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Let intelligent design do your recruiting for you

by  David Dwyer on  24/05/2019

How Google for Jobs can be used to better your recruitment practices

We have written about Google for Jobs (GfJ) before and how it brings disruptive technology to the recruitment marketplace.

Google for Jobs gives companies the opportunity to reach out to potential employees when they are trying to fill vacancies; prioritising vacancies in the search engine results and directing applicants straight to your website, but that alone isn’t enough.  If you want to attract the best talent that you can, your job listing has to do a lot of the heavy lifting.  Since most of us aren’t Google or Facebook, we may not have people queueing at our door begging for a job, so it’s important to speak to candidates needs to tempt them to speak to you.

At Inspire have been working hard to offer our clients the maximum benefit from the advantages GfJ brings.  To fully explain what we are doing, we need to take a step back, quite a long step back, and look at the work of Abraham Maslow.

Abraham Maslow – an introduction.

Maslow was an American psychologist best known for his “hierarchy of needs”.  Although Maslow himself never rendered the hierarchy graphically, others have, to aid understanding:

Msow Hierarchy of Needs

This is clearly expressed in the terms that Maslow coined when he developed his theory, and you may reasonably ask what this has to do with recruitment or Google for Jobs.

The answer to that question has to do with what you are looking to achieve through a job advertisement, and how you ensure that you get the result – the employee – that you are looking for.

Let’s rewind a little.  Despite the widespread nature of job recruitment, and the acknowledged importance of finding the right person for any given role, there is a very clear disparity between the resources often dedicated to recruiting and, for instance, the resources dedicated to even a one-off marketing campaign.  While you might point out that the two aren’t entirely analogous, the fact remains that recruitment is not always a particularly well-resourced part of any business.  Quite often, job advertisements are a re-hash of a previous advert, with any new information tacked on.

That in part is due to the nature of job advertisements.  On the face of it they are entirely straightforward – “Company seeks Java programmer, will pay up to £50,000 per year, plus benefits”.  Accepting that this is very simplified, the issue here is that the advert is neither making itself attractive to the sort of applicants you really want, nor is it weeding out those you don’t.  It is simply saying – ‘there is a job going’.

How different might that be if you could design your recruitment adverts to do those vital tasks – to be attractive to the right people while sparing you the effort of weeding out those who aren’t?

This is where Maslow and intelligent design come into play.

Intelligent design – making Google for Jobs work for you

Doing a Wiki search for “intelligent design” is a dangerous undertaking unless you thoroughly enjoy theological debate.  Leaving the contentious definition aside, intelligent design in software is pretty much what it says – optimising the design of a package to give you the results you need.  In the case under discussion here, it involves designing your Google for Jobs approach to encourage the use of Maslow’s hierarchy to better tune your recruitment advertising.

To do this we start with the hierarchy and apply it to job seeking.  Mazlow’s theory was based on the presumption that each level of the hierarchy was dependent upon the preceding level being satisfied, at least sufficiently to allow progress to the next level. If we revisit the various levels with an eye to recruitment, we get something like this:

Level one – basics – financial gain.  What does the successful applicant stand to gain in purely fiscal terms?  This is important and should be stated clearly and up front.  Any applicant will want to see what is on offer and stating your salary range will tell them straight away if this job is one that they are interested in in purely monetary terms.

Level two – job security and benefits.  Is the job secure? Does the company have a clear path for the future or is it a high-risk, possibly high benefit start-up?  What benefits does it offer?  Job security matters more to some than others, some are looking for a longer-term commitment, others may be happy to take a risk with a younger company.  Giving an indication of this will help applicants self-select. Likewise benefits.  Include tangible benefits – healthcare, extra holidays and suchlike.

Level three – the team.  Who will they work with? What is the structure of the team – controlled or autonomous? What is the working environment? Is this a group that the applicant will be happy to work and interact with?  If you are seeking a particular set of skills, or someone to fulfil a specific role this is your opportunity to really sell the working environment.  Tell applicants something about the team, it’s achievements, the working environment, if relevant, who leads it? Are they known in your industry?  All of this information can encourage a potential applicant as they can picture themselves in this environment and being part of the team you describe.

Level four – individual opportunity.  Is there a real chance to shine, a chance to achieve something significant beyond turning up every day?  Use this to show how this role matters to the team and the company.  Make it stand out.

Level five – personal growth – where could this job take the applicant relative to their personal aspirations?  If there are genuine opportunities to learn, to be mentored, to receive relevant training, mention them.  By the time a candidate has reached this point in the advertisement you have the chance to speak to their deeper needs and their desire to do something more than just a “job”.  You want the best person you can get to fill the role so encourage them.

It’s all about focus

You will have a noticed a theme throughout this list – the candidate.  You are looking to fulfil a role within the company, but by using an approach that sells the role in a way that is relevant to the concerns and interests of those who might be interested.  Like generic rejection letters, generic job adverts are almost background noise.  They tell prospective candidates very little and they have to wait until selected for interview to hopefully have their questions answered.

Better surely to speak directly to your ideal candidates before you even get to interview.  Assuming that Maslow was broadly correct, most of us have similar concerns and needs; showing how you as an employer will address those needs shows that you have actually thought about the role you are offering. This also means that by the time you get to the interview stage you should have a far better discussion with the best applicants because they know more than just the job title and the salary range.

Your aim should not be to get the most candidates, but the best candidates for the role on offer.

By designing our Google for Jobs product on Maslow’s hierarchy, we help you deliver more relevant information to prospective employees, in a manner that speaks to priorities they may not fully realise that they have.  You’re answering questions before they’re asked and, most importantly, creating the advertisement that will appeal to the sort of people you want to hear from.

We believe that the proper use of technology can drive businesses forward in all areas.  If you would like to learn more about how Inspire can revolutionise your recruitment, contact us for a free, no obligation discussion.


Brand Management, CLV, Content Marketing, Continuous Professional Development, Customer Experience, Customer Lifetime Value, digital advertising, Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Digital Trends 2019, Disruptive not Disrupting Tech, Google for Jobs, Google Search Console, HR, Human Resources, Intelligent Software Design, Recruitment, Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Optimisation (Web Copy), Software as a Service Application Development, User eXperience, Web Consultancy
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