When I was a single man, I used to love Tinder. Now I know everyone is using Bumble and Hinge for their online dating endeavors these days , but back in my day, Tinder was king. And I know what you’re thinking. Me, sitting like a lonely loser, underpanted in my hovel, waiting for the next vulnerable young lady looking for a recruiter to cry on. The truth is actually much more wholesome. During my time on the app, I went on plenty of dates, met loads of interesting people who I wouldn’t normally have met, and even made some friends. There was a bit of boning for sure, but it wasn’t nearly the seedy den of iniquity that so many people think it to be. In fact, I always saw it differently. For me, it was just another channel to meet people. I already worked in a profession which was full of females, and I was more of a social butterfly back then than the curmudgeonly old man writing these words today- so meeting women was easy enough. Tinder just gave me a way to meet women whilst waiting for a bus. Or stuck in a boring meeting. Or recovering from a hangover. It didn’t replace my need to grind the night away to Shabba Ranks in Danny Doolans. It supplemented it. And there is actually a happy ending to this so-far-pointless story which hopefully proves my point, but you’ll have to read to the end for that.
In the same way that some people may brag that they “don’t need dating apps”, some recruiters, or perhaps most recruiters at some stage, feel that running job ads for a role makes them less of a recruiter. “Real” recruiters headhunt and leverage their network to fill roles. Job ads and dating apps are for losers. Posting an ad is as good as admitting that the only value you add is saving a hiring manager the minor admin of posting and screening. The culture surrounding job ads in most recruitment firms is something of a dirty secret, a necessary evil, something that we pretend probably won’t help, but we “might as well”. We don’t even use terms like place or run an ad. Instead we “chuck” or “bung” an ad up. There is little pride in placing a SEEK ad my friends. Not when you work for an agency.
However, I think it time that we re-think our elitist view of the humble job ad, so to do so, let’s look at when and why we shouldn‘t run job ads:
- They don’t work in our sector. Hmmm… maybe. However, an ad only has to work once every couple of years to pay for the previous unsuccessful ads. Is there no chance that a returning kiwi won’t on occasions glance at SEEK or TradeMe whilst waiting for their plane? Are you telling me an ad has never sourced a top full-stack developer?? Hmmm… maybe.
- The client has already ran an ad. Well, they ran a shit ad 2 weeks ago under their own brand with a crappy reputation. Can we not write better ads than our clients? Is our job not to first identify talent, and then educate said talent that their perception of said brand is outdated?
- Our client asked us not to. Sometimes. But this is usually because the incumbent is yet to be pushed out. In which case, do we really need to be part of this? Could we not suggest a better process to our clients? Perhaps even one in keeping with NZ employment law? The only exception is when there is real commercial sensitivity around an (often newly created) role. Yep, I’ll give you that one.
- Quality candidates don’t apply to ads. This just isn’t true. I’ve placed too many superstars from ads to be convinced otherwise. It doesn’t happen all the time, but if you work in recruitment for a decent whack, and you advertise most of your roles, you will place some good people from them.
- You can make placements without them. Yep, and I can ride my push bike no-handed. Big Wow. Doesn’t mean it’s a more effective way to get to work.
- You don’t want your client to see it and think that’s all you’re doing to earn $18k. Maybe we need to get better at explaining how exhaustive our efforts are in covering the market?
- The response is too large and therefore becomes counterproductive. We live in strange times, and there is some truth in this currently. However, for an average recruiter, I’d wager that an appropriate CV can be sussed out in around five seconds. Ten max. You can certainly do an initial screen of 300 per hour if you focus. Just how many responses are you getting??
I’m sure there are other reasons, and I’m sure you sanctimonious gits will comment with them below, so go for gold.
On the other hand, let’s look at why you might want to invest $100 and post an ad:
- They work. Never made a placement via an ad? Well you’re either liar liar pants-on-fire, or you have massively underachieved in your career.
- They work when you’re not. Like my Tinder profile, my job ad is getting eyeballs even when I’m not at my desk. I can also screen and reject CVs whenever suits. On the train. On the sofa. On the toilet.
- They’re quick to write. Young people are far to lazy too read these days, so a couple of lines and an egg plant emoji is enough.
- They highlight to clients (who also look to change jobs) that you’re active in their “space”.
- They typically offer a very good, and importantly, measurable ROI. This is why SEEK have gold taps and have been on holiday since Covid hit in March. The stats speak for themselves.
- They have an international reach and are especially good for connecting with returning kiwis. This is recruitment pay-dirt.
- It’s (comparatively) cheap yet targeted marketing baby.
- You probably purchased an ad bundle and have 3 to use up by end of month tomorrow.
Like Tinder, a job ad should never be your only sourcing channel. But the humble job ad, when well crafted, is a string to any recruiters bow. It’s not a recruitment strategy, but for the investment of a hundred bucks, I’d take some convincing that they’re not worth a punt. Who knows who you might find? Oh, and in reference to my Tinder story, I actually met my partner on there, and we’re getting married next month. So there.
Anyway, enjoy your weekend and remember to wear a mask on public transport or everywhere if you’re ugly.