Today we continue our quest for recruitment ads that work.
In December we covered briefing.
Once you’ve collected all your background information, how do you choose what to say (especially if you have only a small media space or budget)?
The answer is to know who you’re writing to.
Something about Mary
Clients who seek my help to find new staff often say something like:
‘We need another [INSERT JOB TITLE]. We want another Mary. God, if we could just get five more Marys in this place, we’d blow our competitors out of the water!’
So who’s Mary?
Mary has been there longer than anyone.
She gets more xmas cards than everyone.
She has trained her entire team.
She does more work, in less time, with few errors and no drama. And she never complains.
Customers love her.
Colleagues confide in her.
In short, she’s the perfect worker.
If you already have a Mary, and you want more like her, you’re very lucky.
All you need do is ask her why she’s happy in your organisation.
You can then communicate these benefits to other people like her, using the sort of language she prefers.
This sounds logical, but (amazingly) most firms don’t involve current staff in the pursuit of kindred spirits.
One in a million
Only one person at a time will read your job ad. So instead of writing for a cast of thousands, picture the person you want and write to her.
When I write an ad to snare another Mary (Mary 2) I see her sitting in a sunroom on a Saturday afternoon, with a cup of tea and a cat, idly flicking through the paper.
She’s so happy working where she is, she’s not even looking for a job. This kind of ‘passive’ candidate is invariably the most desirable, yet the hardest to attract.
But it is possible.
‘Your ad spoke to me!’
Speaking to your audience is vital; nuns and wharfies don’t share the same lexicon.
If I know who Mary is, I can use her language to attract Mary 2.
If I know she’s not motivated by commissions, competitive environments or Friday night booze-ups, I leave these out.
It’s easy to tell when I’ve succeeded.
Not only does Mary 2 take the job, she tells the interviewer that the ad ‘spoke’ to her.
That’s no accident.
You can do it too.
Next time I’ll reveal the structure of a perfect job ad and how to avoid brain snaps and writer’s block.*
Meanwhile, I’d love to know:
- If you have a Mary.
- How you hailed her.
- Whether you’d like more.
- How you plan to find, attract and retain them.
- What hasn’t worked in the past.
As always, we need critics and believers for a good debate.
So please give it to us with both barrels.
The audience is listening …
* If you can’t wait to see what happens, go here.