Back in my recruitment marketing/advertising agency days I looked after, amongst others, some of the largest recruitment consultancy advertising accounts in the UK, each with budgets of over £1 million. Creativity and innovation weren’t just buzzwords, they were givens. I’m talking of the days when a client would happily spend £10k on a one off full page 4 colour print ad in say Computing magazine in order to attract the very best IT people around. Coincidentally, I had a missive from a client of mine from those days who says he still talks to this day about how creative those ads we wrote and designed for him were.
What’s happened since then sadly though, as we all know, is that online has long since wiped out print as a medium and recruitment advertising has become cheaper and dumbed down and increasingly easy to do down the years. These days, anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can have a job post out in internet land within minutes but without any kind of forethought (or so it seems from the plethora of really bad job ads out there). I believe, however, that that kind of mentality needs to change. We need to go back towards the quality and creativity the print days gave us, but in an online capacity.
It may seem other worldly to Gen X and Y, but it was a time when you had to really think about what you said and try and create something that set you apart and made you stand out from the crowd. Conversely, today’s jobs market is awash with crap ads, deflated recruiters wondering why their advertising isn’t working and frustrated candidates fed up trying to find an advert that actually talks to, and appeals to them. Too many people have lost the creative plot. The cut & pasted job description has replaced the long forgotten finely crafted and well thought out 4 colour adverts that used to work so well.
It really is time for a change back to the old way of thinking, but coupled with a 21st century mindset. For instance, perhaps someone could create a decent job board that accepts artwork, rather than what exists at the moment, which is a plethora of job boards that will pretty much accept any old cut & pasted nonsense. I say that because social media, as great as it is, is hit and miss. It’s a nice free alternative, but it's such a complete mish mash of everything. You can spend ages and £££s on trying to crack it, but the truth is, no one, social media gurus included, really knows (or can guarantee) what works and what doesn't. Analytics, metrics, a new bit of kit that checks your copy for spelling mistakes thus saving you the effort - forget all those and start thinking creatively. Then, if someone builds a job board where quality and creativity rules over quantity and you create adverts that actually appeal to the reader, the people will, I believe, come.