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The Hidden Messaging in Your Recruitment Advertising

Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Geibel, All Rights Reserved

There are many ways to get your message to the market. A not-so-subtle one is your recruitment advertising. The type of people you are attempting to recruit and what you think will attract them says a lot about your company. Recruitment messaging can range from stiltedly boring to over-the-top insanity. If you read enough of it, you have to wonder at times if anyone in management proofs the copy that is posted - or gives any thought about what is said about the company.

Conversely, a common area for business intelligence gathering is recruitment advertising. Recruiting ads a will tell you a lot about a company - such as where they are building their staff, a general idea of turnover (especially if you have access to resumes posted on a resume database) and a host of other issues about the company. Some less-than-ethical companies have been known to conduct mock interviews of competitors' employees to get even further business intelligence on those competitors.

A factor that is often overlooked is the tone and tenor of the recruitment ad itself. Like it or not, it sends a message - and the message may not be what the hiring company has intended. As with any form of messaging - recruitment advertising should be checked by management for consistency with the company's messaging goals and objectives - especially if an outside recruiter is used.

Here are a few guidelines, based on reviews of recruitment advertising copy:

A careful review of your potential recruiting ads will help to develop the messaging that will reach out to the candidates you want to hire. It also makes it easier to screen the responses - since you can tell immediately how well they read (and comprehended) the ad.

Conversely, if in order to write a really good recruiting ad - you are saying more that you want to have out in the public realm (typically the case if the position involves strategy or competitive positioning) - perhaps you ought to consider using a recruiter or search firm. The candidate pool will be smaller - but usually better - and you can maintain some degree of confidentiality about your needs and staffing requirements. Consider this - virtually all senior positions in larger companies are filled by non-publicized searches. Food for thought.

© 2007, Jeffrey Geibel, All Rights Reserved

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