Stupid Candidates

Stupid Candidates

Do you want to get a lot fewer unsuitable job applications?

Of course you do. What are you, a masochist?

Here’s what you need to do.

Make your ads shorter. Much shorter.

Three hundred and fifty words is easier (not to mention more inviting) to read than seven hundred and ninety-eight words. As is 350 when written numerically.

Plus, there’s the Internet, which apparently has reduced our attention spans.

Here’s the thing. Most Landscape Gardeners don’t really want to be a Project Manager for an IT company – especially once they know what’s involved.

But they see an ad for a Project Manager and have a thought process that looks something like; “Hey, I manage garden projects and can sort stuff out. Plus, the money looks decent…”

Then they look at the length of the ad and the density of the text and think “Screw that, I’ll just send my CV anyway. You never know. Plus, they’re an agency so they might have something else.”

OK, you may argue that anyone who thinks like that is stupid. I would argue that they’re more likely to just be desperate for another job.

Them being desperate could be because there’s a declining need for people with their skills or it could be because they’re trying to escape long-term unemployment and English isn’t their first language. Being desperate doesn’t make someone stupid.

If you can make them want to read your ad – by having an easy-to-read piece of content that is clear on what it’s asking for – then most of those Landscape Gardeners won’t apply.

Why would they?

Most of them aren’t stupid and even more of them don’t want to appear stupid to anyone else – even if that someone else is an anonymous remote person they’ll never meet.

That’s why, when you invite people to call rather than send a CV, you magically don’t get calls from the wildly inappropriate. That’s because they probably know they’re not right and don’t want the humiliation of trying to explain themselves to someone on the other end of a phone.

Because that’s how people are. It’s a human nature thing.

Now, if one of them reads the shorter ad and still applies, chances are they’re a moron.

Those I can’t help you with.

Don’t post job descriptions and expect them to behave like job advertisements.

And stop posting stupid job ads if you don’t want stupid applications from candidates who probably aren’t stupid.

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