In February 2022, the Talent Attraction and Acquisition team of Spectrum (owned by Charter Communications) identified a formidable challenge: They had thousands of job postings on their career site to rewrite in a more consistent, humanized, brand-aligned, and succinct manner.
With over 10.2 million annual page views on their career site, Spectrum recognized the importance and influence of job postings as a vital touchpoint in the candidate experience to attract talent who will thrive at the organization.
Armed with this knowledge, Molly McKinley, Director of Talent Attraction Program Management, and Erin Scheuer, Sr. Talent Selection Analyst, at Spectrum set out to take on the project. “With the amount of job postings we had, we did some calculations and realized it would take about five years for one copywriter to take on the project,” recalls a smiling Molly. “We knew we needed more resources to complete the work in our desired timeframe.”
This knowledge led to the inception of their plan: hire part-time student copywriters—rising juniors and seniors pursuing journalism, English, and communications majors—to develop job postings for their 10 major business lines. And, partner with exaqueo to develop and facilitate the training needed for the writers to be successful.
In executing this plan, Molly and Erin took several factors into account:
- A scalable transfer of knowledge: “We quickly learned developing a job posting is a scalable, repeatable process,” shares Erin. “If you set a strong writer up with the tools and best practices, they can pump out job postings at scale.”
- A cross-functional exercise: “Job postings touch individual business units, Talent Acquisition, Employer Brand, HR Tech. To be successful, we had to bring along partners from all these groups,” remarks Molly. “We over communicated every step of the way.”
- Subject matter experts: “We needed to establish best practices to set up our copywriters for success,” remarks Erin. “exaqueo has subject matter expertise in job postings, and so they developed our job posting playbook, with guidelines for SEO, optimal word count, job title recommendations. This was essential to our success.”
- Timeline: “The work was occurring in tandem with our new Applicant Tracking System implementation. Completing this work up front would make our migration much smoother,” mentions Molly.
Molly and Erin partnered with the University Relations team led by Elly Dickerman to leverage existing relationships at Spectrum’s core target schools. The team recruited and hired student copywriters in May 2022, assigning each to a business unit such as Spectrum Networks or Field Operations. “Crucial to our success was enabling our business partners,'' shares Molly. “We developed onboarding plans, roadmaps, communication templates, intake forms—all in the name of making it easier and more efficient for our students and their managers.”
To upskill the students, exaqueo developed a Train the Trainer workshop and comprehensive playbook. The guidebook covered job posting basics and elevated techniques, tools at the students’ disposal, and lessons centered around SEO, readability, gender bias, and job titles. A series of office hour-style sessions and Q&As with the students reinforced best practices as they embarked on the work. Students were presented with a branded certificate celebrating the completion of the training program.
Months later, the students have immersed themselves into their assigned business unit and Spectrum team, developed hundreds of postings, and published them live on the career site. Not only that, but Spectrum has developed a real pipeline of ambitious early career talent; many students have been hired for or are applying to full-time roles at Spectrum upon graduation.
“One of the biggest takeaways from this project is the value of early career talent,” reflects Molly. “When companies identify a business challenge, so often the reaction is to hire a temporary experienced contractor. That’s fine—but we’ve found if you invest in early career talent and create a structure for their success, it pays dividends back. This work has actually inspired other parts of our business to hire students for different projects.”
What about the talented student copywriters?
“I am most proud of the confidence I have built during this project,” shares Hadley Dagen, a senior majoring in Print/Digital Journalism at Penn State University. “I feel comfortable conducting interviews with strangers, something I always avoided in my past. I have developed an excitement to learn something new and create my own spin on representing Spectrum’s brand.”