Job postings according to Maslow text: How to find the right talent for your business

human resources consulting

Talent acquisition via Recruitment Content Marketing: the Maslow job advertisement

Hardly any other recruiting tool has such a bad reputation as the job advertisement.
Seldom is there someone who is happy when he or she has to text a job advertisement.
It is a fact that even today the writing of job advertisement texts ekes out a very stepmotherly existence: a necessary evil, a means to an end, a time-eater…
Job advertisement texts are the linchpin of every recruiting campaign.

They form the basis for the talent acquisition strategy, because the texts contain everything that is needed to optimally address candidates:

  • the company description
  • the task
  • the profile you are looking for

Arguments for talent acquisition (why should the candidate work for us?)
Space for further information that is important for the talent you are interested in

The job advertisement, as I have always put it in my Inbound Recruitment Marketing Workshops, is an ideal content that HR marketing experts can disseminate in their various online and offline channels.

In addition, since the official launch of Google for Jobs, HR marketers have had the opportunity to structure their job ad texts in order to increase traffic to their own career pages, for example. Once on the career page, you should offer visitors additional, specific recruiting content in order to invite the right talents for you to your closer recruiting “haze” according to this scheme.

Recently I read a very good article at Workable, in which Matt Buckland looks at job ad texts from the perspective of Maslow’s needs pyramid or hierarchy and gives valuable tips.

I will discuss his tips in this article, align them, where appropriate, with our culture, and add some points that I consider relevant and worth mentioning.

Definition: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

The idea is that man develops in stages and realizes himself more and more, the better certain (basic) needs are satisfied.

Put simply, and represented by the world-famous “Pyramid of Needs”, the hierarchy looks like this:

talent management
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

The needs pyramid of job seekers (via workable)

Human resources management
Maslow’s Pyramid Of Job Seekers

In the above contribution to Workable, the pyramid was rewritten to meet the needs of candidates.

This is how the talent needs look like, which companies should address when writing job advertisements in order to be attractive for the right people:

Let’s take a closer look at the five points in order to be able to respond more closely to the needs of job seekers.

I will also give some examples of how companies can address these needs and use them in their job advertisements.

1. Physiological needs – financial and more

The physiological needs of a person are the basic needs to sustain his life.

These include breathing, sleep, water and food.
Matt Buckland of Workable refers the physiological needs, i.e. the preservation of life, to the financial situation of the job seeker. In other words: the salary.

Roughly speaking, I agree with this interpretation, whereby the question arises again and again whether it generally makes sense to name a salary range. Google for Jobs and the Job Posting Scheme of structured data require this information in order to make job advertisements rank better. It is also understandable that certain candidates can be pre-selected in a “natural” way because they do not apply at all if the number does not correspond to their expectations.

However, I find that the use of a pure number does not necessarily serve the desired purpose. Perhaps the company offers other benefits or social services or simply has other things to advertise than a high income figure.

I am thinking, for example, of the other basic needs mentioned above, such as sleep, water and food. Today, it is important for many people to have short journeys to their workplace or to travel on axles that are not constantly filled with cars. Then, for example, they benefit from more sleep, less stress and better breathing.

Maybe your company isn’t located in a super-sexy giant metropolis like Chicago, New York, Massachusetts or New Jersey, but the employees are more rested in the morning?

Write that down in your advertisements, if applicable.

2. Security needs stability of employer and workplace, benefits and co.

According to Maslow, people are concerned about the next higher need as soon as the basic needs are “relatively well” satisfied.

These include, for example, physical and mental security, stability, basic material security, work, housing, family.

In order to secure these needs for targeted talents, it is advisable to state the financial status of the company in job advertisements:

  • is it a long-established family business?
  • a fast-growing start-up with highly completed financing rounds?
  • an international giant group?

What can assure the applicant that his job will still be available in the coming months?

Or is the talent target group people who do not strive for this kind of job security?

When it comes to temporary employment, can I assign other things to the potential candidate (possibility of a long-term contract, good reference, further training,…)?

What about other benefits, maybe a 13th or even 14th month salary, supplementary insurance, pension, extra vacation,…?

3. Social needs – team, corporate culture

When we feel healthy and safe, we long for fellowship. “Social connection”, as Maslow calls it, or group membership, i.e. circle of friends, family, colleagues.

In the working environment these are the colleagues, the team, but also the corporate culture in a broader sense.

Write in your job advertisement who the candidate’s new team colleagues will be. Perhaps you have a “star” in your ranks, or former company representatives from companies who exert influence on your target group.

Maybe you will include a short video of the “Dream Team” in Action, in which the members present themselves briefly.

Transport your corporate culture in the choice of images, sounds and words.

4. Individual needs: Appreciation, one’s own role in the team and in the company, meaningfulness of the work

Today more than ever the meaningfulness of the work is in the foreground.

Employees want to know why they do this or that in their job. They want to know what the added value of their work looks like in the context of corporate success.

Write into your job advertisements what concrete value and contribution your new team member will make to the success of your company and team.

Acknowledge his unique talent and describe his / her tasks with exactly this thought in mind!

5. Self-realization – my personal benefit when I work in this company

Self-realization, doing work that you “really want”.

Yes, you have noticed it, we have arrived in today!

Many claim that it is the new, “young” generations who increasingly look to their self-realization when they apply somewhere.

But let’s be honest: most people today don’t just want to do a job to satisfy their basic and security needs, they also want to do a meaningful job and pursue personal goals.

Depending on the job offer and the company, the right talents can achieve their different personal goals for self-realization.

So what is the self-realization potential that you can offer the candidates you are looking for? What goals could your targeted talents pursue?

What training formats are there? Opportunities for advancement, flat hierarchies may also be interesting depending on the applicant, an agile working environment that is lived throughout the company? Are there any leisure or sports opportunities? Regular feedback or mentoring programs?

I am sure that there is a lot of potential for every employee in every company.

Conclusion: Candidates Persona

Take some time and make a list of all the points mentioned above. Start with the general company before you start to deal with the individual teams, departments, tasks, services, etc.

Then design a candidate persona for a frequently sought or currently pending applicant profile.

Text your job advertisements accordingly and include the most important anchor points in your communication and address of potential talents.

This sounds and is a lot of work, but believe me: If you have done this several times, you know the strengths and weaknesses of your company and can skilfully incorporate them into your conversations.

Practice makes perfect, and with highly competitive talents, you will be able to pull your aces out of your sleeve professionally.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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