Fast Track Recruitment

5 Minutes

Posted by Mitch on 27th November 2014


Five minutes. That’s how long, on average, a recruitment agency spends writing a job advertisement.

At least according to the presenter of a talk on ‘The Future of Advertising’ at the recent Recruitment Live exhibition at the ExCel.

So, why only 5 minutes? There are probably a multitude of reasons. Here’s the most likely of them:

1. They don’t know much about each job and so just post a cut and paste of the job description.

2. They have too many jobs to advertise and don’t have the time or budget to make any of them worth reading.

3. They’re only interested in getting responses from people desperate for another job.

4. They’re not particularly bothered about filling the advertised jobs and instead just want to collect CVs to pitch to companies.

5. They believe that having lots of job ads is a way of marketing themselves as a busy recruitment agency who specialise in a certain field.

Whatever the reasons, what they’re essentially doing is advertising the fact that they have little respect for their client’s recruitment pain or that of the potential candidate.

So, if 5 minutes is all a job vacancy is worth, what does that say about the quality of candidates they’re going to be submitting off the back of those ads?

And if they don’t know enough about the opportunity to be able to write something that explains why someone who isn’t desperate might consider sending their CV, how good is their assessment of those candidates going to be?

If you want to get some insight into why so many agencies are held in such low esteem, just take a look at how they advertise their client’s job vacancies.

If the starting point is rubbish, then the chances are the journey isn’t going to get any better further down the road.

So, what’s the answer?

1. Take on fewer jobs.

2. Secure the client’s commitment to filling each of those jobs properly.

3. Fill those jobs properly.

You can take on fewer jobs by selling an upfront contract to your clients.

What that means is that they agree to a particular method of filling the job, agree that you are the best person to carry out that method and then let you get on with it.

That way, you’ll be able to spend more than 5 minutes positioning why those jobs are valid career options for the target candidate audience. If you’re smart, you’ll also use a copywriter to produce these ads for you.

Even if you don’t use advertising as your primary source for finding candidates, having a strong enough brief to be able to write-up what I call a ‘Sales Rationale Document’, enables you to be able to articulate why candidates might be interested in exploring the opportunity further, regardless of whether you use job ads, email marketing or direct sourcing to build your candidate shortlists.

Seriously, five minutes?

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