Fast Track Recruitment

It’s the little things…

Posted by Mitch on 18th November 2020


One of the things I’ve learnt over the years is that effective recruitment is usually the result of lots of small marginal gains.

If looked at in isolation these small margins might seem to be trivial or inconsequential, but when looked at collectively, they’ll often be the difference between filling a job first time and it becoming a millstone around your neck for the next 6 months.

If we can all agree that recruitment is only really about two areas of activity; Attraction and Assessment, then what happens at the candidate attraction stage of the process – sometimes also called ‘the top of the marketing funnel’, is going to be critical.

Here’s a collection of phrases I’ve regularly seen in job postings, emails and Inmails that help turn-off the best candidates:

“I’d love to hear from you if…”

Why would a potential candidate care what you’d love? Why not go the whole hog and tell them the commission from this placement will pay next month’s rent? If you really do think that candidates care about what you want, then maybe recruitment isn’t the career for you.

“If you’re interested, please send your CV to…”

You usually see this at the end of a job ad. Would someone who isn’t potentially interested have read to the end of the ad? Would anyone who isn’t interested apply? So why write it? It’s just more words that are cluttering-up your message.

“Please read on…”

People will only read on if what they’re reading is interesting or relevant to them. You begging them to keep reading isn’t going to make any difference.

“I’m working on a role that you’d be an ideal fit for…”

You’ll often see this is an email or Inmail. Putting aside the ludicrous use of “ideal”, why the hell would someone become interested in a job that’s pitched to them just because they match the hiring companies criteria? This is another example of the recruiter only seeing things from their perspective instead of the candidate’s.

“This could be your dream job…”

Anything could be anyone’s dream job. Do you tell them why it might be their dream job?

“In this role…”
“Part of this role will…”
“This is a role that…”

The common denominator here is the word “role”. You don’t need to keep telling the reader that you’re talking about a role. Do you know why? Because they’re reading a job advert.

“Please read the attached job description…”

Is anyone being pitched a job by email or Inmail going to read a 900 word job description this early in the process? The only people that might are those that are actively looking for another job. Everyone else is going to murmur “yeah, right…” then click delete.

“My client, a dynamic market leader…”

If you write something like this, it’s probably because you don’t know what else to say. Is that really going to make someone keep reading? Maybe, but only those people specifically waiting for new job opportunity with a market leader (that also happens to be dynamic) to land in their inbox. So, nobody then.

“Take your career to the next level…”

This one has some promise because it speaks to an ambition many people have when it comes to work. Most people want to progress in some way. It might be a bigger challenge, more responsibility, more learning opportunities or an increase in status, influence or money – but whatever it is, people will stop reading once they see that you’re not telling them what exactly that next level is.

Remove all of those phrases from your job marketing and replace them with information that will mean something to the people you’re trying to attract and you’ll be amazed how one or two more the right candidates magically start responding to you.

One of the big advantages that job advertising has over all other forms of advertising is that job ads only need to find one customer.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.

This blog is sponsored by

Want to comment on this blog?

Some HTML is allowed. Inappropriate or spam comments may be edited or deleted without warning or notification.





Remember my personal information Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:


Improving the odds. »

Ghosting on steroids. »

The “Nice to Haves”... »

The Road to Damascus. »

Same as it ever was… »

Recruitment Consultant - Staffordshire - £30-40K + commission + company performance bonus »

Klee-Shays »

Take a running jump… »

Five advantages of hiring more disabled people. »

Talent acquisition, my arse… »

A job description and a job advert are two different things. »

How talent might be reading your job ads, emails and LinkedIn messages. »

It’s the little things… »

Recruitment is a portal into the valley of darkness. »

Do you have an artistic side? »

See more »

RSS Feed

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Tweets by @mitchsullivan