How to Write Hiring Ads – Part 1

If the labor landscape is a 2 liter of Diet Coke, then 2020 was a handful of white Mentos.

The resulting effervescent employee redistribution has left many businesses scrambling. And in 2021, it’s an amazing opportunity for you, the business owner, to scoop up the talent and people you’ve been needing.

And all you need is a hiring ad that’ll attract the people you’re looking for.

There are several different angles and approaches to accomplish this, so I’m breaking this topic up into manageable chunks.

Here’s part one.

Oh, side note before we jump in. All of this assumes your company is a place people would actually like to work. If it’s not, then start by making it an inviting place before you try to hire people. Otherwise, they’ll leave as fast as you can hire them. And that’s just a waste of your and their time.

Bad advertising is about you, your company, and your product.

This is true when you’re trying to sell customers. It’s also true of ads for employment.

I know you already know this concept, but I’m reminding you of it because if we don’t start here, none of the other proven techniques I’m sharing with you will work.

So, don’t make your employment ad about your company, your staffing needs, or what the prospective hire can do for you.

Make it about them, their needs, and what you can do for them as their employer.

Question. In the ad, do your potential employees need to know about your company, the job, and where they’ll be working?

Yes, they do.

So how do you tell them about your company without making the ad about your company?

Weave the details in through narrative.

If you need someone who can lift fifty-pound sacks, a bad recruitment ad would have a bullet list item that says something like, “Must be able to lift 50lb sacks.”

Instead, make it about them by saying, for example, “…and when the truck comes in at 8am, you’re there to help them unload the 50lb sacks and stack them in the warehouse. But that’s not a problem for you because you’re strong and know proper lifting technique.”

For each job requirement, skill set, or point you need them to know about your company, weave it into a story about them and when and why they’ll encounter it.

By doing so, they’ll see themselves doing the job in their mind’s eye. And once they’ve rehearsed it in their mind, they’re precipitously close to acting it out in the real world.

– Zac Smith, VC