Me, Me, Me…
Posted by Mitch on 24th February 2017
I had an exchange with a recruiter on LinkedIn a while back.
The basic plot-line was this person posted a status update advertising the fact they pay referrals and I commented that I found it interesting that they chose to lead with what’s important to them (they wanted to make more placements, seriously, that’s what they opened with) rather than what’s important to the reader.
And I was being serious, I did find it interesting.
The question it raised (for me at least) was how much you can read into the thinking and behaviour of recruiters based on how they write adverts (or social media updates which are basically adverts) – especially given that more than 90% of them always open their ads with what they want, not what the reader might want.
Does this overwhelming majority make writing ads this way the new best practice?
Look at any cross section of job ads, emails or Inmails and what you’ll see is content that almost exclusively talks about what the reader must have and what they’ll be doing in that job. Much of the ‘what they’ll be doing’ stuff is just a copy and paste from the job spec.
What does this tell you about the mindset of recruiters that only focus on their own needs?
I’m not going to suggest that it tells you that they’re all selfish egomaniacs who always forget their mum’s birthday – but does it indicate that they don’t really have any real consideration for the candidates they’re trying to attract?
Or maybe these recruiters are only trying to attract the attention of people who need another job – as opposed to those that might want a better job?
In some of the more rank and file sections of the jobs market this may well be true, but in all other cases, it probably flies in the face of their claims that they only recruit “top talent” or “A-players”.
Do A-players ever respond to a list of company features and required qualifications? Maybe someone should ask them.
It’s often said that the best recruiters tend to have a manageable amount of natural swagger. But when does unassuming confidence mutate into blind arrogance?
How do we distinguish between those recruiters who just simply lack the knowledge to produce persuasive social media content and job ads between those that have become so abused and praised, in almost equal measure by bosses who once suffered the same treatment themselves, that they’ve become immunised to the needs of the those they’re supposed to be serving?
Producing good copy isn’t just about writing properly.
First, you have to start thinking properly.
If you write without thinking, it has a habit of leaking out in the copy.
So, is it fair to assume that poorly produced ads are the result of poor thinking? That if the job ad hasn’t been thought about (by either the hiring company or the recruitment agency), then the job and/or the company aren’t worth thinking about?
Are job adverts that only talk about how awesome the hiring company thinks they are – and what qualifications the reader must have to be part of their awesomeness – strong indicators of companies that are going to be insufferable to work for?
Are most of the smart and talented people actually choosing to work for businesses that aren’t so self-centred?
These questions aren’t rhetorical. Talk to me.