them to “Own It” and I wanted them to “Push the Boundaries” of anything we’ve ever done before (two of my favorite company values).
I was looking for a “character” that I believed would be suitable for the position. Not a person who would take a list of tasks and repeat them forevermore.
It got me thinking about what it was I wanted this person to truly embody. I needed to start this completely from scratch. To trigger a new way of thinking and a have a fresh approach to it all, I needed to ditch the laptop and the document I’d been angsting over for hours. I sent a quick message to my boss and he confirmed my thinking of “try something different,” so I shut it down and thought about how else I’d ‘design’ something. My sketchpad and pencil case – they’d never let me down.
Get the Creative Juices Flowing
By ridding myself of the template, I was free of all the rules that had been set before. I thought about all the qualities I wanted this person to possess and what type of job advert would attract the right person. They needed to appreciate creative, out-the-box thinking, so the job ad had to be like that. I’d been nicknamed "Unicorn" for a long time at RG, and now it was time to expand my herd.
Drawing the Unicorn made things easier. I had a visual there and I was able to start brainstorming from it and be more creative with my language. There wasn’t the pressure to pretend to be something I’m not or having to adhere to someone else's rule book.
I was able to create a job advert which was driven by the values we live by, not a template that was created a long time ago which dictated a "one-size fits all" approach. Through this, I was able to demonstrate to the potential candidate the level of creativity and approach to communication we’d want them to be part of.
The time came to share my masterpiece with my boss. How would they take on this new approach to recruiting?
Trying something new caused no harm.
To my delight, he loved it. Experimenting with the way we do things didn’t break anything. It showed an alternative way of doing something we’d done for years.
And how did it go down with our applicants? We had an increase in the number of responses and created excitement and buzz around the vacancy for those applying. They were keen to be part of something different, something unique and something they hadn’t seen before.
Try it yourself. Take a different approach. Introduce different steps to your desired destination, believe in your own magic and you might just surprise yourself with what you find.