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Job Advertising


My name is Jeff Zinser and I own Right Recruiting. In this video we are going to talk to you about recruitment advertising and I am going to explain to you why it doesn’t work and give you specific reasons that it’s become ineffective over the last 5 years or so and give you some things to think about. There are two major reasons advertising recruitment doesn’t work, one of which is societal and the other is how it is packaged to the candidate.

But first let’s talk about some of our clients experiences with recruitment advertising. Cathy and I were at a client about 2-3 months ago – a business owner was looking for a GM for a second location he wanted to start. He had advertised the job on major web sites and was very excited. Within 24 hours he had gotten almost 100 responses and within 2 days had gotten 100 total responses.

But when he looked at the response itself, 90 lived out of the area which meant that if they were 1,000 miles away they were of no value to him. That left 10. Once he looked at the 10, half did not have the skills he wanted. That left him with 5 people. He called all 5. Three never called him back. Of the two that did, one of the two decided that she wasn’t interested. That left him with one candidate. He interviewed that person and wasn’t comfortable with the individual. So, that 100 people got filtered down to 1 marginal candidate.

Those are pretty normal metrics when it comes to recruiting advertising. That initial flow of people usually filters down to 1 out of 100 that is worth paying attention to.

The second client, we met and they gave us a project for an HR person. In that conversation they asked if we could help them with an engineering job. They had been trying to fill an engineering job for two years. Their strategy had been to try and advertise the job on different web sites, in different mediums and in different ways with no luck. We said- sure, we can help.

Honestly, within one week we had a resume there of the person they hired. The person was actively looking for a job but never saw any of their ads because he never looked at ads. He responded to our conversation with him and he is working there now, has been there about a month and I hear he is doing a very good job.

So here is why recruitment advertising doesn’t work. The first thing to understand is that the world has changed. It’s changed in two ways. Economically, it has changed. Recruitment advertising requires a pool of candidates who are out of work or are unhappy in their job. There is nobody like that now. The unemployment rate for professionals is about 2% and companies treat their people better now. They’ve learned that to hang onto people, they need to treat them reasonably well. So, there is no pool of candidates digging through these ads, looking for positions, applying for these jobs. It does not exist.

Like I have said to my clients – no one is looking but everyone is listening. That is an important distinction. Over the last 5 years, people have learned that info will come to them. You see it everyday. You see it on Google when you go to a web site. Information comes to you and candidates feel that way about jobs. What we have found is that if you explain a job to a candidate in an intelligent way and they are interested, they will get excited. But, what they don’t want to do is apply to a series of meaningless and random ads that require a lot of work and require them to sift through responses.

The concept of that pool of candidates is simply that it does not exist anymore. That means that you have to change your strategy.

There are other reasons advertising does not work that are more specific to the ads themselves. You may not know this but the first thing the candidate sees when they click on your ad is a list of 10 other ads that the web site wants them to click on as well. What does that mean? That means that the money you paid to run that ad immediately directs the candidate who is interested in your job to other jobs. How does that help you? Great, so that when you interview this person and they tell you, sorry, I have found a job closer to home it might have been your ad to directed them there.  I am not quite sure that is a good expense for you to incur.

The other thing you may not know is that a lot of these web sites rate your company. You are rated by ex-employees. So when Janey Smith clicks on your ad the first thing she sees is a series of complaints from every disgruntled ex-employee about your organization. Would you then expect her to apply for your job? Would you do that? It’s not practical.

The third thing you want to know is that even if you don’t give a salary range on the ad, which you shouldn’t by the way, the web site does. So the web site says to the candidate that the job should pay 80k to 110k, for example. How does that help you? Especially if you only want to pay to 100k. They are automatically telling every candidate that you should be paying more. I am not quite sure that is something that you should be subsidizing.

So there are an awful lot of reasons that advertising does not work but the major reason is that it is random. It is not a plan. You are expecting someone who fits the spec, who is within the salary range and who is commutable to happen to trip over that specific ad and apply.

People just don’t do that. If it’s happened once or twice, more power to you. But I have to tell you, it’s a random thing. If you think it’s a plan, it’s not. You need to have a strategy to decide what kind of person you want to hire and to get your unique message across to them. An ad is not that.

I appreciate you sticking around on this video for this long. Stay tuned for our next video on how to save a lot of money on recruitment services like ours.

Music by Ema Grace | “Check Them In” http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ema_Grace/~/Check_Them_In
Creative Commons Attribution License — Changed only to shorten for need.

The right resume on the right desk at the right time.