Job Ads: You Catch More Flies with Honey than You Do with Vinegar

Attracting talent is a huge undertaking, and if your job ads aren’t worded properly, you could be missing out on great candidates. But when you post a condescending job ad geared toward Millennials, basically blaming them for being lazy, you’re probably going to attract a lot of criticism, not talent.

honey

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Case-in-point: A theater in London recently came under fire for a job ad it posted seeking an administrative assistant. The job ad has since been removed from the company website, but just because you delete it, that doesn’t mean it’s not living somewhere else on the dark Web. The description read:

“Dear Millenials [sic],

As a professional company in the arts industry for the best part of twenty years, grafting, scraping, cap in hand to angels and funding bodies and occasionally getting lucky. Surviving on our box office, breaking even and revelling in the success that in the real world that is. It saddens me to be putting this advert up for the third time in as many months.

Are you just not taught anything about existing in the real world, where every penny counts. Did no one teach you that the end of your studies is the beginning of your education?

We are still here, after all these years. We run a venue in South Central London, we run as a receiving house, producing house. We have an outdoor events company putting on festivals on the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. We have been lucky enough to have been funded on several occasions in the last five years by Arts Council England for our outdoor projects, but the bulk of the funding for the art in and around our venue comes from the venue itself. We raise our own money by running a successful business alongside and intrinsically part of our art. We opened in a recession and are about to embark on a number of major projects.

One old lady used to run the whole of Mountview Academy with an IBM computer, it shouldn’t be this hard.

We need a grafter, who can commit. The absolute dogs in office skills, the ability to run a paper filing system as well as a computerised one, the ability to complete and keep track of a huge to-do list, to make our office work, create and develop business management systems that help the business to grow, giving space for more creative work to go ahead. To see where we are headed and realise that it is in your own hands how far you are able to go with us as we grow.

We have not been impressed so far.”

If this was the company’s third shot at trying to recruit talent, I can only imagine what the other two tries looked like. When reading this, the old adage “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” comes to mind. With that being said, let this be a lesson in what not to do when recruiting top talent!

Melissa BlazejakMelissa Blazejak is a Senior Web Content Editor at BLR. She has written articles for HR.BLR.com and the HR Daily Advisor websites and is responsible for the day-to-day management of HR.BLR.com and HRLaws.com. She has been at BLR since 2014. She graduated with a BA of Science, specializing in Communication, from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2008. Most recently, she graduated in 2014 with a MS of Educational Technology.

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Author: Melissa Blazejak