May 23, 2024

Job ads are misunderstood


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Also, they’re not job descriptions

When potential clients ask, “How do you find your candidates” they’re really asking, “Are you just posting jobs? If so, we don’t need you because we already do that.”

Full disclosure: the majority of our placements (90%+) are done via relationships, referrals, and proactive outreach using any data source we can find. We’re headhunters. We create ideal candidate profiles and target people using any means necessary.

But placements via job ads is a non-zero number. Yes, we do that, too. 

There are 3 misconceptions:

1. “Everyone who is going to find us, will find us.” Flawed logic for several reasons:

👉Unless you have an incredibly powerful brand, no one knows who you are.

For most companies, even if people see your job posting, they have no idea who you are. Every business leader is biased – we think more highly of our companies than anyone else does. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just inherent. If leaders didn’t…they wouldn’t stick around.

But it does give companies a false sense of how well-known they are. In reality: candidates need to be sold into even applying. 

2. Job ads are not job descriptions.

If you copy and paste your job description as a job ad, stop. They’re not the same. (Before I continue, follow Mitch Sullivan, who said everything that needs to be said on this topic.)

Job descriptions are boring, company-centric, HR compliance-driven word salads that convince no one to take a job. People read them and think, “pass, not for me.”

Job ads (should be) punchy, candidate-centric, persuasive summaries of why your job & company are better than the one they have. Set clear expectations on who should and shouldn’t apply (based on skills) and where the wiggle room is. People should get excited and think, “let’s give this a shot!”

3. So many job postings are flooded with respondents (many of whom don’t remotely fit—thanks a lot, Easy Apply!), it breaks the inbound vetting process.

When 100 people apply to every job, it’s easy to think, “We got ‘em all.”

Well, you didn’t. Even if you did, most internal TA teams don’t actually have the time to vet every candidate thoroughly. And that’s assuming there is an internal TA team to begin with.

Ever hear the (awful & incorrect) term “how to get around the ATS”? Spoiler: there are no robots ruling out resumes. There are just overworked internal recruiters (or hiring managers) with too many other things to do. They can’t possibly look at every one of the thousands of inbound resumes across the dozens of jobs they’re trying to fill.

Companies miss on great potential hires who *did* apply to them all the time. This is such an issue that we (Hirewell) take on engagements where managing this inbound flow is part of the scope.

Long story short: if you get a lot of inbound applicants and still can’t fill the job, there’s a strong chance you’re missing one of the key parts of inbound strategy.

We can help with that. 😊

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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