Johnny Molson: So, how are you handling your recruitment? Is it just the boilerplate? Fill in the blank stuff? “Here’s what the opening is. Here’s what it pays. Here’s what the benefits are.” Or are you using your recruitment advertising to actually help enhance your brand? And are you using your recruitment advertising maybe to weed out the people you don’t want working for your company? That’s what we’re going to talk about today on the Wizard’s Roundtable. And in fact, we’re going to take a tour of some state capitals. Chris Maddock is in Austin, Texas, and he wrote one of the key chapters in Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads on recruitment advertising. Kevin Skaalure is in Helena Montana. And he’s going to share with you a technique where you ask current employees why they like working at this place and use that for your recruitment. And I’m Johnny Molson in Springfield, Illinois. Here’s our state Capitol back there. And we’re going to start in Helena, Montana with Kevin Skaalure. We’re talking about how to get your recruitment ads to sound and look and be a little different. Kevin Skaalure: We see “Help Wanted” everywhere. And people seem to want to do the same thing all the time. And that’s just kind of pounded down people’s throats and “We are open and we have a job for you and here’s all the stuff.” And that’s what got me thinking of going back to what Chris wrote in his part of Roy Williams’ book in The Secret Formulas, where he said, don’t speak for the job, talk about the person and appeal to the person. And I read that so many years ago and I followed that kind of idea for a lot of my clients and then it works out. And I know Chris had a great example on the classified ad where he was originally hired. And I’ve taken that out to my clients on the radio and done a lot of different messaging that way. JJohnny Molson: Chris, what does it mean to speak to the person instead of the job? Chris Maddock: I think it means having somebody imagine being involved in the ad. In Roy’s ad that I answered, I think it was 1995. It was in the Austin American Statesman and it promised me 18500. I mean, I was definitely going to answer for that, how could you resist? I like 18500, clearly. But I looked back later and I remember that it was a balance and I could tell that Roy wrote it. You know, looking back cause it was, “You’re gonna work hard. You’re gonna sweep up shit. You’re gonna do all this stuff. But you could have a chance to be a copywriter at an emerging company.” And you could tell Roy was saying things more powerfully than perhaps he knew them to be true. He had to. Because when I got hired, I was working by washing machines, you know. But this was Roy well before he was the Wiz: imagining his company, helping me imagine what I could do. It was “Super gopher slash writer” was the headline.
Example Recruitment Ad
Roy Williams: “Entry-level opportunity of a lifetime. Are you dependable and resourceful? Do you have lots of energy, intuition, and initiative? Do you dress well, have computer skills? Are you willing to pick up clients at the airport, wash dishes, vacuum carpets, conduct telephone surveys, run errands, and do all the other things we don’t have time to do? We are an advertising firm with clients nationwide and we need a super-gopher. No whiners. No lazy people. Nobody with too many “personal commitments.” South Austin. $1,500 a month. “
Chris Maddock: And I was like, “I can do super gopher. And I want to be a writer.” So he helped me paint that scene almost perfectly. And evidently, that scene was perfect for some like thousand people that answered that ad. So he did a really good job there, and that’s why I stole the technique as I have so many from him. Johnny Molson: So, I think we’ve seen so often in different business publications saying it’s not necessarily the money. Although for Chris, it was a whopping 18500 that lured him in. But it’s not necessarily the money that people are looking for. There’s something else going on. So how do you speak to that something else, Kevin? Kevin Skaalure: I think that’s right. You speak right to the heart of the person. Recently, I had a hospital and they were advertising — not for healthcare workers. But for a number of people that do not work in the healthcare field but yet work at the hospital. And the driving force was that the person that came in spoke to his idea of being tied to healthcare and being a servant and enjoying everything he did about that. And he did mention benefits of course, but that was much later in the conversation.
It was the idea that said he felt that he belonged there. And so when we were doing ads and he was speaking to that, the idea of belief and being part of this group of like-minded individuals. And that really carried strongly through the ad. So it reaches that appeal to people that, “Yeah, money is great, but I’m going to spend 40 or more hours a week here. I want to enjoy what I’m doing and feel I’m counted.” And like you alluded to, you can take a lot of people that fill out questionnaires and money is down below time off. It’s what sense do you get from doing what you do? And when you can appeal to people that way, also coming from an employee, I think it’s an added benefit to say “That guy likes it. I hear that. That sounds good. I think I would enjoy working with someone who believes like I believe.” Chris Maddock: Kevin, you have an employee of one of your clients doing the ad. I’ve never done that. Kevin Skaalure: Yes I do. And in fact, it’s much like what we’re doing now. We have that conversation and we draw those out. And I started that a long time ago.
Example Recruitment Ad
Adrian: There is an entirely hidden giant population of people who work in a hospital who have nothing to do with medical or medicine.
Announcer: You don’t have to be called doctor or nurse to find a fulfilling career at St. Peter’s Health. Just ask environmental services coordinator, Adrian Harrison.
Adrian: I want to help my community. This puts me in a position to do that every day. It allows me to have a job that I can say that I’m proud to have. Our number one concern at St. Peter’s Health in the 10 years that I’ve been there has always been: What’s going to serve our community to the utmost? We’re here to support the community, to make sure that our community is healthy and safe and is able to keep moving. We are the place to work in Helena, Montana. This is a job that allows us to have fun as a family and enjoy our community. Live a life worth living.
Announcer: Find your next career at SPhealth.org/careers.
Adrian: We need good people all the time. We want you to come apply for a job at our hospital. We want you to come get interviewed. We want you to think about us ’cause we’re thinking about you. We should be your first choice St. Peter’s Health, higher state of care.