Katrina Kibben, CEO of Three Ears Media, is a recognized expert in writing effective job posts, and their session at the SHRM Talent Conference & Expo 2021 in Las Vegas will help attendees engage a more diverse candidate pool. They will be presenting in person on Aug. 23 at 10:15 a.m. Their session will also be available virtually.
Kibben's presentation will cover why many job postings fall flat and what employers can do to give them a refresh, including how to tweak job posts to attract a qualified, diverse selection of candidates through simple word changes, better bullet points and other alterations.
Be cautious of postings that oversell and under-explain the position, warned Katrina Kibben, who teaches recruiters how to write better job postings as CEO of Three Ears Media. Especially when they use ambiguous terms like collaborative to describe desirable traits (which means different things in different organizations) or buzzword salad that doesn’t mean anything, that’s a big red flag.
“What are they hiding?” Kibben wondered. Job postings should detail the position’s requirements and what success looks like.
Katrina Kibben, a Colorado recruiting and HR expert who identifies as trans and nonbinary, said real inclusiveness — not just lip service — may be more important than ever. “People are leaving jobs for new reasons — like values.”
Kibben pointed out that while trans workers are just 1% of the workforce, how companies address their needs is a meaningful measurement of an organization’s ability to evolve and help all employees.
While the AI tools show promise, some in the recruiting world urge caution. Katrina Kibben, CEO of Three Ears Media, a firm that advises companies on recruiting strategies, advises companies to look carefully at their own recruiting process before looking at AI as a blanket solution. For example, one of Kibben’s clients wanted to use an AI-enabled resume screener to improve retention of recruits for warehouse jobs, but realized after careful review of their existing process that a glitch with background checks was causing candidates to drop out late in the process. Implementing several email reminders solved the issue—no AI required.
“If we had not gone through the process,” Kibben says, “many companies would have kept throwing money on top. Strictly outline your hiring process before you have a conversation with a vendor.”
The end of the resume? Hiring is in the midst of a technological revolution with algorithms, chatbots
Despite the optimism, high-tech hiring remains in the early stages. Most human resources departments are wary of automation, and few are using it in a way that saves time because humans are heavily involved in managing it, said Katrina Kibben, CEO of Three Ears Media, a recruitment consulting firm.
Adoption will accelerate as “people who grew up with iPhones in their hands” take over and technology advances, she said. For now, though, employers risk alienating applicants with chatbots that spit out canned responses, or wasting time with resume filters that can’t distinguish between apple the fruit and Apple the company, Kibben said.
Don’t brand yourself as a generalist. “People have to know what to go to you for,” says Katrina Kibben, CEO of Three Ears Media in Boulder, Colo. Focus on honing your expertise in a specific sector, like small businesses or startups, or in a subject matter area, such as onboarding or talent acquisition.
“Find a particular area in HR that you’re passionate about, or find a particular problem in the industry that you have the keys to solve,” advises Joey Price, CEO of Baltimore-based Jumpstart:HR LLC and host of the podcast “Business, Life, and Coffee.”
Imagine this: I’m sitting in an interview for a job I really want. I took the afternoon off and I was feeling confident that this would be my next big move. It was my third time at the office and this time, I was meeting a panel of people. “This is a good sign,” I thought as I turned up the music while driving from my apartment to the office.
The person who would be my manager met me at the front desk and walked me into the room to meet two faces I had never seen before. “Hello,” I said with a big smile. “I’m Kat.” As we sat down from our brief introductions and handshaking, I scribbled down the names quickly on my notepad. I didn’t want to get them wrong. This was my moment to impress, after all.
After a series of questions about my work history and experience, the person to the right asked one of those really standard interview questions. This was the time period when creative start-up interview questions were all the rage, so I was expecting it. I was just thankful this one didn’t entail any clock math like so many others did.
Have you ever bought a car from a used-car lot? We automatically go in with a ton of preconceived notions because used-car salesmen are renowned for not telling the whole truth. The noise you hear every time you turn the car? It doesn’t matter as much to them as it does to you — because they don’t have to drive the car every day.
Oh, I’m not saying that all used-car salesmen are liars. I’m saying that their tactics of rushing people or overselling often make it feel like there’s some secret they’re trying to keep, something they don’t want us to know.
I get the same feeling when there’s a really long “About Us” section at the start of a job posting. I immediately feel like they are overselling this role, and I’m not sure why, but I don’t trust it. I’m not here for the features, and I wonder what you’re keeping from me.
Employer brand is relatively new considering how old some of the archaic recruiting tactics we use really are. For anyone just recently discovering the concept, employer brand is marketing for the employee experience. It’s a series of pillars, values, and experiences that captures an employer’s reputation as a place to work, as opposed to the more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers.
Honestly, I’m not sure where or when employer brand was born or the environment it thrived in before, but I watch many companies turn to it as an answer for talent issues during challenging markets. Ten years ago, I’d never even heard of employer brand, but challenging talent markets create opportunity. And now? It’s the hot answer for talent pipeline issues: Stand out! Be known! Become a preferred employer.
UKG partnered with four distinguished leaders to share advice on talking about sensitive matters in the workplace in our white paper, The Talk: A Tough (and Necessary) Workplace Conversation.
If your intention is to nurture a transparent and positive culture in your organization, you must be open to facing topics that are often avoided. You may find yourself struggling about how to discuss difficult matters with your employees, but the truth is it’s important to have such conversations.
To help you face “the talk” head-on, we’ve teamed up with some of the most brilliant minds we know to share their insight on approaching these discussions and practical steps you can (and should) take to do so.
Three Ears Media