If you work in recruiting long enough, I promise you’ve been there…

You get a LOT of applicants for your open role, but it seems like none of them are really what you’re looking for!

Or maybe the candidates look great on paper, but completely flop in your interviews.

It’s a frustrating situation – but you may have more control over the situation than you think with your approach to employer branding.

Consider How Your Messaging Affects The Candidates You Get

If you’re always getting the wrong kind of candidates, at some point you have to ask yourself how you may be contributing to the issue!

What if your employer branding is encouraging the wrong type of candidate to apply to your open roles?

Maybe you’re giving away the farm or emphasizing the perks too much without talking about the hard work and grit you’re expecting from candidates in return.

Regardless, this is a great opportunity to look at your careers pages and job descriptions and rethink the messages you’re sending.

Sometimes, Employer Branding Should Turn People Away

Let’s be clear about our goals with employer branding.

You don’t want 100 candidates for one role. You want 3-10 awesome candidates for one role!

So our goal with employer branding is to invite the very best to apply…not just anyone.

If your employer branding is all sunshine and rainbows, everyone will think the job is for them.

The reality is it’s way better to be honest upfront about the positives AND challenges of a role. This helps you screen out candidates who won’t be a good long-term fit.

They’ll meet the challenges of the role soon enough. You’ll save everyone a ton of time and trouble if the candidate is screened out now versus if they quit a week into the job!

You Can Sell a Position While Being Honest About it’s Challenges

Believe it or not, there are ways to talk about the hard parts of a job without driving candidates away.

In fact, if you word it right, the right candidates will be EXCITED about the challenges that await them. It’s all about how you frame it.

Let’s say you have a role where a candidate will be responsible for a wide range of responsibilities. Maybe in your job description, you can write “If you’re the type of person who’s excited to wear a lot of different hats and always likes to work on something new, this may be a great fit for you.”

If a candidate will be expected to build out a new section of business, you can sell it as a great opportunity for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who is excited to lead the business into the future.

Think about what makes a challenge exciting – and how rewarding it will be for candidates to overcome that challenge.