You can find your hire power in recruitment advertising. That power radiates from employee perspectives, multiple, authentic voices, implied meaning, and indirect targeting. First, start with the Wizard.
In Secret Formulas of The Wizard of Ads, Roy Williams begins the chapter, “Writing Classified Ads for Employment,” by handing his pen to Chris Maddock. Chris shares the ad which brought him to the Wizard, summarizing, “The ad was so effective that it has become the template from which we write classified ads for all our clients.” Read the whole chapter and the entire book. But for now, heed this:
“Rule 1. The ad should be about the employee, not the job.”
Rule One has been my girder in recruitment ads for a hospital, an appliance repair shop, an outdoor retail store, and a law enforcement agency.
When employees and employers give voice to who they are, what they believe, and why they do what they do, there is power in their unscripted speech.
The Authentic Voice
- To capture authenticity, ask your subjects open-ended questions, lots of them.
- One will tell a story. Use it.
- One will be specific about the good. Use it.
- One will be specific about the difficult. Use it.
- Edit. Edit. Edit.
- Suddenly, you have an ad. If you need a campaign, create several ads. (Actually it’s not suddenly. It’s challenging, but worth it).
“She was terrified. She was four or five and I gave her a fuzzy blanket and made her a junior trooper and gave her a finger puppet to protect ‘cause she was a trooper.
I saw the little girl go from complete fear to absolute certainty that she was gonna be okay. And that’s why we do what we do. We want the people of Montana whether they’re little or big to feel safe and secure…Once you’re a trooper you really can’t look back. It’s what you are.”
There are benefits in combining multiple voices in one ad. Besides selecting different voices for changing tempos and upping interest, using both men and women affirms equal opportunity.
In the case of the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP), identifying duty stations indicates “statewide.” Identifying ranks/longevity conveys “career.” Without stating it directly, the MHP ads say that the agency is looking for women and men to serve all over the state and accept a calling, a career.
The ads radiate attitudes and values in clear statements and revealing stories. They entreat: “Do you belong here?”
MHP Recruiting One
MHP Recruiting Two
MHP Recruiting Three
By creating recruitment ads this way, you speak to prospective employees and indirectly message the public in a positive way. You communicate whom you’re hoping to hire, using the authentic voices of people you employ.
HR finds. PR shines. Utilize your hire power.