I have been in recruitment now for over 20 years and I rarely write job adverts. I discovered long ago that advertising isn’t always the best form of reaching candidates.

Yes, you heard that right. A recruiter, who doesn’t advertise many roles?

I spent the best part of 20 years in recruitment to recruitment, an industry that relies heavily upon word of mouth and confidentiality. I came to realise very quickly that recruiters don’t post their CVs on job boards. A recruiter will rarely apply to adverts because of the fear factor of being found out. Since moving in to the Technology recruitment space, my preferred choice of candidate sourcing hasn’t changed and it’s paying off.

Its simple really. I target my search in order to achieve a better ratio of candidates sent to candidates interviewed. Here are my reasons for NOT writing job adverts……

1. Candidates rarely read the job advertisement in full. A Senior Data Engineer needs experience of writing algorithms in python so I can’t help you in to that role if you work as an accountant. When you end up with over 20 applications, that’s a lot of time spent responding to each candidate with an explanation as to why they haven’t made the cut.

2. Diversity is a big factor! I work with a lot of technology start-ups currently where diversity in the workforce is their top priority. Writing a job advert doesn’t enable you to influence the results that you will receive. For the times when I have written a job advert for a Software Developer, the applications received are mostly from either white males or overseas candidates (none of my roles currently are fully remote to enable overseas workers). The methods that I use, enable me to target candidates from a wide pool and I can therefore present my client with a mix of backgrounds, gender etc.

3. What value does that offer? I have made controversial statements before on posts and even during a live webinar, that I feel that recruiters charge too much money. What I actually mean though, is charging a client a 20% fee for writing an advert and finding the candidate isn’t good value in my opinion. I always encourage my clients to continue posting adverts if they wish and my work complements their talent pool .

4. I prefer to work with candidates on a more exclusive basis. A candidate that applies to my role has probably also applied to 10 other roles at the same time. It’s disappointing when you speak to a candidate to ask them what they know about the role they have applied for and they can’t remember.

To clarify, I am talking about very specific roles here in Technology where certain criteria does need to be met. I am sure that in other market sectors, some of these points won’t be relevant.

So what is the answer as a candidate?

1. If you are going to apply for a role on a job board, DO make sure that you keep a note of who, what, where. If you don’t hear from the recruiter and you genuinely feel that you are a good match, drop the recruiter or company an email to ask on the progress of your application.

2. Be realistic. If you don’t have the skills for the role, don’t be disappointed if you are not invited to interview.

3. Use Linkedin. Ensure that you have your profile set to “open to new opportunities” and either make this visible to the world (green banner around your picture) or select recruiters only. This way only those who have access to the Recruiter licence will know that you are looking. Think about the key words that you would need to include in your profile to be approached about relevant roles. You can put these keywords in to your summary profile or job description.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how successful advertising is for you either as a Recruiter or a candidate?

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Author louise@propeller-tech.com

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