Fast Track Recruitment

Not all jobs sell themselves.

Posted by Mitch on 30th January 2020


Here’s an informal conversation I once had in a pub with the owner of a recruitment agency;

Me: “What are you in the business of selling? You know, when you break it all down.”

Agency Owner: “Talent.”

Me: “Fuck off, seriously…”

Agency Owner: “OK, OK… Candidates.”

Me: “Who pays for those candidates?”

Agency Owner: “Clients.”

Me: “OK. And why do these clients choose you to find them these candidates?”

Agency Owner: “Because that’s what we do!”

Me: “Yeah, I know. But what is it you can do that they can’t?”

Agency Owner: “We find better candidates than they can.”

Me: “So you’re saying that you’re better at selling jobs than they are?”

Agency Owner: “Absolutely.”

Me: “So why don’t your ads sell jobs?”

Agency owner: “They don’t?”

Me: “No they don’t. They’re just prosaic lists of responsibilities and requirements.”

I then pulled out my phone and went to the jobs page on their website and started reading some of the ads out loud.

Me: “You’re just publishing content that’s telling people there’s a job vacancy, what they’d be doing and what they must have to apply. That’s only going to get the attention of people who are desperate and need another job.”

Agency Owner: “Yeah but, we headhunt a lot of our candidates.”

Me: “And what do you say to these candidates when you call them to pitch your client’s jobs? I’m guessing you don’t read them the job ad, right?”

Agency Owner: “Well no, obviously. We tell them what’s potentially great about that job or company.”

Me: “So why don’t you put that stuff in your job ads?”

Agency Owner: “Err…”

Me: “But you take my point that if your job ads aren’t selling anything, then you’re probably not attracting the best candidates, let alone talent? Which brings me back to what it is you’re really selling.”

Agency Owner: “Fuck off, Mitch…”

Don’t be that agency owner.

Halfway down this page you’ll find a list of upcoming dates for our Copywriting for Recruiters training course.

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