When All The HR Pros Do One Thing, I Tend To Do The Exact Opposite

Oct 18, 2021

It Has Produced The Besat Results

The Rebel In Me Started It, The Results Kept Me Doing It

A few years back, I had the pleasure of traveling to the Pacific Northwest up through to Alaska. The first trip there was pretty awe inspiring getting to see so many bald eagles just perched atop trees and buildings like pigeons in New York and watch those very persistent salmon swim upstream, against the current, to continue the species.

Watching those salmon use every ounce of their energy to try and swim up against a current which had to significant compared to their sleek bodies really brought The Lion King song, The Circle of Life, quite literally to life.

However, when I consider the many intelligently skilled Human Resources professionals I know or am acquainted with, a good 97% of them ignore the salmon and swim with the current. Good for getting by, not always good for getting results.

Spending a career in Hospitality Human Resources, I was fortunate once and only once in being able to hire to fill the entry level positions I have had open.

It was 2010 and the hotel I was working for had just completed a multi-million dollar renovation and we needed to add on somewhere around 32 new staff.

This was right in the midst of the worst economic downturn up until that point in most of our lives. We really were in the catbird seat so to speak as there were few jobs open and thousands upon thousands of eager candidates for each position open.

Those days are certainly gone but it is much like the stock market with it's swings up and down, they will some back in some fashion again.

The very best of HR Professionals know you simply have to do more and do it often.

I fashion myself a junior copywriter. Not the Don Draper type writing big time ads for national name brands but more on the style of the legendary Gary Halbert and the direct response genre of copywriters.

Those are the guys who write the infomercials for Sham Wow or Oxyclean, the 8+ page magalogs(they look like a magazine but sell a product or service) you get often unsolicited in the mail, and the one page offers to buy your house you also receive and also often unsolicited. I often get offers to buy my UPS Store address and have thought more than once to sell, lol.

So what does this copywriting skill have to do with hiring?

The Prince of Print: Do The Opposite

Let me ask you, have you ever seen a typical job posting? If it is at all like what I have seen, a lot of Job Descriptions repurposed as a job posting full of KSA's, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities.

The late great copywriter Gary Halbert said when everyone is doing something, do the exact opposite.

There's been a lot written about the radio station WIIFM including here on this humble blog, What's In It For Me? It's an old salesperson's standard when selling. What do I, as the buyer/consumer, get with this purchase?

This typically gets into a discussion of features and benefits and the savviest of sales professionals add in a result.

For example, this car runs exclusively on electricity(feature) so that it runs clean without gas(benefit) which means you will also save over $1,987/year in fuel cost savings(result).

I say, working for you requires the same thing: features, benefits and results:

You will work a flexible schedule so you can have a life outside of work allowing you to spend time traveling, learning or whatever else you are passionate about!

That's a little different than you must have a High School Diploma, reliable transportation etc.

1 great tip is to call out your ideal candidates at the very top of your ad:

If You Are A Pet Lover Looking To Play With The Animals All Day, Then Look No Further!

Don't you think that sounds better than:

Now Hiring Kennel Attendants

This goes to a powerful principle about identity and the inherent human need to be accepted and in a part of a group. Using what marketers call your ideal avatar, in this example, the animal lover, draws in the right people and repels most of the ones you don't want.

Hotels and restaurants were my beat for a long time and an example I could have used there was:

"If You Are Looking For A Fast Paced and High Volume Restaurant Until You Are Discovered By Hollywood, Then Get HERE Now!"

What his ad has done is eliminate lazy and generally slow people and attracted the ones who are hungry to rake in tips like Vegas Casino rakes in hordes of cash. Fast pace and high volume imply there will be a lot of table turns so chances are great a server will make money here.

The WIIFM here is obviously $$$.

How about for a Life Insuance Agent?

Try this on for size:

"If You're A Burned Out Life Insurance Salesperson Tired Of the Daily Cold Calling, Browbeating and Phones Being Hung up On You, Then We WANT You. We Have More Inbound Leads Than We Can Handle And The Phone Won't Stop Ringing!!!"

Now in fairness and to be ethical, this damned well better be what you are offering or you will have a ton of ticked off people and a possible FTC Violation. So, please, be honest with your ads but really think about what it is your ideal applicant is and wants.

For assistance in writing compelling and magnet pulling job ads, reach out to me directly.