Is LinkedIn contributing to the dumbing down of the recruitment sector?
Today I saw this doing the rounds on LinkedIn. It’s an article on how to attract candidates to your job postings, written by one of LinkedIn’s staff writers.
Judging by some of the responses, some people were getting giddy with excitement – presumably about how they’re now going to be able to write better job ads.
And to be fair, they will. But only marginally better.
In fact, so marginal that it will make very little practical difference for anything other than those job ads where it’s likely there are plenty of available candidates.
The one positive take-away from the article is to not waste your time writing about the hiring company and how brilliant you/they think they are – because as the LinkedIn article rightly says, candidates don’t need to learn that in a job ad. There are plenty of other places they can find that out.
But it makes the classic mistake almost every single article on job advertising I’ve ever read makes. It conflates job advertisements with job descriptions.
The job advert (or job description as they more accurately call it) they’ve used in the article is awful.
It’s awful because it pretty much only talks about what the hiring company wants. It’s what research into the effect language has on job adverts has characterised as “demand” language. Job descriptions typically contain a lot of demand language.
Content that only talks about what the hiring company wants (aka job descriptions) should only be shown to potential candidates after they’ve established that it’s a job they’re interested in.
Therefore, the only people who are going to read a job description at the very start of the recruitment process are going to be people who need another job – as opposed to people who want a better job.
Which is a shame, because around 60% of people who look at job ads are people who don’t need another job – but are interested in jobs that might improve their situation in some way.
Recruitment advertising has very few advantages over other forms of direct response marketing – especially when it comes to creativity. However, the one glaring advantage it does have is that a job advert only needs to find one customer.
Usually, the best candidates are those that are a little more discerning about the type of jobs they apply for. In other words, they’re generally not desperate.
And people who aren’t desperate don’t look at job ads that read like ransom notes.
Unfortunately, the writer of the LinkedIn article only has a surface knowledge of recruitment or recruitment advertising and has a background in retail.
Getting people to change jobs is very different to getting them to buy discount bedroom furniture.