Employer branding and job image for applicants: HR, please speak plainly!


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Employer branding, presenting yourself as an attractive employer is for many Company meanwhile extremely important. Only the essential is often forgotten: authentic communication. Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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The basics are important

Obviously, companies are all too happy to forget that job seekers need to focus on the basics: finding a job quickly and easily, and understanding what it's about at a glance. Or in other words: City wohklingendem job title-Wischi-washi applicants want especially clear text in the job offers, authenticity - and just quick findability.

I recently received another press release from a company (typically it was an advertising agency) that wanted to present itself to me on the blog with a great brochure as an employer brand - everything “hip” and “cool”, but even I didn’t immediately understand what they actually wanted.

Why cumbersome when it is easy?

And why this detour? Why does a company that wants to hire 50 employees first create a “cool” image brochure instead of simply saying in which positions employees are being sought? Because it's so hip today?

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I then forwarded the gentlemen then first to my internal job board: Sure you can Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® looking for employees, I like to pass on jobs - but please so that job seekers really have something of it and know immediately what it is about.

Job advertisements remain the most important

Because: Job advertisements are still the most important medium through which job seekers and employers can find each other for the first time with specific offers. At the same time, media habits and expectations of applicants have changed drastically in recent years due to the increasing use of social media.

There are numerous studies on what employers notice in Spe online job advertisements. The criteria that have repeatedly been mentioned, as I have been able to determine over the years, are: easy to find the job advertisement, authenticity, employer branding and textual implementation of the description. This clearly shows that applicants simply want to know what to expect in a company.

Success Factors: Authenticity, findability, text

All the bells and whistles that companies, often advised by agencies, like to showcase, falls behind. The cool graphic design of a job advertisement is often just as irrelevant to applicants as interactive games. Videos and social media are only interesting because one hopes for a little more insight here.

Candidates always want a clearer language as well as more precise job descriptions and requirement profiles. One of our readers, for example, requested “a clearer emphasis on the focus of the work in the advertisements”, and another “more specific information on embedding the task in the organizational structure”.

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By the way: HR personnel often state on request that findability, authenticity and textual implementation are particularly important to them. Maybe you should start sweeping in front of your own door and not expect something from others that you don't feel like doing yourself?

Employer branding: which professions are sexy?

A lack of authenticity then unfortunately also means that applicants of many professions have a completely wrong picture. Misdirected employer branding, so to speak. In practice it looks like this: Journalists and architects are creative. Bankers, business consultants and IT professionals, on the other hand, are considered boring. And many other exciting jobs are not even known to young applicants.

A survey of ElitePartner's online dating service shows how much career desires are still clichés, which asked which professional groups have the best cards when choosing a partner. Accordingly, everyone likes doctors, whether male or female. Architects are almost as attractive. Bank clerks and computer specialists are not very popular with the opposite sex.

Prefer creative than banker?

Men seem to like it a little more down-to-earth than women - so the teacher ranks ahead of journalists on the popularity scale. The most attractive female jobs are:

  1. Female doctor 57%
  2. Architect 39%
  3. Teacher 30%
  4. Journalist 28%
  5. Scientist 25%
  6. Bank clerk 20%
  7. Management consultant 17%
  8. Business economist 16%
  9. Craftswoman 15%
  10. IT specialist 11%

The most attractive male professions, on the other hand, are the creative professions after the doctor. And the down-to-earth craftsman still ranks way ahead of the banker. Only eight percent of women find bankers attractive. But every fifth man likes bankers. So which jobs are women particularly fond of?

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  1. Doctor 54%
  2. Architect 54%
  3. Journalist 33%
  4. Scientists 29%
  5. Management consultant 24%
  6. Craftsmen 15%
  7. Business economist 15%
  8. Teachers 13%
  9. IT specialist 10%
  10. Banker 8%

Where do the clichés of boring bankers and creative architects come from?

