Stop with the bullshit

Advertising is seen as a bit passé in recruitment. I don’t do a lot of it these days; it doesn’t really work in my market. In other sectors though it is still a valid sourcing tool…..in fact, I imagine that advertising is still the biggest source of candidates for most recruiters and anyone else looking to hire staff.

When you think about it like that, you would have thought that there would be loads of great adverts out there. With so much competition to get your advert seen, people would be being creative to try and achieve exactly that. But, as anyone who jumps on any job board will see, the vast majority follow the same template …boring, unimaginative and worst of all, full of bullshit….bullshit phrases like “outstanding career opportunity” and “employer of choice”.

It is as if recruiters are given a dictionary of bullshit phrases to drop into their adverts. They lazily slip them into their text without thought, and with all the authentication and credibility of Pamela Anderson’s boobs.

When we recruiters continue to turn out these bullshit phrases, do we really think candidates take notice? Are we really thinking that just because someone simply reads “outstanding career opportunity” they rush to get their application in for fear of missing out!

Anyone looking for a job these days will probably be quite savvy about how it all works. They have seen loads of adverts making similar claims and so glaze over the meaningless bullshit looking for details about the role, the company, the package… the facts; the things that people actually are interested in.

It makes no sense…but we continue to do it. En masse. (and before anyone trawls through any advertising I have done, yes I am guilty).

If you are looking for inspiration take a leaf out of this guys book. I saw him on my way to work this morning and his style of advertising grabbed my attention……and looking at his little cap of cash it also did to other people. In a city that is full of poor souls trying to get their piece of the pie this guys honest and no bullshit approach is working…..

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Luke Collard

 

10 thoughts on “Stop with the bullshit”

  1. Although I agree with the sentiment Luke… your blatant use of curse words is both excessive and offensive. For example (including the title) you use the word ‘bullshit’ seven times! That’s right 7 times!!!! Couldn’t you have replaced it with terms such as: bull crap, rubbish, bunkum, gibberish, flim-flam, nonsense, moonshine, poppy-cock , baloney, malarkey, phooey etc…?
    And to drag poor Pamela Andreson’s Boobs (real or otherwise) into this discussion is in poor taste.
    I for one will not be reading your blog in the future…
    Craig

  2. Good point Luke, however given that there’s a whole bunch of recruiters out there that can barely string a sentence together, expecting them to write an engaging job ad might be stretching the realms of possibility. Agencies rely on job boards providing training on how to write an ad, so no wonder that they all look the same – a great big Vanilla Soup of “outstanding” opportunities with “innovative” organisations (really?) and “great benefits” (mmmmm).

    …And I agree with Craig, leave Pamela’s chest out of it.

  3. If your main source of candidates is advertising, then you’re doing this recruitment thing wrong, I’d guess that you don’t really know your market, and you’re not really adding any value to your client.

    If you do advertise, your best applicants are going to reflect the quality of your advertisement – you will always get the bad ones, but if your ad sucks you aren’t going to hook the great ones.

    1. Agree with your second point. However I think you are wrong that “if your main source of candidates is advertising then you’re doing it wrong” – it depends what you are recruiting. In a lot of professional, white collar sectors you are probably correct (although there is still room for really good effective advertising here too)….but I imagine that in other sectors advertising in some shape way or form is still the best option. I am thinking large bulk volume recruitment …. I could be wrong?
      Another point to make is that it is not just job board advertising where recruiters go wrong….LinkedIn posts for example, which often replaces job boards for those anti-job board folk, have the same issues.

    2. Agreed, but it depends on the type of roles you’re recruiting for. Roles that have a highly transient work force such as casual call centre staff and hospitality ,need advertising because that’s how that work force would generally find work – however specialised roles require a different sourcing strategy. The question needs to be “what can I do that my clients can’t?” That’s where our value lies. You failed to mention your position regarding Pamela aswell by the way .

  4. “My Client is…..” the start of every terrible advert ever written.
    To be fair though, despite being famed for their dimwittedness, most recruiters never receive any training whatsoever in how to construct and write a good advert.

  5. OH FOR THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN THEIR WERE NO JOB BOARDS, ONLY THE ONES YOU PUT IN YOUR WINDOW, NOW THAT ADVERTISING WORKED. yOU ARE RIGHT LUKE THEIR IS NO CREATIVENESS IN ANY RECRUITMENT COMPANY ADDS TODAY.

    SALES PERSON.

    BE PAID WHAT YOUR WORTH.

    WATERSHED OPPORTUNITY

    UNCAPPED COMMISSIONS

    I PROMISE YOU NOTHING BUT HARD WORK AND IF YOU CAN CUT IT YOU WILL DO WELL.
    MY QUESTION TO YOU IS ARE YOU WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR.?
    PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL ME AND CONVINCE ME I SHOULD MEET WITH YOU.
    JUST AN EXAMPLE OF THE START OF A NO BULLSHIT ADD.

  6. Well I definitely do agree with what you are saying about ‘bad’ job adverts, and a lot of them repeating the same message…”Amazing opportunity” “Best and most progressive businesses in the country”

    Have you ever heard of the term “The pot calling the kettle black”?

    The above terms were both quotes off the first Watson Collard job I found advertised. http://www.seek.com.au/job/29946500?tracking=ILC-S%2AAU%2A-JOR-Referrer-4324&utm_campaign=joraau&utm_medium=organic&utm_source=joraau

    The purpose of this reply isn’t only to say practise what you preach, but to raise the question of how do you differentiate your job adverts from the bog standard ones? In my experience most people scroll down straight away to skills required & salary, if that ticks the boxes they will usually read the rest of the job adverts more fluffy details i.e. Amazing company, Growing, Fast track management scheme etc. I guess this is for reassurance that it is actually on offer…

    1. Thanks Stephen…I might encourage you to re-read the blog though as you obviously missed this bit “..and before anyone trawls through any advertising I have done, yes I am guilty”. Cheers

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