Every year, we look to squeeze pennies out of existing ad buys, branching into predictive analysis and retargeting, but so is our competition. Overall, it feels like we’re working twice as hard just to stay in place. Someone keeps pressing the “faster” button on the treadmill and we’re sweating harder to go nowhere new.
But an ad is a very small thing. At its most effective, it cannot convince or compel action (not unless you’re buying 30-minute infomercial spots). Ads are really good at one thing: drawing attention.
From “Where’s the beef?” to “tastes great, less filling” to “It’s everywhere you want to be,” ads have 30 seconds, or 140 characters, or 80×480 pixels, to get your attention and ask you to look at something new. That’s all. It can’t explain your employer brand. It can’t outline why people love working for you. It can’t even explain what the job opening is. It can only get someone’s attention and say, “Hey! Look over here!” and point them to more information.
The issue is that 99 percent of the time, the thing the ad is pointing to is a job description, something that, as we know, doesn’t really compel action. If it did, recruiters wouldn’t have to spend long hours on the phone trying to explain what the job is really about.
Structurally, this is how pretty much every “modern” company recruits: Spend a lot of money to get people’s attention and then squander that attention by driving them to the job description hurdle. If we were making a movie, we would effectively be spending 90 percent of our budget on the trailer, and not investing in the movie itself.
The complete Recruiting’s Magic Bullet can be found on ERE.net.