Fast Track Recruitment

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…”

Posted by Mitch on 14th February 2017


There’s been a gradual dumbing down in advertising – and not just recruitment advertising.

But it’s worse in recruitment.

I blame the Internet and its ability to enable people who have no discernible advertising skills to post hundreds of job ads, for under a few hundred quid, in less than the time it takes to write a job ad.

So, what is advertising? What’s its purpose?

Here’s probably the best definition from marketing pioneer Daniel Starch:

“The simplest definition of advertising, and one that will probably meet the test of critical examination, is that advertising is selling in print.”


An advert has to persuade people to do something – even if that something is just to view a product, service or business differently.

And to persuade someone to do something, you almost always have to be able to fulfil their needs, wants or desires.

So if an advertisement is going to have the best chance of selling, it has to address those needs/wants/desires of the readers as quickly as possible.

All fairly logical so far.

Here are some opening lines to job ads (or social media updates promoting job ads) that are early warnings that the ad is going to be all about what the advertiser wants and nothing about what the reader (or prospective customer) might want.

“I’m keen to speak to…”

“We’re an exciting company that are looking to grow”

‘I am currently seeking..”


“We’re recruiting for an (insert job title here). You must have a minimum of (insert number here) years experience as a (insert same job title here)..”

I’m not saying these approaches won’t work – because they might.

But if they do get responses, they will only be from people who need a job.

The people who want a better job will have bailed after about 5 seconds reading time. That’s because they’re not as desperate as the people who need a job.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with hiring people who need a job. Hey, it could even be commended as a righteous and noble thing to do.


Isn’t that what Job Centres are for?

If you’re only attracting people to your vacancies who are desperate for work, maybe you should stop calling yourself a “talent acquisition specialist”?

Because it’s making you look a bit like the Wizard of Oz. Or worse, an HR generalist.

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