Tips for employers: this post shares tips for writing a compelling job advertisement, designed to attract awesome potential interns. How to: describe your role, team, project, and the opportunity you’re offering potential interns or grads. If you missed the article about writing your organisation profile, check it out here.
To attract awesome interns in New Zealand you need to give candidates the information they need. There’s a good chance they’ve never heard of your company OR never considered that they might be a potential employee.
If you’re hiring an intern or grad, you’re hiring on potential, not experience or expertise. That means you might have to re-think your job ad, and make sure you’re not scaring off people who don’t have all the skills yet. We see lots of students and graduates go into roles knowing <10% of what’s asked for and being 110% awesome during the internship. Don’t discount those less confident, less experienced candidates!
Describe the Job/Project/Role
Trent had some tips for writing job ads in general over here.
Be as clear as you can about the role.
Talk about the project and/or the team they’ll be working on.
We suggest you use a mix of technical and non-technical language – think about the type of candidates you want to attract.
Talk about the tools they’ll learn and use.
Describe the purpose of the role, and the potential contribution they’ll make to your organisation.
If there are opportunities to get exposed to different roles and different parts of the organisation, include this!
If there’s potential for the intern to choose their pathway through the internship, mention it here!
If you offer training, mentoring, and support along the way… say so!
Talk about what’s required, and what you can help them learn
If you’re after specific things – that the student has studied a particular subject or had project experience with a particular technology, say so!
If there are legal requirements that your employees have a specific work visa status, mention this.
If you have a policy of hiring people with particular GPA’s or particular qualifications, mention this.
But remember… the more requirements you have, the smaller your candidate pool will be. You’ll have a much lower chance of connecting with less confident students. Candidates from under-represented demographics are likely to have additional barriers. By adding requirements, you will be excluding a bunch of people who have the potential, and just need a chance. Our advice is to avoid asking for specific experience. If you can teach it, they’ll pick it up fast (without bad habits that more experienced candidates might bring!)
Explain the application process for this role
Applying for jobs is stressful, especially if you’re new to it! Can you explain your selection process? Do you have any technical tests, site visits, follow-up interviews outside of the Summer of Tech recruitment events? Great if you can include tips for applicants here too.
Is your job ad intern-friendly? Ask your most recent employees what they think of the ad. Maybe you’re missing some special benefits.
Are you keen to attract diverse applicants? We highly recommend you run your job ad text through a free tool like the Gender Decoder (this was built in 2011, but still feels relevant!)
Be clear about your organisation’s goals and the tangible actions you’re taking to be a more inclusive employer, and outline this in the job ad.