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Newspaper Ads are Dead because you don’t know how to Write them.

When faced with the task of filling a job opening, classified ads are your least productive source of qualified job candidates.  If you are seeking candidates in a highly competitive field where the number of job openings is far greater than the number of people in the workforce with the necessary skills, then many employers with similar needs will probably be running ads as well.  The prospective employees who are successfully employed in high-demand field are usually not reading the help ads.  In these circumstances, your ad is likely to generate either very few responses or responses from individuals who lack the necessary qualifications.

Considering the job opening is for a position with few requirements, or in a field that is overpopulated, you are likely to receive a very large response.  A flood of resumes does not ensure the highest quality candidates, and the larger the response, the more work you’ll need to do.  If you feel it’s important to generate a large pool, be certain that you’re able handle the applicants properly.  A large pool of candidates is useless if you cannot screen them.

If you decide to run an ad, follow these guidelines:

  • Write a creative ad that reflects both the position and the culture of your company. Employment advertising can be expensive, avoid repetition.
  • Place the ad in the appropriate category and on the best day for the particular publication. You can save by combining more than one position in the same ad box if the positions are similar in status and responsibility.
  • Do not automatically repeat an ad week to week. It is unlikely that you will receive significantly different responses.  If you place frequent ads, review them for similarities.  Before placing an ad, look at recent ads from your company that sought similar skills and review the responses that you received.
  • Provide methods for response that are appropriate to the specific job. For instance, don’t require a resume from a storeroom clerk, or janitor and have a mechanism for receiving resumes for higher level positions.  If you have a fax machine, put it to use, provide a number for responses, keep the fax machine on and filled with paper, and ensure it’s in a location where responses can be received in confidence.
  • When possible, consider using an advertising agency that specializes in recruitment advertising. They can assist you with placements and effective wording of an advertisement, and they may have the advantage of later deadlines.
  • Search for alternative publications, such as college, trade, or industry journals, and of course online.
  • Lastly, double check all information going into an employment ad; especially the phone number.

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