Helping you source, attract and retain top talent!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t by the way – I’m just questioning whether advertising is the right tool for the position you’re trying to fill?

Let me explain;

It’s estimated that around 20% of the workforce are actively looking at any point in time – most of them either unemployed, or those relatively new to the world of work and looking to climb away from the bottom rung of the career ladder.

So the question for you as employers is; what are the other 80% of the workforce doing with their eyeballs while your ad’s running and the answer is – they’re not looking at it.  They’re getting on with their jobs and hopefully being well looked after and well-rewarded by their current employers.

Now someone said to me recently; "ah yes Larry, but the power of social media enables you to reach a much wider audience" and they’re right it does - a much wider audience of active job seekers.

Being active in the job market is a very time-consuming, energy-sapping, frustrating, and often demoralising experience and you have to be seriously committed to do it. Why would you do it if you didn't have to? A job ad fired across social media to the inbox of a talented high-achiever who is relatively happy and settled in their job won't be enough to spur them into action. 

By the way – Millennials will soon make up the bulk of the today’s workforce and this is what they’ll think when they see your ‘We’re Hiring’ statement; “Yeah – And – So - What!” Tell me what’s great about working for your company first and I might think about trying to find out more before deciding whether or not to submit a formal application.

How do I know this? – Well, my nephew is an IT Manager and a Millennial and never in a million years would he dream of applying for any job without having first done some research on the company.

The other problem I see with job ads is that most of them are deadly dull!

They usually start with a text-heavy, arms-length list of duties and responsibilities, skills and experience and qualifications required and if you’re lucky there’ll be a sentence or two of benefits at the bottom of the page, by which time anyone half-decent will have already tuned out. 

Would any of the major retailers ever think that publishing a list of what they sell is a good way of convincing people to shop there? Of course they wouldn’t and an internally-focused list of what you're looking for is an equally bad basis for a job advert.

At best, it only describes what the company needs or wants, and does little to address the wants and needs of the candidate. Not a lot of wooing going on there then!

Action Points:

If you decide that advertising is the right tool for the position you’re looking to fill – ALWAYS, ALWAYS put the candidate first. What are they going to want to see and hear that’s great about working for your company that will get them revved up about the idea of working for you, before you start hitting them with boring details.

Also – today’s workforce are stimulated by images (over 80% of the World's internet traffic is video), so try to make your ad visually appealing so that it stands out from the crowd.    

If you have a marketing department – get them involved to try and sharpen up the kerb-appeal of your ads and if not, speak to your friendly local creative design consultancy who I'm sure will be delighted at the opportunity to help.

In summary – advertising is still an effective medium for front-line/entry level types (particularly if you leverage the power of social media) but it doesn’t work for professional people established in their careers, so before you go the time, trouble and probable disappointment of advertising that Sales Manager or Engineering Manager position etc. and not getting the response you’re looking for; ask yourself “how many people do we know are likely to be in our target talent pool and if only 20% of them are actively looking right now, are they the type of people we'd want to employ?”  If not, you might need to think about using a different recruitment channel to find them.


Happy hunting! 


 Why Are You Advertising That Job Vacancy?
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