Bad Job Ads — A Real Turnoff


Companies post job advertisements with the aim of attracting qualified candidates, but all too often, they have just the opposite effect – turning them off.

One job ad, for example, listed 22 detailed essential job qualifications. What talented, sought after job candidate is going to bother wading through that thicket? What is even more problematic is that the ad gave no good reason why any good job candidate would want to consider the job.

Career strategist Liz Ryan says the recruiting process just doesn’t work, and the job listings prove it. The problem, she says, is twofold. First, the language in the job listings is wooden, stilted, and just poorly written. Rather than facilitating the process, they are more of a road block.

These kinds of ads are easy to spot. They start with mind-numbing boilerplate like, “The selected candidate will possess . . . “

Second, companies simply assume that all of these wonderful job candidates are just going to be crawling all over themselves to apply for these jobs, which just isn’t true, especially when the companies have not bothered to do any marketing for the job.

CEOs complain that they have a hard time finding talented people, without considering that their job advertisements aren’t helping them. The candidates they want are the ones who have options. These candidates can afford to be as selective as the companies who want them, and so the companies have to do more to entice them, to show them why they want to work for a particular company rather than another.

In the e-commerce arena, companies pay close attention to how often people abandon their online shopping carts. They watch to see how many people begin the process of buying something but don’t finish it. Companies need to do the same thing with the application process. They need to see how many people begin the process, but drop out before completing it. When this happens, it is a failure on the part of the employer.

Employers need to pay more attention to their brand and how their brand is communicated to potential employees. Job advertisements that are written in convoluted, bureaucratic prose, and application processes that are wrapped up in red tape will not help your company attract the best candidates.

As you work on your job ads to hire new people, contact the recruiters at RealStreet Staffing to find top-notch professionals in architecture, construction, and engineering sectors.

It was my distinct pleasure working for RealStreet, aka KJMK, on separate FEMA disaster recovery assignments and long-term recovery planning assignments between October 2004 and May 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Francis and Wilma. I found working with these professionals enjoyable as well as self-fulfilling and rewarding. After a 9-year stint as Read More…

Steve Spry, CAPZO, Certified Alabama Planning and Zoning Official

See All Testimonials

Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly emails for up-to-date industry news and insights.