After months of delivering ad writing training, I now understand how CIA agents feel when torturing* their victims**. Mention 'ad writing' to any of the recruiters I know and you can see immediate suffering and panic enter their eyes.
And rightly so! With pressure on every front and not enough time in the day, the prospect of delivering an ad worthy of the Nobel Prize for Literature just doesn't fit in with the myriad of demands in the world of recruitment.
But just think; what if you wrote a great ad once, and could use this as a template ad nauseam, expending no extra time whilst simultaneously attracting better and more relevant candidates? Just imagine writing an ad and not using the word 'exciting' 48 times. Just imagine not rushing an ad and accidentally giving away the client name (and ultimately your placement) because the brief was copy and pasted. What a shame this dream world is so out of reach.
But...hang on. It isn't. On our ad writing crusade, we advocate spending an extra 10 minutes on an ad. If not for extra candidates (insert 'but I don't get my candidates from ad response anyway so who cares if it's a bad ad?') just think of your personal brand as a recruiter. And as an extension, think of your company's brand. Imagine that the client you're trying to clinch to hit your BD targets takes one look at your website and thinks ‘wow they can't even write an ad - how can they source efficiently for us?’
If everyone is churning out poor ads with a mix of structures and levels of readability, how does this make recruiters and recruitment agencies look?
I can let you into a secret. The answer isn't 'awesome'.
Recruiters take note; we at Aspire think ad writing is so important that we've invested time and effort into training up our staff to recognise the value of ads.
Not everyone is a writer, but everyone is a great recruiter at Aspire, so our ads need to reflect that.
It's important that the recruitment industry grasps this opportunity to attract quality with quality. Watch this space...
*gently extracting information
I talk a fair amount about job ads. I see a few honest ones occasionally. The rest are full of soundbites and buzzwords that every job in the world needs their incumbent to have. Example? “Must have good phone manner.” YOU DON’T F**KING SAY. Do you think someone’s going to be put off or encouraged in their application upon reading that? No one’s paying attention. Why’s it there? Did you actually think about it? “Oh, I was really looking for a job where mumbling was encouraged. Have you got anything there?”