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  • Writer's picturejoel

Are You Failing to Attract Great People Because Your Job Posts Suck?

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Don’t Compete – Stand Out:

Leaders that effectively recruit from outside the organization don’t try to compete with all the others. If they would, their results would resemble those who are failing to attract good people. Great recruiters stand out by painting a clearer picture than their competition. They appeal to those who are looking for more than the best pay and benefit package. They have a greater purpose and mission in mind. When writing recruitment ads, they communicate a more appealing message of purpose, mission, empowerment, and future opportunity.

Most employers copy and paste from all the others when it comes to writing recruitment ads. If you look at their job descriptions and written ads, you see basically the same template. The job descriptions are all about the skills and requirements. They focus on expectations. Sometimes they will go the extra mile and let you know the kind of behavior or person they don’t want. Prospects are sometimes shamed before they even apply. I read an ad a while back that said, “We are looking for people who actually show up for interviews!” Now, that is raising the bar.

They Have a Problem:

When job seekers begin their search (or continue), they are looking for a solution to a problem they have. They are not looking to solve a problem that the employer has. Most ads are written from the perspective of what the applicant will need to do to be worthy of the position. They attempt to filter out those that are not worthy and in doing so they completely miss the boat. Job seekers are looking to be inspired. They know what it’s like to be “employed” by a company who offers “jobs” working for a “boss” they don’t like. They likely already have that. They want more. That is why they are looking. Are YOU what they are looking for? How would they know?

Job seekers have a problem, so provide a solution. BE the solution to their problem. Your written or verbal recruitment ads need to meet the following criteria:

  • It needs to capture their attention. You only have about 3 seconds before they move on to the next listing.

  • It needs to clearly illustrate a problem the jobseeker can relate to. They need to see that you understand and empathize with their situation.

  • It needs to provide an opportunity. People need an invitation, not go through TSA security checkpoint.

  • They need to communicate a solution that others are not offering. They need your Unique Staffing Proposition clearly stated.

  • It needs to give them an idea of what it will be like working for your company. They need to feel the emotions ahead of time. A great vision will inspire people from within.

Which of the following 2 ads best provide a solution to the problem job seekers have?

Which ad would you be most likely to respond to?

Employment Ad #1 (actual ad taken from jobsite)

Now Hiring Servers: Department: Operations Reports To: Restaurant Management

Nature and Scope of Position: Demonstrates a passion to serve by providing an outstanding guest service experience in an enthusiastic and energetic fashion while meeting or exceeding the guests’ expectations.

Essential Functions: Greet and take customers order within three minutes of being seated and delivers order within ten minutes. Accurately takes and enters guest orders in the computer system and have a strong knowledge of the menu to offer suggestions and choices. Serve menu items and beverages at appropriate temperatures, with proper garnishes and accompaniments. Exhibit integrity in all actions by meeting company standards in appearance, grooming, security and sanitation.

Always shows up in a clean apron, pressed shirt, clean pants, non- slip shoes and name tag. Clean and stock service areas and assigned server stations. Pre-busses guest tables to enhance guest dining experience. Demonstrate respect for everyone by always communicating courteously and respectfully with management team, co-workers, and guest even during peak hours. Adhere to and follows all safe food handling and health department procedures. Complete opening and/or closing duties. Enthusiastically acknowledge guests with the company’s five-foot rule. Perform all other duties as assigned.

Qualification Requirements: Must be 16 years old and meet any other state age or labor requirements. No one under the age of 18 may operate, clean adjust or touch a slicer or mixer.

Employment Ad #2 (actual ad created by me and a client)

Notice the Problem/Solution/Results/Opportunity framework and a clear communication of values and vision.


If trading your time for money is getting old and you are ready to discover a path to greater future opportunity, then stop looking for jobs trading time for money. Fitness Sports is a fast-growing company with opportunities to learn and develop your personal and professional skills. We offer a great pipeline to leadership development. Come be part of a team of professionals striving to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle.

As the owner of Fitness Sports, I have a passion for shaping the company's success by focusing on building a great culture and developing our staff through 1 on 1 and group coaching. My primary responsibility will be to help assist you and teach you how to solve problems and to strive to reach your best. Together we will work to grow our positive work culture into a well-oiled team of efficiency, with you at the head of the table.

We are Builders of Culture:

1. We offer a culture that is humble and hungry and exciting to be at work.

2. We provide a trustworthy atmosphere that is focused on helping each other grow.

We Teach You How to Staff Your Store Effectively:

1. By Identifying the strengths and areas for improvement of individual team members.

2. By implementing a proven career development growth strategy to help promote excellent members of the team

We give Exceptional Customer Experience:

1. We lead by example in providing a unique customer service experience for customers.

2. We ensure that our customers have great experiences with a proven system that ensures a high customer return rate.

We serve the Community.

  • We offer opportunities to make an impact in the community that you live in.

  • We provide a chance to leave in impact with the people that are in your community.

This ad generated 38 General Manager candidates leading to 10 scheduled interviews in the first week. Then, they kept coming...

Remember, it’s not about what they can do for you, rather what you can do for them! If you can't solve their problem, they will keep looking.

If you can't solve other peoples problems, you have a problem. Get help with your problem, so you can help others with theirs.

This blog is an excerpt from my book Team Design available on Amazone. Search for "Team Design Joel" or click here.

If you are struggling with attracting great people and can relate with this blog article, stop procrastinating and allow me to partner with you to take your organization to the next level. I will help you write dynamic job postings that will set you apart from all the jokers. First rule: don't be one of them.

Joel Smith

Business Coach, Author and Entrepreneur

This article is a section out of the book Team Design: Building Great Teams By Attracting the Right People. Download the Free PDF version.

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