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Work in Recruitment? Don't Expect Quality Candidates with Awful Copy

Work in Recruitment? Don’t Expect Quality Candidates with Awful Copy

Working in recruitment it is a given that you want high quality candidates on your books. The fact of the matter though is that you will never get high quality candidates with low quality copy.

Everything you know about how job adverts should be written should be dismissed. Whatever you’ve been doing before, stop it and stop it now.

Somebody looking for jobs online will come across hundreds of roles. The job advert you posted out is a drop in the ocean. What have you done in your copy to make sure that a) they noticed your job advertisement and b) felt compelled to apply for it?

Answer the question. You can’t can you. I bet you’re tempted to tell yourself your copy says everything it needs to say. We both know that would be wrong.

As someone who has been a job seeker and somebody who helps Marketing Graduates gain employment I have seen my fair share of job adverts online. I can tell you now, 99.9% of them are awful.

They all follow the same structure of; brief introduction of role, brief vague mention of company, bullet points and a call to inaction.

If your aim is to recruit the best of the best that method does not work. When you do the same thing as everybody else it becomes a lottery. Out of hundreds of applications you hope to get a couple of decent candidates.

Now the question you want to ask is do you want to gamble your way in to delivering quality candidates to your client or do you want to guarantee yourself quality candidates?

The latter answer means you have to change what you and millions of other recruitment professionals do on a daily basis. You need to change your copy.

The formulae for effective copy in job advertisements is simple. Conversation, value and call to action.

Conversational copy is far more readable and helps convey to the reader exactly what you’re looking for. For example instead of this:

Seeking graduate marketing student for a role in an agency

Conversational copy would read like this:

Are you a recently graduated marketing student? You just may be what we’re looking for. Our client is not looking for experience, they’re looking for you. A creative agency with spark values people with a fresh outlook on life who are looking for a company to call home.

The latter example is far more interesting and engaging to read. It also describes EXACTLY what the client is looking for and EXACTLY why they want that type of candidate. Any job seeker reading this feels like they know the company pretty well already. As humans we are more likely to want to become a part of something that feels familiar to us. Familiarity breeds relationships. I don’t need to tell you that recruitment is about relationship building.

The other aspect of the formulae is value. This means you put the mind of the ideal candidate at the heart of your copy. You need to envisage who that ideal candidate is and what they value. If the ideal candidate is a fresh young graduate you need to identify what values that particular person will have. Write down a minimum of 3 things you believe that ideal candidate values. For example; opportunity, family and excitement.

Now that you’ve identified these 3 traits your copy needs to be built around it. Your copy needs to convey that the role is a great opportunity, they will feel part of a family and no two days will ever be the same. Something like this works well:

Now that you’ve graduated you have a world of opportunities waiting for you. If you’re the kind of person who is compelled to join an exciting agency full of opportunity then you may just be the person we’re looking for. Our client is a small agency that is looking to extend its team and wants YOU to be the latest addition to its family.

Without this copy your ideal candidate will just skip on by not even noticing your job advertisement.

How many high quality candidates can you afford to lose just because the copy you use doesn’t dare to be different?

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Yasin Aydin

Founder at Total Insights
Marketing Manager. Specialising in Content Focused Marketing.   I love all things digital, social and written. I'm a seasoned blogger who has built sites that have had 90k+ unique readers per month and increased traffic to corporate websites by large margins, even up to over 7 thousand percent.   Rumours suggest that my grave stone has been pre-made stating my final words to be 'content, content, content'.