• Issue #7

Do You Include "Red Flags" In Your Job Postings?

A red flag waves on the beach, which means "dangerous surf."

Hi there.

This week, avoiding red flags in job postings, a rant about accessible video, and info about our presence at HighEdWeb.

Thanks for being here.

Do You Include “Red Flags” In Your Job Postings?

It’s no secret that the great resignation has hit higher education. It’s talked about a lot. Many of the articles, including this one from The Chronicle of Higher Education report dismal statistics like these:

  • 80% of respondents said their campus has more open positions this year than last year.
  • 84% said hiring for administrative positions had been more challenging.
  • 78% said their campus has been receiving fewer applications per job opening.

But, before you wring your hands and navel gaze about the state of our industry, let’s get proactive. Let’s give your job descriptions a tune-up.

According to Inc.com, “Commonly used phrases that may sound innocuous to employers can actually have a negative connotation with job seekers and even dissuade them from applying.”

Paychex, a payroll services company, recently polled 805 job seekers about their process for assessing positions and deciding whether or not to apply. Here are some of the top turnoffs for a new role in your job posting:

  1. “Fast-paced environment.”
  2. “Self-starter”
  3. “Works well under pressure.”
  4. “Willing to wear many hats.”
  5. “Responsibilities may include those outside the job description.”

I bet all of these phrases sound familiar to you. Some of them might even send a shiver up your spine. That’s because these phrases represent a code: we want to manage the expectations of new hires and prepare them for the realities of the position.

The real magic trick is not to remove these phrases from your job postings but rather to remove these expectations from the jobs themselves. Think about ways to leverage technology or build better processes, so you don’t have to require an employee who works well under pressure. Spend more time writing that job description, and capture as much of it as you can rather than writing that “10% of the position includes an assortment of undefined responsibilities.” Put more resources toward planning so the environment doesn’t feel frenzied and “fast-paced.”

If you make the jobs great, you won’t have trouble filling and holding onto talented people.

Kristin Van Dorn

Non-Negotiable: Captioning Your Video Content

Maybe it’s because I’m still dealing with the side effects of “parenting during the pandemic,” or perhaps it’s just my reaction to the passage of time, but I find myself less patient these days. Most often, with things that I believe are entirely preventable, like continuing to see folks, brands, and businesses releasing videos without captions.

Seriously, the number of frustrated sighs I’ve let out in the last few months could fill Scrooge McDuck’s vault. You can’t continue to claim that accessibility is a priority for you if you’re unwilling to spend the extra time it takes to ensure your videos can be viewed and understood by all.

The way I see it, you’ve got three options when it comes to captioning your content:

  1. Continue to do nothing —> Just kidding. This isn’t an option. Not if you want to maintain the respect of your brand or institution’s community.
  2. Upload an .srt file —> This is a low lift. There are SEVERAL tools that will generate one for you. Rev, Temi, Descript, Kapwing, you can even make one inside of Premiere Pro. Social platforms that let you upload .srt files include Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Instagram and TikTok will auto-generate captions, but they’ll require manual spot-checking.
  3. Bake them into your videos —> In my opinion, this is the BEST option. Making the captions part of your actual video allows for more creativity, ensures adherence to brand standards, and will help them look great on every platform.

At this point, you might be wondering, “why’s he so mad?” My only response is that I’m tired. Tired of coming across videos in the feed where it’s not immediately clear what they’re about. Tired of seeing brands and individuals that I respect upload inaccessible content. However, one thing I’m not tired of is continuing to share ways and means for getting this right.

So as an enthusiastic, Halloween-themed, David S. Pumpkins used to say, “any questions?

Carl Gratiot

Big Fun at HighEdWeb in Little Rock

The entire Bravery team will be at HighEdWeb in a few weeks, and we’d love to connect IRL! If you’re putting together your schedule this week, don’t miss Joel’s presentation on Personalization and Hospitable Design on Tuesday, October 11th at 8:30 AM. And if you need dinner plans, join us for Higher Ed Pizza from 5 - 7 PM. Register here.