Making massive impact is really, really easy if you’ve got heaps of money to throw at your sourcing – carpet the job-boards, use video game characters to attract targets, create clever viral video campaigns with one of the world’s top ad agencies.
But for most of us over here in real life, we have to generate the same impact with a fraction of the budget.
So what do you do?
Stop trying to generate big buzz, and start focusing on the right buzz.
The first thing is letting go of the need to create huge impact in one, big way. Instead, look for a hundred small, free or cheap ways to seed your role out.
And the second thing? Make your role sound as awesome as you know it is. Write great recruitment ads – make your messages so good people WANT to pass them around.
Getting these things right starts from one place – getting really clear on your audiences.
Make sure you know who you’re looking for
You’ve heard the old marketing adage “selling to everyone with a mouth” right? It’s expensive, inefficient and it almost never works. And yet so many traditional recruitment advertising platforms are trying to do just that.
If you have a slim budget, you need to make the word “targeted” your best friend, and you need to get creative with your advertising sell.
Why creative you ask? Simply put, if you can’t pay for big media, you need people to spread your ad for you. People are far more likely to share something that reflects on them well – it’s witty or clever or insightful or will genuinely help someone they know.
Your first step is to think about who you’re trying to attract. Really think about them. We’re not looking for demographic info like location or level of education. We’re looking for psychographic insight. After all, you’re looking for a human being, not a checklist of achievements and skills.
What sort of activities are they into? What kinds of places do they hang out (online and IRL)? What are they likely to be looking for in their jobs and workplaces? What motivates them? What does “funny” look like to them? What kinds of marketing ads work on them? Why?
You wanna get under their skin. It’s not about gross generalisations (although that’s a useful way to get the mental ball rolling), it’s about understanding what unique characteristics your ideal candidate has, so you can more efficiently find them.
Once you know who they are, think about who they know. Or more specifically, think about who YOU know who might have contact with them.
Write an ad a human person wants to read
And not just any human. Your ideal candidate human.
Think about where this ad is going to sit and be appropriate. For example, a Facebook post can be much wordier than a Twitter ad. Both are more casual and matesy than a job board listing.
If you can create a message people actually want to read, it’ll stand out, people will feel good about sharing it and, best of all, it’ll be sticky. Your potential candidates will remember it and it’ll nag away happily at their brain until they apply for the job.
Some general rules of thumb for creating sticky ads/messages:
1. Think about what the message needs to DO.
Do you want people to click a link to a place where they can find out more? If so, the only job the ad needs to do is intrigue someone enough to click the link. Word of warning, make sure you’re giving a broad context with that enticement,. A simple “Work here” or “we’re looking for a new podster” is enough to save your DO YOU LOVE ICECREAM?? headline from frustrating ambiguity.
2. Use a really specific call to action.
If you want someone to click your link, say, “click this link”. If you want someone to share with their friends, say, “who do you know who would love this job? Share this link with them!”. Contrary to popular belief, people sometimes quite like being told what to do.
3. Find a weird hook.
Situation Vacant. Opportunity awaits. Grad role available. Are you yawning? You should be. These are literally the most boring ways I can imagine to start an ad. In the ad industry, we would talk about “stealing interest”. That’s what you need to do here. How can you make yourself stand out? Look for the weirdest, most interesting thing about the role. Is there are a kooky job title? Do you get some awesome kitten-related perk? Will it get someone in on the ground-floor of the next Apple or Xero? That’s your hook. Lead with it.
Make it really, really easy to share
This means easy for you to share to job boards and social platforms so you can take advantage of spontaneous sourcing opportunities, as well as easy for other people to pick up and share virally amongst their own networks.
Using a tool like Weirdly lets you house all your job info and initial application process in one place. It gives you an easy, sharable short-link that sends people to a fun, branded experience with good role info. This means you don’t have to cram heaps of description into your ads, and your word-of-mouth spreaders have something easy and fun to flick around their friends.
Go back to sourcing basics
Simple, great, effective sourcing opportunities are all around us. In case you missed our post a few weeks back, here are 10 often-overlooked places you should start seeding your brilliant job ad+Weirdly link combo.
The key is to stay focused on the person you’re trying to find. Go where they are, post ads they’re going to feel compelled by. Don’t think like a recruiter, think like the person you’re trying to recruit.