Fast Track Recruitment

Has there ever been a worse opening to a job ad than this?

Posted by Mitch on 2nd July 2015


You often see it on LinkedIn. I think it’s the automated standard message their job posting aggregator generates. It looks like this;

“I’m currently recruiting for this position. Please click on the job title below to view the Job Description and apply to it!”

Where’s the hook? The attention grabber? The reason why someone might want to click the link?

Is letting them know they’re going to be reading a job description really going to help? Who wants to read a job description? Desperate people, probably.

Are they only looking for people who need another job rather than those who might want a better job? If so, couldn’t the client do that themselves?

Have the people posting this stuff never been potential candidates themselves?

OK, that’s enough with the rhetorical questions…

Look, a lot gets talked about the collective reputation of the recruitment industry – some of it justified, some of it not.

But if there’s one aspect of recruitment agency behaviour that is open to critical scrutiny by everyone – and by everyone I mean owners, directors and hiring managers of other businesses – it’s their job postings.

One of the ways I try to gain insight into a business is to see how they advertise their jobs and if you know what you’re looking for, there’s quite a few things that can be learned by carefully reading a companies job ads. It’s a window into their recruiting soul. Or at least it is for a recruitment advertising nerd like me.

So when you see job postings that all pretty much say the same thing and just rehash the same stock phrases and clichés, it’s probable that many of them come from organisations with a relatively low opinion of the act of recruiting and possibly by extension, of the people they want to come and work for them.

The possible exceptions are probably those massive companies with omnipresent brands who lots of people think they want to work for.

We’re talking companies like Facebook, Google, Tesla, Disney and Starbucks. These bad boys probably don’t need their job postings to work very hard to attract applicants. But 99% of companies don’t have this luxury.

But, if the organisation that’s pumping out awful job posts is a recruitment agency – a business that by its very definition are supposed to be experts in attracting and assessing people for jobs – then it’s hard to imagine why any company in its right mind would use them to find candidates. Especially if those candidates are in high demand or unlikely to be “between jobs”.

When you post jobs on the Internet, everyone can see them.

And if those job postings read less like advertisements and more like ransom notes, then all you’re doing is slowly but surely embedding a reputation of being an agency that probably isn’t very good at its claimed area of expertise.

Which means that this cartoon is no longer quite as true as it was when I first saw it in 1998…


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By Rami J. Ronald Viitaniemi on Thursday, 16 August 2018

Brilliant piece of writing. Loved it… perhaps because the described type of “ads” (especially in LI) piss me off enormously.

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