Job advertisements are up there with the biggest cons of all time; the copy that makes it out is absolute BS 101, right from the get go.
It's 27th October 2018, I opened up SEEK and went with this search string: (“Excellent OR Fantastic OR Amazing OR Fabulous) AND All Sectors AND All Australia. I found 81,156 jobs. Put another way, 81,156 people are bullshitting you, or at least trying to. One even managed to get “amazing”, “fantastic” and “excellent” in the first three bullet points, which I think was an internet best ever.
Considering a job ad is often the first time you'll have ever heard of, or communicated with many of these businesses, your relationship has kicked off with cheap lies and laziness. Rock bottom retention rates are hardly a surprise when life in the pod is not so fabulous, after all.
Reading the ads, it seems insanely difficult for any candidate to cut through the noise, or to even try to understand why they should join the business. With this level of ad copy, you'd be forgiven for giving up and just sticking out your current role in protest. This is not the retention we were looking for, the irony is not lost.
You don't have to look far to find complaints about recruitment, low response rates, no feedback or poor quality of applicants. It's hardly a surprise considering the copy that's out there. Unless you want only to talk to those who are active job seekers, you need a compelling reason for the candidate to read your ad, engage with you and ultimately consider working with you instead of your competitor.
Job adverts these days follow the same protocol, include false promises and fake adjectives, and show a shopping list of demands, must have's and must have not's. Only when the battle hardened, resilient and desperate readers have endured such prose are we enlightened by what we get in return for sacrificing our forty hours, each week. (These ads are great if you need to be battle hardened, resilient and desperate to successfully complete the task at hand but most don't.)
Recruitment is marketing and I believe the solution to getting this part of the experience right, is to treat the reader the way they ought to be treated, like a customer. Flip your job ad on its head and start with what's in it for the candidate. What can they achieve and what career collateral can they gain from spending their forty hours with you instead of their competition?
It ain't a fix all but it's a pretty good start, right?