Honesty is Better than Sugar Coated Bull…

Honesty 3

The picture really appealed to my sense of humour and now have the job of correlating the humour of brutal honesty from a child – presuming authenticity of the picture and not the work of an adult with Crayola, writing with their wrong hand – and us mere workers being honest with ourselves with the results of our efforts.

Here goes…

In our role it’s important to have the ability to attract the best candidates for your clients and that doesn’t come with the usual hum drum you see in job ads. Though admittedly it’s not always easy to have the clarity of thought to record on paper, what people may be interested in reading when it comes to looking for the next step in their career. Or better, share something interesting that just so happens to be a job ad.

However it’s important to be honest (honesty, see…correlation complete) about what you’re achieving with a job ad because it’s all about the result, right?

If you write something that’s clever but totally unsearchable can it really be considered a success? Well it depends on a few things.

I wrote this ad a while back for a small managed service provider. They tasked me with finding people who wanted to learn and grow with the business and not just receive a monthly salary; that ad took me literally 90 seconds to write when everyone else was in the pub (clearly I was sufficiently incentivised to think fast).

Reasons you shouldn’t apply for this job:

1) It’s a lot of work
2) The technology is really modern, you probably don’t know it very well
3) There could be a lot of learning
4) They’ll expect you to get Microsoft and Cisco qualifications IN YOUR OWN TIME
5) They will pay you a lot of money; more money, more problems
6) You will have to push yourself
7) You will have to get out of your comfort zone
8) The other people in the team will be better than you
9) You will have to plan and execute IT infrastructure  projects
10) You may have to change the way you think
11) They have fun at work, work isn’t supposed to be fun
12) It’s still a lot of work

Seriously, why are you still reading?

This job, is not for you.


The response was nice, I received more phone calls, emails, tweets and LinkedIn messages than I care to remember or share but did it work?

The quick answer is: Yes and no.

In reality, the recognition came from friends, existing candidates who know me and knew I can be a bit left field, peers, job seekers who were “not looking in Aberdeen but thought they’d get in touch because I made them smile” – all great to hear from but none were my intended targets and none solved my client’s problem.

I didn’t directly fill the vacancy from this particular ad which I suspect is owed to the fact it’s pretty unsearchable other than the mention of Cisco and Microsoft, a bit of an advertising faux pas really.

However I also think it was a success because the advert was shared ten times more than any ad I’ve sweated over… 1000% increase in shares…not a bad return really?

I think it was successful because people were talking about our business and about me. I connected with so many candidates because of this advert, people who I would otherwise never have known but managed to assist in other roles and I can only consider it a massive success because of this.

I’d like to think because of this advert people were able to see a little of who I am and differentiate me and our business from the competition but other people can decide that.

For me, it’s just about speaking to people in a language they understand and cutting through the noise of recruitment advertising and speaking with people that others can’t.

Much better than the standard “Our dynamic client…” don’t you think?

NB I must tip the nod to Mitch for giving me the idea for this blog. Mitch, I expect a call from the plagiarism cops.


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