Talent Acquisition Workplace

A Candid Job Advert for Working in Recruitment

Viral comedy.

Did any of you see the job advert written by American business owner, Justin, advertising for a chef for his eaterie in Clarkston?
If you haven’t read it yet, it has gone viral across the globe.

Truth hurts.

And the reason for this global interest, aside from his target audience within the catering world, is he writes with such candour and brutal honesty, that the words are a total contradiction of how an employer should write a job advert that appeals to potential applicants.

He talks about being able to manage his wife, who is ultimately the “boss” (OBVIOUSLY), however the part that made the recruiter in me roar, was his reference to cover letters and CVs:

Succinct covering letters and CVs are encouraged, with the brusque businessman implying that previous recruitment processes have involved reading too many prolix applications: “If you have one that says you’re a ‘hard-working team player that can also function well alone’ and that you ‘value customer service and punctuality’ I will stab myself in the face with a pencil and nobody will get a job … Last time I was hiring for a place I got over 400 CVs. You know how long it takes to read 400 CVs? Too damned long. So don’t waste anyone’s time.

Honesty pays.

Justin shows his humour though and he ultimately wears his heart on his sleeve;

What you cannot do is be a pain in my balls because my life savings is on the line and I have to work with my wife all day so I don’t have time for any primadonna bulls**t.

He finishes off the comical job advert with a bribe of beer if you stick with his job. I bet he was swamped with applicants….

And so to recruitment…

And so I shared this humorous “interjection” in my recruitment day, as many did, on my social media links including LinkedIn with the title as a question, “who dares me to write a job ad this candid about recruitment?” And someone dared me. And I must fulfill my obligation now – so here is a job advert written about a recruitment consultant role, hopefully written with equal bullishness, brutality and hopefully irony.

Wanted! Recruitment consultant.

  • Hours of work: Must be prepared to work every hour God sends, 24/7. The fact is, your phone will never leave your side; you will go to sleep with it, checking for last minute emails from candidates hoping they won’t cancel their 7.30am interview on you. You will check it as soon as you wake up in the morning to make sure the candidate who is due to start doesn’t back out with a “Dear John” email at 6am. Don’t make any social plans during the week as you will spend the whole time popping out to take candidates’ interview feedback in the hope you can move with momentum and make a placement. You will never have a 9-5 job again as the reality is, you have to be at the beck and call of your candidates and clients, regardless of the sector you recruit in. Your friends will just “tut” and roll their eyes when you dash out of the pub to take a call at 9pm, as at the end of the day, that call could be worth £$£$ thousands £$£$.
  • Holidays: You will officially get 20-25 days over the year, although the likelihood is, your employer will then ask you to save 5 of those for Xmas week if you are lucky enough to have Xmas off! And then the 3-4 weeks you have left over the rest of the year, you will be made to feel guilty about taking the time away from your desk- and woe betide you if you actually have activity happening whilst you are away. Forget someone looking after it as you would. Your colleague may promise to look after it for you, but the reality is, they have their own desk to run so yours gets minimum attention. So if you have time off, you risk coming back to a cold start and a blank month. If you choose to work over your holiday, you will spend your days at the beach pretending you are not checking your phone for feedback. In some companies you may be forced to actually go on holiday with them as a so-called “incentive”. So not only do you have to work with these people, some of whom you detest, but when you have worked your socks off all year, you then get to spend your leisure time with them too –GREAT.
  • Work environment: The role, if you are lucky, involves getting out and meeting people face to face. If you are lucky I said. In reality, I don’t want you to get up from your desk, stay on the phone all day- if you don’t like making outbound calls, this is not the job for you – and make more calls than anyone else. And calling your mum/gran/sister does not count.
    There may be white boards on the walls, there will be a bell in the corner for you to ring when you make a deal- so if you don’t ring it, everyone knows you haven’t billed yet. There may be quotes and motivational signs everywhere, but don’t be fooled. The only thing anyone is looking for, is for your revenue up on that board.
    There will be a communal kitchen where we even provide fruit, cereal, drinks and snacks. So basically, don’t even think about having a lunch break or leaving before 7pm. We will celebrate success on a Friday with drinks in the office which we will provide. (But all you will want to do is go home and celebrate your success alone with your real friends…)
  • Remuneration: So here is the deal. I will advertise this role at £X$ but at interview actually offer you 5k less just to test your commitment. Then I will tease you with an incentive to increase it after you pass your probation. I will also sell to you our commission structure which is really great and our top billers earn over 6 figures. (But what I haven’t told you is that this is their total earnings since they began working here 4 years ago….) and my commission structure IS amazing. But it is SO complicated, you need to have a Masters in maths to work it out. HOWEVER, the directors have the right to alter the commission structure at any time, without prior consent or notification to any of the staff.
  • Minimum requirements: I need you to have a sense of humour, as my god, you will need it on bad days. You will need to be resilient and work harder than you have ever worked before. Seriously. You need to be able to read people, think ahead and foresee human behaviours before they even know what they are thinking. You must be able to work as part of a team and yet inherently be really selfish. You must be driven and ambitious but be aware, so is everyone else I employ.
    You must have an incredible memory so you can recall peoples’ stories and be creative in order to embellish slightly if you can’t quite recall why they left that last job. You must be paranoid as this will keep you on your toes. You must love picking up the phone and speaking to people. A love of business is essential, as I don’t want someone who just asks “have you got any jobs?”

You cynical old bird, Lysha.

Now reading this, I have shocked myself at how cynical I am. And I am not actually. I love recruitment so much – I love it more every year I spend in it and this is my 18th year, and I am a passionate ambassador and advocate for our wonderful industry.

The recruiters I meet on the whole are wonderful- full of personality, testimony to how balanced a true recruiter actually needs to be. Passionate, caring, considerate, successful. Insightful to their sectors, knowledgeable , fearless about just getting on with it (I thought I would define that in advance of Mitch Sullivan asking), informative and proactive. Evolving into a marketeer but still salesy at heart. Well presented, polished yet approachable and engaging. Phew! What a hybrid human we have become! The basis of what this parody job advert for recruitment is based on all the stereotypical bad places to work; I personally, as a R2R, choose to partner recruitment companies who offer great environments and career opportunities. And I am proud to be their R2R partner.

Have you often thought job adverts should be written with more honesty or did Justin and my parody go a step too far?
As ever, I love to hear your comments and am always grateful for your Twitter RT, LinkedIn and Facebook shares.

By Lysha Holmes

Lysha Holmes is founding director of Qui Recruitment established in 2005 to completely challenge the traditionally poorly perceived service offered by other Rec 2 Rec providers. Lysha as Qui Recruitment is dedicated to representing the best talent to the best suited roles, focussing on placing recruiters of all levels in a candidate led service across the NW.