First and foremost, congrats, Packers. But let’s get real. Who watches the Superbowl for the football? It’s all about the half-time show, and the commercials! And we’ve seen plenty of commercials over the years during the big game for vendors in the recruiting and job seeker space. Commercials have been on my mind otherwise though. A week or so ago I found myself in NYC, the guest of The Ladders at their Position Accomplished Summit. And, even better, at the end of the day sitting around a table in The Ladders conference room chatting with the other Summit guests on Steve Boese’s HRHappyHour.
During that show, Kris Dunn asked me, as a mom, what I thought of The Ladders new commercial and how I explain it to my kids. I have three daughters, nearly 16, 12 and 7. You want my response? You’ll have to listen to the archive of Steve’s show here. Poor Steve. I don’t think he expected my answer.
But what do I really think? It’s kind of been rolling around in my head and the other morning it clicked. Get ready because this is as if you’re sitting across from me in a conference room…
12 years ago Monster.com had an awesome Superbowl commercial:
My oldest daughter was 4 at the time. I wanted better for her and I wanted to be able to find the right job. In fact, a year after that ad ran, I got my AIRS CIR, put my resume up on Monster and within 24 hours was phone screened and booked on a flight to California, had face to face interviews within a week, and an offer extended on my plane ride home from one of my “dream” companies. Monster hit a home run.
Now, I’ve seen The Ladders offerings, repeatedly. This version I find probably the most irritating and somewhat offensive:
I know there’s humor. But the visual does me in. Not so much the men. But the women. Leg spreading? I mean really? I get it. I really do. Any press – including here, shame on me… – is good press in the job board industry because it gets people to look at you, whether you’re well behaved or naughty. The Ladders is falling on everyone’s radar with this commercial. And I do like and have a sense of humor. But I’m not sure from what I’m seeing that I’d pay for that. My sincere hope is that 100K candidates and above are at the top of their game, hopefully the best and brightest. Lured in by that? I’m not so sure.
Editor’s Note — We know. The Ladders stirs up all sorts of emotions among many of you. Among many of us in the FOT crew too. We all don’t share the same perspectives. Neither do you. But we’re happy to share in a dialogue about issues facing our industry and the world of work in general. We hope you’ll join in the conversation with us.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.