Sell, Don’t Tell: A Follow-up From Last Week

Well, I was pleasantly surprised by all your responses to last week’s column. And I was slightly encouraged by the creativity and pizzazz exhibited by many of the sites you referred me to. One of you thought the job description I quoted in last week’s article was, indeed, a useful tool for a BSME and that the information was helpful in evaluating the job. I don’t disagree, but I am pretty sure that it could have been written in a way that is far more exciting and enticing then that dry, boring pabulum. Just being descriptive and accurate is not enough. We all have to put on our marketing hats to be successful in this competitive time. Another few of you referred me to the website for the Motley Fool. One immediate problem I had was finding the @#$*! career section of their website. After 3-4 minutes of trying to guess where they hid it, I found a dropdown menu and figured out that the “Help Wanted” section was on the list. Score a minus 5 for the Fool. Once there, I found a page of TEXT – not very inviting and definitely graphically challenged – but the job descriptions themselves are okay. They are, as I was promised, lightly written with a twist of humor. The descriptions are above average. Absolutely worth a look and they should give you some ideas for improving your own descriptions. I also liked the ability to NOT pick a specific job and just send in a resume. One point that I would like to make about almost every recruiting job site is that most are hard to find. If the candidate is not a very active one, he or she will never find most career sites. When most candidates are passive, it just makes good business sense to put the careers button on page numero uno! Another recommended site was the one for CyberSight. First impression at logging in was good. The employment section was clearly labeled and very easy to find. Once at the employment page, I was greeted with a list of jobs in VERY tiny type. But, after picking a few I did enjoy the pop-up window with short job descriptions that are very nicely done. A quote from one: “Big clients, big budgets, big minds (not heads). Passion is good, so is vision, hustle, thinking on your feet.” Much better than the usual stuff. A plus 5 for these guys. I just wish they would add a little info about the company, the culture, benefits and other useful things to know. Boy, I know I’m hard to please! Moving on…SmartPrice, an Austin, Texas, company, was recommended. I also had some brief difficulty in finding the employment section (why can’t we all just agree to put a button called “Careers” or “Employment” on the first page of our website?). Once there, the text is light and definitely would be attractive. The job descriptions are brief and to the point. It’s not a GREAT recruiting web site, but it’s in the above average category. The most fun, most creative, and most effective site that was recommended to me was the one for a company called Art & Logic. Great link to the career section on the first page of the site. Cool use of programming-like syntax to demarcate the career page. And, even though at first I thought the job descriptions were a return to corp-speak, they are okay. They are also followed by examples of projects the company has completed, which give anyone a good sense of what they would be involved in. A plus 10 to these guys and gals. Also check out what happens when you click on “No.” There are quite a few honorable mentions. These are websites that sort of halfway got the message, but at least are trying. The site for Aston IT Group has a great page describing the culture and enticing you to join. But the job descriptions are generic and just urge you to email in a resume. Come on, guys. You can do better. So, to sum up our exercise I would conclude that there aren’t very many great job descriptions out there. A few organizations are trying hard to get noticed and differentiate themselves from the pack. Thanks for the effort and keep on trying. For those of you who haven’t got a clue, check out some of these sites and don’t give up on trying to make recruiting different. Thanks to everyone who responded. I really appreciate your efforts and willingness to share your experiences.

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Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at