Are Your Job Ads Cursed Like Nike’s?

Kathy Rapp Communication, Employment Branding and Culture, Executive Search, Innovation, Kathy Rapp, Recruiting, Social Recruiting

Nike is pulling yet another athlete’s ad campaign as news surfaced about Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius.  It seems Oscar is under scrutiny after being charged for murdering his girlfriend, who died from gunshot wounds. If the circumstances weren’t bad enough,  Nike’s ad featuring the double- amputee had the tag-line “I am a bullet in the chamber”.

Some believe Nike might be cursed.  Michael Vick, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger…..ummm, I’d be asking the question too.

Considering talent acquisition and the “war for talent” is back on everyone’s radar, job ads are also back in the spotlight. In a thought-provoking post from Liz Ryan she asked if our job ads were driving away talent?  Ding, ding, ding!!!  Couldn’t agree more.

Don’t we all hate writing job ads?  Is there anything more predictable (not unlike the Nike curse)?  With all of the “essential job duties” and “requirements” our postings are as eye-catching as another picture of a wasted Lindsay Lohan!  Been there, seen that.

Perhaps it’s time for HR to hire “Creative Directors” to spice up our job ad campaigns.  Doubtful many of us can afford Alicia Keys or Justin Timberlake, but I see a new job emerging in HR. A huge part of our roles in HR IS marketing…and job ads are prime example of how many opportunities we’re missing by not getting a bit funky.

I ran across an E-Trade job infographic for a Financial Consultant.  Come on!  If E-Trade can make jobs sparkly and appealing, why can’t we all do it?  I also really liked 10x Marketing’s “Join Us Or Die” ad for interns with Darth Vader’s masked face front and center.

For some roles, picking up the phone and calling people is still your best bet in terms of getting someone’s attention; but for many jobs and especially those targeted at entry-level or high-volume needs, why aren’t you doing something beyond the typical job posting?!  Getting the attention of anyone under 60 requires a more targeted, creative and visual approach.  So guess what – that’s likely 80% of your current and future talent pool.

Quit wasting time on boring job postings that truly could be turning talent off!  Hit me in the comments with how you’re doing things differently or lessons learned.

And I’d stay away from the prized athlete approach.  Doesn’t seem to be panning out so well over at Nike.

Kathy Rapp
Kathy Rapp is the CEO of hrQ where she helps companies find groovy HR Talent for permanent or project roles across the country. Prior to joining hrQ Kathy booked more than 15 years of diverse HR leadership experience working in F500s and start-up organizations. A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent insights can be gleamed from the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen and AC/DC.