“We’ve had a great response to our ad” … What do you mean by “Great”?

We hear this a lot in the market. We know it’s true because when we advertise we get a great response to our advertisements (we’re talking hundreds). Would I ever use it as the only way to get a candidate? Absolutely not!


If I had a dollar for every time I heard this I’d be…hmm…I’d probably be able to buy myself a coffee everyday! If I had to approximate where I get my candidates from I’d say 5% are from internet/print advertisements. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great tool but it’s not a significant tool to attract the right people to your business. It should never be the only media!

There are some good candidates looking at the moment but you won’t even scratch the surface if you only look at an advertisement response.

When you make a hire you want to make sure you get the best person available, the person that can add the most value. If your hire is important to you why would you want (what could be) anything less than your first choice. If there are good candidates on the market readily available then you can bet there are better if you delve a bit further below the surface.

How would you feel if you were getting what you thought was a good candidate while your competitors were getting “the best”?

Almost every time companies advertise roles directly we could probably guess the top 5 people who would apply (and I’m guessing there would be only around 5 people who’d even make the cut). Sometimes you can strike lucky but if we only looked at 5% of the potential candidates and only considered those actively applying to advertisements then the chances of us being able to add any value are slim.

I had one client tell me: “We’ve had a great response – we’re getting people over qualified applying”. That’s not a good response. These people will become unengaged and leave.

Let’s examine this further. If I get 5% from print and internet advertising then 95% of my candidates come from elsewhere. Now say I’m the perfect recruiter and 100% of the roles I place are perfect matches that offer value for years down the line (I like to think this is the case obviously!), this means that I’m missing out on 95% of the market if I limit it to internet and print.

To put it short if you’re relying on just internet and press advertising to source your candidates you are nearly 20 times less likely to get the best candidate for the role.


One thought on ““We’ve had a great response to our ad” … What do you mean by “Great”?

  1. Pingback: MyCareer is on the right track – Enlightenment to Revolution | Mark Johnson - South Australia's Accounting & Finance Recruiter

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