how talent might be reading...

How talent might be reading your job ads, emails and LinkedIn messages.

Ask any agency recruiter and they’ll probably tell you that they believe they’re better at finding the best candidates than most hiring companies – regardless of whether those hiring companies have their own internal recruitment function.

If you’ve ever looked at job ads or received any messages from recruiters, you might struggle to agree with them – if only because most of those ads, private messages and emails all look and sound the same.

If we can agree that the best candidates are statistically most likely to be people who aren’t desperate for another job – if only because their criteria for changing employers is mostly going to be whether the new job is going to improve their situation in some way – then it’s probably worth trying to put yourself in their shoes when working out how you’re going to attract them.

Below are a few examples of lines you typically see in job content that’s trying to attract its readers to a job, along with the probable reactions from those readers.

Please note that I’m calling them readers. That’s because they’re not candidates. Not yet.

Recruiter: “I have a role that you’d be a great fit for.”

Potential Candidate“Why would I care whether you think I’m a good fit for a job that I don’t even know if I’m interested in yet?”

Recruiter: “I wanted to reach out to you to tell you…”

Potential Candidate: “Why do you think I’d care what you want? You’re a recruiter, so I already know what you want.”

Recruiter: “I’ve already placed 4 other people with this client this year.”

Potential Candidate: “Why are you telling me what you’re getting out of this? How about telling me what I might get out of this?”

Recruiter: “We’re looking for a…”

Potential Candidate: “Yeah, I know. It’s a job ad.”

Recruiter: “Take your career to the next level!”

Potential Candidate: “Why aren’t you telling me what that next level is?”

Recruiter: “The salary is competitive.”

Potential Candidate: “Competitive to who?”

Recruiter: “We’re a marketing leading …”

Potential Candidate: “So what? How’s that going to make the job more rewarding?”

Recruiter: “My client is one of the biggest/best/most well-known…”

Potential Candidate: “So what? How’s that going to make the job more rewarding?”

Recruiter: “We’re growing…”

Potential Candidate: “So what? How’s that going to make the job more rewarding?”

Recruiter: “You’ll be working on some exciting projects…”

Potential Candidate: “What makes them exciting? More to the point, why might I think they’re exciting?”

Recruiter: “You’ll need to be passionate about…”

Potential Candidate: “Really? Do you mean I need to live and breathe this stuff 18 hours a day? Or do you just mean I need to care about my work?”

Recruiter: “Due to the number of applications we think we’re going to get, we’ll only be able to respond to those candidates we’re interested in.”

Potential Candidate: “Could you be any more arrogant?”

If you’re still not convinced the best people react in this way and you’re a recruiter who’s in a job you’re reasonably happy with, go and read some recruiter job ads. Then see how many sentences cause you to think “so what?”.

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