Why Does Top Talent Consider Your Job Ads to be Repulsive?

Candidate disgusted by your job advertisement

The vast majority of high-performing, top talent candidates consider your ads to be repulsive. The are disgusted, aghast, turned-off, repulsed, and consider your company’s attempt to hire to be an utter “fail.” They literally want to vomit when they read your job ads.

I see thousands of job ads on a weekly basis. Over 99% possess the same common element – the content of the ad is either the entire job description or a modified version of it.

Let’s be clear about two issues once and for all:

  • First, using the job description for your ad is not an ad! It’s a job description masquerading as a job ad.
  • Second, top caliber job candidates couldn’t give a darn about what you want as an employer.

Top Talent is motivated by a different set of criteria than desperately getting a paycheck. They want to be in a role where they’ll learn something new, have an impact, and become something better for having been in that role.

Traditional Job Descriptions masquerading as a Job Ad miss the mark entirely. It’s like shooting arrows at a target and purposely trying to miss. If you can’t hit the bulls eye on why candidates would want to leave their existing job and come to work for you, finding and attracting candidates becomes a random activity focused on luck and hope.

When a top performer reads your job description as your attempt to recruit them, they immediately TURN-OFF! They think “I couldn’t give a hoot that XYZ Company wants 4 of this, and 8 of that, and 12-14 years of whatever. I just don’t care” The next step is that they take their hand and pull it down. You never even get to see these candidates since they are REPULSED” by your inability to capture their interest and passion.

When do you plan on putting a stop to the traditional and tribal hiring cycle of using job descriptions masquerading as ads, and begin to craft more attractive marketing-oriented statements of work to start managing your small business?

As you may know, in our executive search practice, and hiring manager training programs, we call this document a Compelling Marketing Statement, one that gets to the heart of our LIB Curve of Candidate Motivation. Check out some of our FREE examples of Compelling Marketing Statements by clicking here.

Also, make sure to read our previous blog article on the LIB Curve of Candidate Motivation by clicking here.

Once again, I ask the question:

When will you stop using outdated, tired, old, and inadequate recruiting techniques like posting a job description to attract good employees – when the evidence is overwhelming that it doesn’t work?

Here’s a better question:

Why do most companies keep doing the same thing over and over hoping for a better result when they know nothing will change or be better than the last time they attempted to use a job description as their advertisement?

I’d love to hear in the comments how you’ve used a more Compelling Marketing Statement instead of the traditional job description to attract great talent to your organization.

We Have Jobs – Where Are All Of The Candidates?

Q. We thought with unemployment as high as it is we wouldn't have any problem finding people. However, the opposite seems to be happening. We get a lot of resumes, but the people are not the right fit, they don't have the right experience or skills, and often aren't even close to what we are looking for. Why with such high unemployment is it so difficult to find people?

This is a common misunderstanding by companies. As a recruiter, companies just don't believe it when I tell them finding top talent is much harder when unemployment is high and easier when unemployment is low. I can sum up why in one word, “fear.”

This happens because even with 12% unemployment in California, only a very small percentage of those people will actually be qualified for your position. Variables to consider include location, compensation, industry, the right skills, years of experience, cultural fit and so on. This means that there really isn't that huge of a pool of candidates to choose from in the unemployed arena.

That then leaves those currently working. But stop and think about those working for a minute. They are thinking, “The devil I know is better than the one I don't know.” Do you believe they want to take the risk of changing jobs, having something not work out and then face unemployment for 6 months. Not very likely. Chances are they know people that have been unemployed for a long time so working candidates bunker down. Staying with a company where they may not be happy is a whole lot better than unemployment. As a result, most employed people are not looking or even interested in considering something.

Contrast this with times of very low unemployment. There is no fear. The candidate figures that if the new job doesn't work out, no problem, I will find another in no time so they are willing to consider other opportunities.

Don't underestimate fear in your analysis.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

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I welcome your comments and feedback.

Brad Remillard

Why Job Ads Attract The Bottom Third Of Candidates – Audio Recording

Traditional job advertising attracts the bottom third of the candidate pool by using traditional techniques of job advertising. Learn how to improve your job advertisements so that you can begin to attract top talent for every role in your organization. Discover the power of a Compelling Marketing Statement  to bring outstanding candidates to your doorstep the next time you have an opening. Replace your outdated and ineffective job descriptions masquerading as classified job advertising. In this radio program, Brad and Barry walk you through the key elements of replacing your traditional job ads with a Compelling Marketing Statement.

To listen to or download this recording from our audio library CLICK HERE. Then scroll down to the recording.

Finding Top Talent in a Down Economy: It’s Still Hard Work

Just because the haystack is bigger, it doesn’t mean that there are more needles in it. There’s a misconception in the market now that finding good people is suddenly easy.

