Sunday, January 25, 2009

Extra Extra Hear All About It

"Extra, Extra, Read all about it,
Wanted, young man single and free
Experience in love preferred,
But will accept a young trainee
Oh I'm gonna put it in the want ads..."
-Honey Cone singing Want Ads, 1971

Used to be when the want ads did the job in finding employees. That mode today is taking a back seat to sites like Workopolis, Monster, Kijiji, Craig's list and company websites. And with more choices today, companies are struggling to find people.

When you drill down there are really 3 types of potential employees out there.

  1. The person who will apply for every job posted because they hate what they do. Not a prime candidate.
  2. The person who is happy with their job but may be interested to know what else is out there. They occasionally check the want ads and might through their hat in the ring if something catches their eye.
  3. The best candidate, the one who is not looking for a job.

Numbers two and three are least likely to see your ads in the career section or specialty sites because they aren't looking.

We are starting to see a shift from newspapers as HR people are adapting to the changing times and the age of the internet. One of newspapers biggest source of revenue comes from the career section and the line rates are different from display advertising line rates. And unless you are a volume user, a typical career ad can run you about $2000.

Why not take that $2000 for your next go around and put into radio. That kind of money is a pretty solid two week radio campaign. Or if you feel you have to be in the paper, cut the ad cost in half, add radio. That same $2000 still gets you a career section ad and a week of radio. Whats the upside? Your radio ads could be speaking to that person driving home from a frustrated day at the office and you just piqued their interest.

Or consider what Ikea did in
Malmo, Sweden when they were looking for copywriters and project managers. They hand scrawled want ads in restrooms! Results? After only four days, they'd received 60 applications, which is five times the normal return rate on newspaper advertising for Ikea. The cost? 5 magic markers.

Tony Mariani

Extra, extra...Ladies and Gentleman.... Honey Comb

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