When you look at the research into who we trust, there are some challenging implications for HR. So much of our current approach stems is based around our leaders being the font of all truth, wisdom and credibility.
- Our internal communications prioritise the CEO all-staff email or the leader-led cascade of information
- Our engagement or development sessions are scheduled around when the C-suite can make an appearance
- Our on-boarding sessions include a “message from the top” and often we drag out busy execs to lead training sessions.
And yet, the Edelman Trust Barometer tells us that we trust our leaders much less than we trust ‘people like us’.
Marketing cottoned onto this a while back. They’re obsessed with Facebook “likes” or positive customer reviews. They know that we will trust a TripAdvisor review over the hotel PR blurb any day and so they have exploited the rise of social media to ensure that their customers hear great things – from people like them. We in HR have been a little slower to embrace this societal change and to use it to our advantage. If we assume that the Edelman Trust Barometer results are relevant for our employment relationships, then this should challenge us to rethink our approach in a number of areas. If we have “trust in people like us” at the forefront of our minds then maybe our reliance on our leaders for communication, engagement and training would lessen and we would start seeing the value of using our frontline employees far more?
Instead of grimacing when we sporadically click on Glassdoor to check out what our latest disgruntled ex-employee has been saying about us, we might follow the L’Oreal example. They had a big campaign where they encouraged their current employees to write reviews on Glassdoor. This didn’t just result in a 200% increase in the numbers they had on there, but also a much more accurate summary of what it was like to work there.
Whether online or via the old-school paper newsletter, internal comms teams still rely heavily on leader-led communication to broadcast corporate information. When I joined the BBC, I was initially horrified to learn that our version of the newsletter was an editorially independent magazine called “Ariel”. Paid for by management – but free to say whatever they liked as long as it adhered to the BBC’s editorial guidelines. It used to drive me mad that a big chunk of my budget was being spent on a newsletter that would regularly be critical of my latest HR policy announcement. But I eventually realised that it was the one piece of communication that was really trusted. When you have 6000+ journalists working with you, many of whom had the regular emails from Internal Comms on auto-delete, to have a trusted form of communication was vital, even if occasionally uncomfortable.
We have known for a while that referrals from current employees often make the best hires and employee referral schemes have been around forever. But it works the other way too. Who are you more likely to believe about what it’s like to work somewhere? A recruitment advert or a current employee? Equipping your great people with a strong brand message and trusting them to actively promote you either in person or via social media will build far greater belief in your employment brand than a nice careers website.
Some organisations ask employees to help each other onboard. Southwest Airlines, for instance, invites people from all levels of the company, to talk about their jobs to recruits. Whole Foods, the US grocery retailer, actually gets its employees (not the HR manager or the store manager) to decide whether a new starter should stay or not. After 90 days the team is invited to vote on whether to keep the employee; this sounds quite brutal but actually makes a lot of sense given they’re the ones most likely to know if the person is right for the company. Commerce Sciences, a Silicon Valley tech start-up, has a tradition in which the last person to join the team is responsible for creating a starter kit for the next person.
Instead of the parental, leader-led approach to performance reviews, more and more companies are seeing the value of peer to peer review. Whilst getting feedback from your manager is clearly important, understanding how your team members view your contribution can often be even more impactful. The proliferation of employee feedback apps such as Culture Amp and Achievers show that this method is gaining in popularity. But there is also the underused team performance discussion where employees are encouraged to provide feedback to their peers.
Our reliance on the leader as the source of truth is diminishing and smarter HR teams are seeing how their frontline employees can become so much more than simply passive recipients. Engaging your employees as the designers of learning content, as the advocates for your employment brand and the genuine voice of the organisation takes more than just time and creative thinking – it takes guts. Leaders and HR find it hard to relinquish control of the message and methods of delivery. But if we don’t, we risk missing out on a huge, untapped resource that can be so much more effective.
The best job descriptions bring to life for the candidate what their day might look like, who they’ll work with, what they’ll accomplish and what the culture is like.
Do you feel that your current job descriptions are a bit tired – a long list of tasks or just don’t reflect your brand? Then we’ve put together some simple tips to give them a refresh and included an example job description to get you started.
1. Focus on outcomes
If you start with the question “What does success look like?” it stops you from listing tasks. Here are some examples:
- Letgo use “performance-based hiring.” Instead of describing the person they want, they first describe the job they want done. What matters to them is selecting someone with success performing in similar contexts to the ones at Letgo and they have found that they’re recruiting people that wouldn’t normally have got through the selection process.
- Netflix focus on ‘doing’ versus ‘having’ by listing in their job descriptions ‘your expected impact’ which describes what the candidate will achieve.
- Slack do something similar. On their job descriptions, they have what they call “Great to Haves” which is a list of attributes or qualifications that mean you can still apply if you don’t meet them.