HR people, hiring managers, and the general public believe that when unemployment is high, recruiters just have to run an ad and tons of top-notch, unemployed candidates will flood your email box. Well, they are half right. The inbox does get flooded on occasion, but not with top quartile talent, and not with the candidate who has the specific accomplishments I need for my client’s position. Despite the high unemployment, the bell shaped curve hasn’t suddenly changed to create more top quartile talent. If anything, it’s harder to find the right talent for the position because there are so many more people looking.

• When companies downsize, they don’t let their top performers go first. They let the average to below average players go first, so the pool of available talent out there consists of far more average players than top quartile players. If you want to hire top quartile players you have to have a process in place to find and attract them.

• The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. In general, it's harder to get top candidates to change companies right now. With the economy still uncertain, the perceived risk of making a move increases. A top candidate may not be happy where they are, but unless you can provide a very compelling marketing statement about your company and your position, inertia will keep the candidate where they are.

• “Experience” does not equal qualified for your position. There really are a lot of experienced people out there, but just because they are experienced doesn’t mean they know how to do the specific things you need done. HR departments and hiring managers are easily blinded by a flood of resumes from “experienced” people, but experienced at what? Have they managed the switch from one Chinese ODM to another that you need done in the next three months? Have they opened new distribution channels in the EU? Just because they worked for a company that outsourced manufacturing to China, or sold into Europe, doesn’t mean they have done what you need accomplished.
In real estate, it’s “location, location, location”. In recruiting it’s “process, process, process”. If you don’t have a basic hiring process in place that every hiring manager understands and uses, the odds of making a bad hire increases significantly. The basics of a good hiring process are:

• Put the destination in the nav system. Create a job spec that defines, specifically, what needs to be accomplished in the next 12-18 months. Ask the question, “What does success look like for this position a year from now?” Spell it out and quantify it if possible.

• Don’t expect to catch a tuna in a trout pond. If you want to hire top quartile talent, you have to go after passive candidates, not just aggressive ones looking for a job. You will need a compelling marketing statement that will convince the top quartile candidate to look at your opportunity.

• Interviewing 101. Despite hiring being one of the most important processes in any company, few companies train their hiring managers on how to interview candidates. Learn the “who, what, where, when and why” of interviewing.

• Get on the same page. Your hiring team needs to agree on what you are all looking for in a candidate. What are the specific accomplishments you want in their background and what are the qualities that will predict future success for the candidate? If you’re not looking for the same things, you might as well be comparing apples, oranges and cherries.

Don’t let the glut of available people fool you. Recruiting top talent still takes a lot of work.

Mike Hagerthy

Join our Linkedin Hire and Retain Top Talent Discussion Group with 3200 participants and a vibrant discussion on everything related to job search

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Mike Hagerthy is an executive recruiter and President of  Hagerthy and Company in Southern California and a Certified Strategic Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions. To learn more about Hagerthy and Company CLICK HERE.

You Gotta Have L.I.B. To Find Talent

If you want to attract top talent you have to understand what motivates top talent. There are three things that all top talent is looking for:

  1. Top talent always want to be learning. They thrive on expanding their knowledge. Growth is not just moving up in a company. Growth has to be personal. They have to be challenged, given opportunities to learn, take on new projects outside their normal function, be stretched and be learning something new.
  2. Top talent needs to make an impact. Maintenance roles are not for top talent. Companies have to ensure that top talent have the opportunity to really impact the company. They want to improve earnings, open new offices, introduce new products, grow a business to new heights or take on a project that will change the company.
  3. Top talent want to become something bigger than what they are. Maslow came up with this in the 50’s. He called it self-actualization. Top talent strive to be something more. They want to be all they can be. Personal growth is critical and if their personal growth flattens out they immediately start seeking a position that will continue their growth.

What this means is if you want to attract top talent you have to motivate them. Posting a boring job description doesn’t address any of these issues. Instead, consider posting a Compelling Marketing Statement. You need to think like a Madison Ave. advertising company that knows to display the benefits to the reader. Here are three things you can do to motivate top talent in your ad:

  1. Include the vision of your company. The goals, objectives, and where the company is going. Top talent want to be apart of a growing, energetic company that has a vision.
  2. Don’t list duties and responsibilities. Instead discuss how they will contribute to the vision, how this role will help reach those goals. This is what excites top talent and differentiates you from the 1000 jobs listed on the board.
  3. Challenge them with specific objectives they will accomplish. This is the learning and growing that all top talent want to achieve.

Top talent will then read your ad and think to themselves “That’s what I’ve been looking for. That is what is missing in my current position and company.”

Remember top talent could care less about what you want. They are interested in “what’s in it for me.” Post an ad that demonstrates that and top talent will start responding to your ads.

Our website offers a library of  FREE resources, including an audio library on hiring topics, examples of Compelling Marketing Statements, a chapter from our best selling book on Advanced Sourcing Techniques, and many others.

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