You Must Include This Sentence in Your Job Posts

Why would a high-performer candidate want to work for your organization? Is it money or other benefits? Is it an exciting growth opportunity? Or is it that you can solve the biggest frustration they felt at their previous employer?

As much as companies tout their compensation, benefits, and growth opportunities, the reality is that the biggest draw for many high performers is solving their frustrations. High performers can find comparable money, opportunities, etc., but rare is the company that offers to solve their biggest frustration.  

Of course, you do have to figure out what most irritated your candidates at their previous companies. In the new Leadership IQ study, “Frustration at Work In 2022,” a few thousand employees identified their biggest frustrations, including issues related to workload, staffing, toxicity, management, direction, and more.  

Interestingly, the majority of the frustrations were quite fixable. Among the specific ones that people listed were:

  • Not being able to control my own time and plan my day for optimal productivity
  • My boss never leaves his office and won’t resolve the rampant conflicts we have on our team
  • Micromanaging manager makes me check in every hour, which interrupts my flow, and I’m not productive because I’m always stopping and starting
  • We have three vice presidents who all have different strategic priorities, and they’re constantly fighting with each other by retaking my department, which means we’re caught between ever-changing orders

You’ll notice that all of those issues are, with a decent manager, eminently correctable. If you don’t know what types of frustrations your current crop of candidates felt at their previous jobs, just ask, “At your previous job, what was your biggest frustration that stopped you from being as productive as you would like?”

Asking this question will reveal what really demotivated and burned out candidates at their last job. And once you’ve gotten enough of that data, you can start to meld it into your job posts.

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Specifically, every job post should include a sentence that highlights the biggest frustrations candidates likely felt at their previous jobs and how your company can solve those. Here are some examples:

  • At this job, you’ll control your own time and plan your day for optimal productivity.
  • At this job, your boss is actually available to support you.
  • At this job, we don’t micromanage and make you check in every hour; you get time to concentrate.
  • At this job, we’re all moving in the same direction with the same goals, and you won’t be caught between political infighting.

Of course, you need to ensure that you can truly fix these frustrations; lying is far worse than saying nothing. But if you discover that the majority of your candidates felt acute pain at their previous job, and it’s a pain that you can correct, you need to highlight that fact in your job posts.

Do not post the same bland sentences as your competitors. Find the frustrations that caused people to quit (or consider quitting) their previous jobs, and make that a major selling point in your posts.

Mark Murphy is the CEO of Leadership IQ and a New York Times bestselling author. His books include Hiring For Attitude, Hundred Percenters, HARD Goals, and Managing Narcissists, Blamers, Dramatics and More. Mark’s groundbreaking leadership studies have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and U.S. News & World Report. Mark has also appeared on CNN, NPR, CBS News Sunday Morning, and ABC’s 20/20. He’s trained leaders at the United Nations, Harvard Business School, Microsoft, Mastercard, and hundreds more.

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