Citizens Bank’s New Visual Job Descriptions

Job seekers have longed complain of dull sounding job descriptions on company career sites. And let’s face it, they have a lot to complain about. Most employers just don’t know how to write them effectively.

But over the past few years, we’ve begun seeing a renewed focus on the marketing aspect of job descriptions. When I came across the openings on Citizens Bank, I was pleasantly surprised and with their newly revamped listings.

The new JD’s are highly visual beginning with an actual employee as the lead photo. Like this one for Personal Banker.

personal banker job

Here’s a screen capture of the page itself with my commentary.

I connected with Debbie Celado, their Senior Employer Brand Marketing Consultant/VP, and asked her some questions around the project via email. Here’s what she said.

What was the impetus to revamp your job descriptions?

Our retail bank at Citizens is always working to create a differentiated customer experience.  The way people interact with their banks have changed over time and we have adjusted our banking roles to evolve with customer needs.  This work was part of a much larger project to adjust the responsibilities or our colleagues within the branch along with a change of all job titles to focus on the relationship aspect of their jobs.  For example our Licensed Banker role is now called a Licensed Relationship Banker.  

With all of this work we thought creating a visual job description would really make our roles pop to a candidate seeking out a career opportunity with us. We created a job description for our 5 key retail banking roles.

What was the process to create and design these new JDs?

We worked very closely with our HR colleagues and the business line to create a “legal” version of a job description for each role.  From there our copywriter worked to create a “marketing” version of the job description that clearly articulates our Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and the benefit to the candidate in joining our organization.  Once the job description was completed we worked off of the template for TMP’s advanced job description which really brings it to life and creates a differentiated candidate experience.  Each job description has an image of a real Citizens colleague working in the role, we highlight key success factors for the position, and we highlight the benefit to them joining Citizens and link to stories or videos about our colleagues.

Did you hire the copywriter internally or outsource? How did they approach writing it?

If resources allow, a copywriter can add a lot of value in helping to translate your messaging in a compelling manner. A new perspective outside the organization can offer an objective viewpoint and enhance the readability of your JDs.  However, internal resources understand your organization well and can provide solid insight into your value proposition as an organization. We leveraged our Employer Brand copywriter that has been working with us over a year and a half.  She had a solid understanding of our EVP, the types of colleagues we are looking for, our career paths and who we are culturally.  Our copywriter worked closely with the business line leads to understand the ideal candidate “persona”.  In the end, it was a collaborative effort between the business lines, our EBM team and partnering agency.

What was the most important thing you wanted to convey in the new JD’s?

JDs typically convey the qualifications and responsibilities for a particular role. But it’s equally as important to convey what you can offer candidates as an organization. Our EVP  is the bread and butter of all of our messaging, from colleague stories, job descriptions, career path information, recruiting materials to our referral program.  Our EVP is broken down into 4 pillars that together help our colleagues reach their potential. We are continually weaving it into all our content. We want to be consistent in communicating who we are as an organization, what we offer and who we are looking for. Our goal is for job candidates both passive and active as well as colleagues to fully understand life at Citizens, from a career, cultural and community standpoint.

How long did it take to complete the project from start to finish?

This work was part of a much larger project with many stakeholders so took several months to complete.  We worked from January to May to complete all of the work.

Have the new JDs increased applies and quality of candidates?…any stats to share?

The advanced job descriptions launched June 1st so we do not have data just yet.  We look forward to evaluating the results over time.

What advice do you have for other employers who want to revamp their own JDs?

Compelling and engaging job description can really make a difference. To start, examine the role in detail with the business / hiring managers to really align on the competencies, skills and qualifications needed for a job. The next important component (the piece often missing) is aligning internally on the value proposition of your organization.  Highlight what you can offer candidates that is unique from the competition but true to who you are. JDs need to be truthful and transparent to ensure the role is a great fit for the candidate and the candidate is a great fit for the organization.  Lastly, spend the time and resources to make it visually compelling.  Working with designers who can help you translate your messaging visually is a strong investment.

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