New Thinking is Emerging About Recruiting and What Makes a Better Job Ad

All my life, through approximately five careers, I have had to read and respond to many poorly written recruiting ads, and also listen to the complaints of people working in everything from tiny start-up companies to major multinational corporations that they weren’t getting good candidates.  I have observed that sometimes a single ad overwhelmed the human resource department with so many responses that it was impossible for them to find the good candidates among the “piles” of applications, and yet that ad was held up as “extremely effective”.  Improvements in recruiting concepts have long been needed, but it appears they are finally coming about.  So what works better than just posting a job description in the media or on the company web page?

Even the latest on-line recruiting system is no help if there is so much “chaff” coming in (applications from unsuitable or poorly suited candidates) that it is nearly impossible to find the “wheat” (good candidates), or for the human resource people to even find your emails in their in boxes.  This article, Maslow Meets Marketing: The Psychology of Job Ads, details the smartest thinking I have seen in many years on how to advertise open positions and recruit good candidates.

One idea discussed is that the purpose of the job ad is NOT to lure in armies of candidates, but to attract only good, qualified candidates and to actually discourage the rest from applying.  Looking at recruiting in the light of Abraham Maslow’s work makes a lot of sense because it bases the job ad and recruiting strategy on the fundamental reasons people go to work in any particular place and the factors that actually attract good candidates.  That is a significant improvement in the thinking behind recruiting, and there are a number of other equally noteworthy ideas in the article.

I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for reading. — Tim

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One Response to New Thinking is Emerging About Recruiting and What Makes a Better Job Ad

  1. Fred Martin says:

    Posting the salary and especially salary range for the job is a huge help. Not posting any salary information can be a big mistake. I had this problem recently when the HR department where I work posted a position with no salary. Within a day, a couple of talented friends contacted me directly about what the salary would be. I posed this question to HR and management who told me that it was “depending on experience” with the minimum range being $3150 whatever the minimum salary is for any exempt employee is in our state. I passed this information on to both of the people I knew and neither applied. Not satisfying the basic physiological need was what drove them away. I later wondered how many other qualified applicants were also put off by this omission.

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