Use Job Invitations to Awaken Your Dream Candidates

magnet_jeff_hymanWhen it comes to recruiting new employees, most companies craft and publicize job descriptions that highlight the specific requirements they’re looking for in potential candidates.

But let’s face it — most job descriptions put candidates to sleep before reaching the end. They’re focused on what the employer needs, but not what they can provide to a Rockstar candidate. They read as if they were drafted by a humorless attorney.

Certainly, a break from tradition is needed to address the current job market.

We’re in a War for Talent

According to Hunt Scanlon, the US unemployment rate currently sits at a 17-year low. For companies looking for new Rockstar candidates, this means that competition is near an all-time high when it comes to people proactively seeking new opportunities.

This means that you’ll need to poach talent already in positions they find satisfying. To do so, you’ll have to create a compelling job value proposition to entice them to even consider making a move.

Candidates seek three things when first considering a new employer:

  1. An understanding of the company’s culture.
  2. Insight into what it’s like to work there.
  3. A personal connection to the brand.

If a Rockstar candidate is already fairly happy in her current role, you’ll need to use a Job Invitation to communicate how your company contributes to her living a better life, even outside of work. With this in mind, your Job Invitation has to speak to the entire person, not just the candidate for the job at hand.

A Small Change for a Big Difference in Your Talent Pipeline

Before outlining the major differences between a job description and a job invitation, it’s important to understand that even small distinctions can dramatically impact the quality of candidates funneling into your pipeline.

A strong job invitation screams: “You’re going to love it here! You’re going to do the best work of your life! You’re going to have an opportunity to do things you care about! You’re going to be challenged!”

Because of this, you’ll attract people who are passionate about your company and role—not just people looking for any job that will help them pay their rent this month.

The Difference Between a Job Description and Job Invitation

The difference between a job description and Job Invitation is subtle, but vital.

The Traditional Job Description

At their most basic, job descriptions are concerned with stringent requirements. They list out a certain level of education the candidate must have, years of experience, and so on. In many cases, the combination of all these things is a Catch-22 for those coming from other industries or fresh out of college who simply haven’t had the time or opportunity to accomplish all of these things.

Studies have shown that most candidates (particularly women) lacking an advertised requirement will simply not apply for the job. It is a shame to miss out on people that could be Rockstars in your company, just because they don’t hold a degree in an arbitrary subject.

Remember to focus on things that are actually predictive of success. And education isn’t one of them. Remember: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates built world-changing companies even without a college diploma.

The Job Invitation Approach

Here’s the thing: a Job Invitation isn’t always a public job posting (though it certainly can be).

Since many Rockstars are currently working, a Job Invitation makes it clear that the conversation will be confidential. Because of this, it’s much more inviting than a boring job description that prompts candidates to get in touch via an “Apply” button (“Let’s Talk” has a much better ring to it).

And unlike a job description, a Job Invitation is two-sided. It makes sure to detail necessary elements from a candidate for a given role, but it primarily focuses on what the company can provide to the candidate. Challenge, career path, and the like.

With this in mind, you’ll need to communicate each compelling reason someone might want the role. Be sure to list out things like equity, career trajectory, the CEO’s track record, the ability to work for a great manager, unique aspects of the culture, or the fact that it’s a high-growth industry.

Here are a few additional components that a Job Invitation should contain:

  • Be clear about your company’s identity and what it’s truly like to work there.
  • Ask your current Rockstars to help create a compelling message. Why did you join us? Why do you stay? What’s the most unique part of working here? How would you describe the experience?
  • Hire a copywriter, engage your head of marketing, and include links to videos of current Rockstars sharing their experience to add color to your Job Invitation.
  • Give the position a creative title. Rockstars want a title that reflects the importance of their work.
  • Make the “Careers” section of your website engaging. It should tell the story of who you are and what people can expect if they join your team.

Using a Job Invitation to Recruit Rockstars

A job description asks “What must the candidate offer the company?,” while a Job Invitation builds on that, adding, “What does the company offer the candidate?” It’s important to create a thorough Job Invitation, as you’ll refer to it throughout the entire recruiting process: from job posts to phone screens, then interviewing and making an offer.

 Want to Attract Rockstar Candidates to Your Company?


Ninety percent of business problems are actually recruiting problems in disguise. If you’re filling your company’s vacant positions with B-players, you’re playing with fire. Instead, hire Rockstars to build an organization with limitless potential. Recruit Rockstars shows you how to find, hire, and keep the best of the best.


Check out the 10-step playbook to find the winners and ignite your business.

Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman is the author of Recruit Rockstars: The 10 Step Playbook to Find the Winners and Ignite Your Business. The Chief Talent Officer at Chicago-based Strong Suit Executive Search, Hyman currently teaches the MBA course on recruiting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and hosts the five-star Strong Suit Podcast. Jeff has been featured by Inc., Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, and other media outlets. Learn more at

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