Writing good ads to attract talent

If there is anyone who doesn’t need to write a good job advertisement, it is Seth.

Seth’s books sold millions, and his blog is one of the most popular on the web. Credited for coining the phrase ‘permission marketing’ and widely regarded as one of the brightest marketing visionary in the world, any marketer worth his salt would want to work with someone like Seth (myself included).

Seth’s employment brand is strong. He does not need to work hard to attract talent.

And yet, Seth wrote what could possibly be the world’s most detailed job advertisement. Of course, the issue is not the length of the job ad, but the time and effort invested by Seth to explain the job opportunity; the respect he shows to applicants he is targeting. Remarkable, given the job in question is for a six month internship.

Meanwhile, our industry is notorious for churning out badly written ads.

As John Sumser puts it: “Badly written job advertisements set a very bad starting point for a relationship with a prospective employee. By not crafting the ad to make the most of the candidate’s time, the company is saying, in effect, shoddy performance is celebrated in our company. Join us if you aspire to mediocrity“

It is amazing that an industry whose fortunes largely depend on attracting talent through job advertisements will invest so little time and effort. Badly written job ad harms the employment brand, increases the workload (shifting through thousands of irrelevant resumes) for advertisers and frustrates job seekers. No one wins.

The irony is most people who write job ads (advertisers) lay the blame on job applicants or the advertising medium, mainly job boards.

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