IT specialists continue to have a miserable image - with both sexes. They still seem boring, sluggish, and nerdy. IT jobs are at the bottom of the attractiveness list, especially for women.

Teachers are know-it-alls, IT people are bored, doctors are omniscient - and managers are male: where do these stereotypes come from? Why do we find doctors sexy and business economists not? Graduate psychologist Lisa Fischbach from ElitePartner explains:

“We subconsciously attribute certain attributes to professions and transfer them to the personality. And as far as managers are concerned, the majority of men in the business sector predominate in the industry, especially in management. ” 

What role do clichés play in choosing a career?

With such survey results, I don't understand why anyone is still seriously surprised that many young professionals prefer to flock to the insecure creative professions and that there are too few technically interested new students. And the images in the heads only slowly disappear.

I am only thinking of all the honorable efforts to convince women to take up technical jobs. Maybe those responsible should also take this less rational aspect into account? Unfortunately, that is the serious aspect of such actually funny studies: they reflect the unconscious mindset in the mind and thus have a direct impact on the applicant's behavior.

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Job offers: If so, then please correct!

To be clear: I still believe that job advertisements are not the best form of job search and that many things go wrong with employer branding: The best jobs are still awarded through contacts, and social media offers great advantages - I find the live contact exchange even more important. And the basic problem is and remains that for an increasing percentage of jobs there are simply no adequate job titles.

The miserable combination of job boards and social media, such as job sites on referral marketing, but I consider a completely misguided strategy. Then yes, and this survey confirms that, the good, classic, old job advertisement with a correspondingly good search function. And just for this to work, companies must finally talk straight and, for example, take a more detailed look at job titles, which is what they are looking for - instead of using internal names or imaginative creations of their own.


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  1. To follow debate on this post
  2. All debates follow
  1. Susanne Plaumann

    How to apply for job vacancies: Please clear plain text! #hr #recruiting

  2. Declined!

    Survey of job vacancies: Please click on plain text! via @SimoneJanson

  3. Ralf Tometschek

    Survey of job vacancies: Please click on plain text! via @SimoneJanson

  4. Helge Weinberg

    Survey of job vacancies: Please click on plain text! via @SimoneJanson

  5. Felix Schorre

    Survey of job vacancies: Please click on plain text!

  6. Juliane Wagner

    Survey of job vacancies: Please click on plain text! »By Simone Janson»

  7. JOBSUMA

    Survey of job vacancies: Please click on plain text! »By Simone Janson» Sim

  8. Dominik A. Hahn

    nice read “@MarcelHeuwinkel: #Recruiting:" How applicants want job advertisements "via @SimoneJanson

  9. Simone Janson

    Hi Hans,
    thanks for your comment.
    I am not convinced that it is really only the trainees who act like that. Unfortunately. And I'm also not convinced that Facebookers only want special offers. In the case of the DB ticket ticket, you did not want to do that, but rather, on the contrary, the company. This is also what I see on my own FB page: that the dialogue is sought. If I have organized a profit game, my Facebooker has not really torn from the stool.
    People just want to be taken seriously!

  10. Marcel Heuwinkel

    #Recruiting: "Survey how applicants want job advertisements: Please speak plainly!" via @SimoneJanson #Career

  11. Hans

    Thank you for the plain text. Horrible when interns paste job advertisements from image brochures together. How else could the fantasy terms and anglicisms be explained ...? The facility manager is not yet extinct :)

    It is also nice to see how the expectations of job seekers are misjudged by job bidders. We know that from surveys on Facebook-Company pages. The Facebookhe wants special offers and the companies believe that the “fans” want to be “informed”.

    Facebook is chatting. Not informed. And not bought.

    … not yet :)

  12. Jobshop Berlin

    Survey of job vacancies: Please click on plain text! »By Simone Janson» Sim

  13. Holger Froese

    Survey, how applicants want job advertisements: Please talk straight! #Business

  14. Dialogue Center Berlin

    Survey of job vacancies: Please click on plain text! »By Simone Janson» Sim

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