2. What’s unique about you?
There will be something special about your organisation that you can shout about in your job descriptions. It might be your relaxed culture, your approach to flexible working, your family-friendly policies, or perhaps career development opportunities.
- Kayak use the job description to get across their culture e.g. “no stupid meetings”
- Redbull’s job descriptions reflect the importance they place on candidates playing to their strengths.
- Zappos show they are not traditional when it comes to recruitment – “1990s [noun|a decade we love, but no longer live in]. Old school cover letters are so 1990. Want to show us who you really are? Create a video cover letter. A flash mob, a comedic monologue… whatever showcases your passion for Zappos and the work you’d be doing! Videos are not required, but if you create it, we’ll watch it.”
3. Be inclusive
Language really matters. So, be careful about the language you use on your job descriptions – it could be putting off the best person for the job from applying!
- Johnson and Johnson use Textio to make job descriptions more inclusive: It uses AI to review job descriptions in real-time, highlighting jargon, boring bits, and words that could come across as particularly masculine or feminine. It also predicts how different people will respond to the content and suggests alternatives. Johnson & Johnson, for example, reported an additional 90,000 female applicants (a 9% increase) in its pipeline last year after using Textio to refine its job postings.
- Slack also worked with Textio to ensure they appeal to the widest possible audience. (Slack’s job descriptions feature phrases like “care deeply” and “lasting relationships,” which statistically draw more applications from women. Microsoft’s, by contrast, featured words like “insatiably” and “competing.”
4. Bring out the marketing skills
Think of writing job descriptions as a marketing exercise rather than an HR process. Get creative about how you could bring the job to life using for example social media, video, interviews, graphics etc. You could even ask your marketing team to help!
Galileo a Summer Camp provider uses video to engage with prospective candidates. It could be a few minutes from the hiring manager or someone in the team who already does the job talking about what a typical day looks like.
Digital Ocean share a written Q&A interview with someone already in the job to explain more about the role
Sodexo use an infographic for their job descriptions.
Finally, here is a template of a job description kindly shared by one of our clients to get you started..
Adult Weight Management Practitioner
Fancy joining us on our journey to empower over a million people to change their behaviours and thrive?
Thrive Tribe delivers a range of healthy lifestyle services and programmes throughout the UK. Our Achieve Oxfordshire service has successfully been providing Adult Weight Management programmes to the county since 2017. We have recently been awarded a contract to deliver even more! Exciting times!
Why join Thrive Tribe?
Check out our employee reviews at Glassdoor. Here is a taster…
“Thrive Tribe really cares about their employees and that is a rare and refreshing value to find. There is a good work/life balance and management try hard to ensure staff feel valued. They provide fun team building activities and encourage staff to come forward if they are needing any extra support. The culture is fun, hardworking and supportive. They truly live by their ethos and there is free coffee/tea and fruit!”
Be yourself. That’s who we’re hiring. Our culture celebrates and supports the difference that makes each of us unique.
More about the role
The aim of the Weight Management programmes is to provide high quality and evidenced-based information, advice and interventions to support local residents that need them most. It will also help people to maintain weight loss, to optimise health, and reduce risk of disease.
Like all roles at Thrive Tribe, you can expect your time at work to be fun, varied and challenging. We don’t like to stick to a firm JD as we know from experience that things change throughout the lifetime of a role and it gives our people the chance to play to their strengths.
How you will make an impact…..
- Help maintain the ethos of Thrive Tribe by driving our organisational culture forward across our services and using every opportunity to embed our values.
- Delivering evidence-based interventions that focus on diet, nutrition, physical activity, behaviour change, and psychological support.
- Working with partner organisations to create referral routes and meet our targets.
- Working in harmony with our policies and governance procedures to ensure excellent and safe client experiences.
- Taking responsibility for your own training and development, that way we can make the biggest impact!
- We need you! New projects and service developments are always on the horizon and so we’re always looking for someone who can contribute to our growth.
- Become part of something bigger and work with colleagues across all of our Thrive Tribe services, we’re always looking to share knowledge and resources!
But, more than anything, we are looking for a team player who puts their heart in to their work. We’ve got some core values that run through everything we do, and we’d love it if they resonate with you too!
Need any more reasons to apply? This is the job for you if you…
- Have the delivery experience of supporting clients to make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Be personable! Capable of working independently and as part of a team.
- Can adapt to changes thrown your way and be innovative to meet targets.
- Are passionate about Health and Wellbeing.
This job is based in …….., with regular travel across the County (car owner desired) & occasional requirements to attend Thrive Tribe HQ in London.
The job will involve remote/home working and flexibility.
Salary range £…..& benefits
If you have any questions regarding this role, please contact…..
Click here to apply.