It’s easy to see what makes a great job. A great job ad is one that gets people excited about working for you, and then makes it easy for them to learn more. Most job ads fail on both counts.
Most job ads start off by telling job-seekers about the high opinion your company has of itself. They don’t give any evidence for the opinion — they just tell us “With a long history of excellence, XYZ Inc. is a leader in its industry.”
Big deal! Anyone could say that. What makes your company a great place to work? That’s what inquiring minds want to know.
The most obnoxious job ads don’t even speak to the people who are reading them. They speak right past their readers, using the third person like this:
The Selected Candidate will possess twenty years of search-engine optimization experience, the ability to play the trombone while riding a unicycle and excellent Greek skills (ancient Greek) plus a current taxi driver’s license.
When you talk past the job-seeker in the third person, referring to The Selected Candidate instead of “you” the way any other kind of ad would do, you’re saying “We don’t know who The Selected Candidate will be, but we can say for sure it won’t be your sorry ass!”
That’s a horrible way to try and attract smart people. Anybody with a teaspoonful of self-esteem is going to zip right past your job ad and go to work for somebody else — and can you blame them?
The best job ads tell you why the job will be fun and interesting. Lousy job ads skip that part entirely. They drone on and on about the Essential Qualifications that a job-seeker has to bring to the party, in order for the lofty company to stoop to notice him or her.
What will that kind of ad — a boring, insulting boilerplate job ad – bring you?
It will bring you mojo-depleted, desperate job-seekers who will be happy to kiss your feet and bury their own needs and personalities in order to get a job. Don’t expect much in the way of innovation or fresh thinking from those folks!
If you hate innovation and new ideas, you should be very happy with your sheeplike new hires, at least until shareholders start asking why you aren’t making any money.
It’s easy to write a job ad with a human voice in it. Here’s an example:
My grandfather started Acme Explosives in 1955 to get coyotes the stick dynamite they need for their projects, and now we’re going strong with manufacturing on three continents.
We’ve just gotten approval to ship modular, assemble-on-site stick dynamite products through UPS and trucking firms and we’re launching our first e-commerce site. We need an E-Commerce Operations Manager to run the online sales and marketing part of our business and coordinate with Production and Purchasing.
The job will be fast and furious and full of new adventures as you design our back-end operations to support our e-commerce business. You’ll work closely with our inside and outside sales folks, Marketing and everyone else on our team.
Who will love this job? It might you if you like creating new processes, love to juggle projects and know something about e-commerce and online merchandising.
If you think this $70-$75K assignment might be right for you, please write to me at email@example.com and tell me why in 300 words. Include your LinkedIn profile url in your message and skip the resume.
One of us will get back to you within 48 hours of receiving your message or the next business day.
Thanks for checking out Acme Explosives and wishing you a dynamite day!
It is hard to write a job ad this way? No – it’s simple. Chuck Jones is the CEO of Acme Explosives and he’s ready to read 300-word messages for a week or two to find the right person for his needs. He’s ready to reply to everyone who responds.
What’s special about Chuck? Only that he cares about talent, instead of saying that he cares when he really doesn’t the way most medium-sized and larger employers do.
It’s a new day in the talent marketplace. Either you learn how to bring great people into your firm and keep them there or you’ll die. The good news is that it’s easy to make any workplace a Human Workplace.
You just have to give up the delusional belief that the company is in control and the employees are interchangeable. Make that one mental switch, and watch your results go boom!
This article was written by Liz Ryan from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Talent HQ is a premier information channel empowering professional development for recruiting and HR communities through regional events including Minnesota Recruiters, Wisconsin Recruiters, Oregon Recruiters and California Recruiters.