Whether you are a newly minted assistant professor managing your own laboratory or a published professor with years of research experience, finding the right postdoc candidate to join your program and ultimately advance your research objectives can be challenging. Many of these graduate school positions are competitive, which means marketing not only the position, but your university and department is critical to receive qualified applicants to select from. Talented academia professionals, like those looking for postdoc positions, expect modern approaches to acquire them or else they simply move on to another university.
Advertising Postdoc Positions
It is not unusual for some established researchers to receive several unsolicited contacts per week from grad school candidates asking for a spot on their research team. Most professors, however, receive few if any contacts from graduate school students looking for a postdoc position. If no one is calling then you have to go looking when you have a position available. Traditional position advertising was done through journal postings, listservs and word of mouth, but today's generation seeks a more modern approach.
Advertising today means online. Universities have standard job boards where positions can be posted. Likewise, many labs and research units have their own website to list graduate opportunities. Both of these options are valuable, however, without extensive website optimization these sites fall well short of ever getting noticed as confirmed by Chitika, an online advertising network company. Their study found that 61.5% of all search related website traffic went to the top 3 websites in the search results while 91.5% of user traffic went to websites on the first page of results (The Value of Google Result Positioning from Chitika). Listing positions on platforms, such as HigherGrad, which sole focus is graduate recruitment for assistantships and postdocs, positions your announcement in such a way to return the most value for your investment in advertising. No longer will postdoc positions get lost among other university jobs on a central job board. Positions can now be displayed on a site that is already driving the exact user traffic you need to find a quality candidate. HigherGrad spends the resources needed to promote positions through direct targeting channels and by developing quality content around graduate school, postdoc positions and higher education that drives prospective candidates to your positions on the platform and eventually to your department.
Market to Quality Candidates
Postdoc candidates are preparing for a challenging but rewarding part of their lives. Top talent wants to be able to connect with the university and understand the position before getting too far into the application process. If this takes too much time to figure out, your best candidates move on.
HigherGrad recommends creating videos or graphics (visual content) that give prospective candidates an up-close insight into how your department and research program operates. Expanding on the traditional uneventful, text heavy rhetoric, visual content helps drive better quality candidates. Prospective applicants know exactly what the position entails, who they are working for, the style of research that is demanded and start to build a connection to your university. Although still uncommon, visual content in becoming more prominent in talent recruitment across all industries including higher education.
Marketing to the very best candidates means your postdoc position needs to show up where those quality candidates are looking. Each position should be mobile-friendly and accessible in a digestible form (readable) from any device. Smartphones and tablets account for 60% of digital media consumption with 21% of Millennials, the target market for grad school students, no longer using a computer for accessing the internet (comScore 2015). The simple to use platform at HigherGrad is designed to provide a user experience second to none no matter what device potential applicants are viewing your position with or what type of content you have added to make your position stand out.
Understand that those most qualified candidates are looking for a different experience as they search for postdoc positions. Posting your positions at HigherGrad allows recruitment to take a modern path, positions get found and applicants can connect with the university through the type of visual content they expect from today's web experience. Stop sifting through unqualified candidates, get your postdoc position noticed and filled with the right candidate.