This article was originally published in Issue 62 of InSight on 10 December 2008
InSight 58 was devoted to my annual review of the quality of job advertising in the Australian Financial Review. I rated this ad [click here to view] by Tom Key of Lloyd Morgan as the only outstanding ad published in that edition in question (on Friday 24 October, 2008). After
Tom contacted me after InSight 58 was published, to confirm that he had indeed written his own ad. We met the following week as I was keen to learn more about Tom’s approach to ad writing. The 45 minute conversation covered more than the ad writing.
Tom told me he is ‘passionate about advertising’ which fits perfectly for a recruiter who worked for Michael Page (UK), recruiting marketers for advertising agencies. He is currently the ‘ad champion’ for Lloyd Morgan, which means that part of his responsibilities as Principal Consultant in the Search division of LM is to drive advertising sales and presence.
I asked Tom about his job ad writing philosophy and he replied that he always focused on two major things in ad writing;
– Being straigh t (ie. using language that is specific and honestly describes the organisation and the job) and
– Having a compelling message (about the opportunity for the candidate)
In Tom’s experience, he has found that the highest calibre candidates can see straight through any “waffle” in ads and don’t bother applying. He rarely spends more than 30 minutes writing an ad, seeks feedback internally at Lloyd Morgan and from the client, and then makes any appropriate amendments.
Moving onto talking about the advertised role Tom provided me with the ad’s publishing history and its response rate.
Apart from the AFR, the ad was also was published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 25 October and also online at Seek.com.au
Here are the stats:
Short listed candidates
Source of short listed candidates
I asked Tom to talk me through his approach to partnering with the client (the CEO and GM HR of CPA Australia) to ensure that the assignment management process optimised CPA Australia’s chances of attracting and hiring the best possible candidate for the role. Below I have listed a summary of what Tom’s actions were after securing the role:
You will notice that Tom’s summary, above, matches the competencies highlighted in his job advertisement – logical, you would hope. However it is scary how many times I read a candidate summary that does not help the person for whom it is written (the client) match and compare the key competencies and motivations required for the job, with the candidate’s corresponding competencies and motivations.
Mostly what happens is that the recruiter either, writes nothing (hoping the resume alone does the all ‘selling’ required to gain an interview) or they write 4 or 5 paragraphs of vague, meaningless hyperbole, or straight resume repetition that helps the client, not one iota, with the task of matching the candidate’s competencies and motivations to those of the job.
In summary, it is clear to me that Tom Key is not just a one-trick pony. In other words he is not just a great ad writer with little recruitment consulting capability to back it up. Tom demonstrates significant depth in core recruitment competencies that show me clearly why he was able to win, in a competitive pitch, the CPA Australia GM – Marketing recruitment assignment, and partner with the client to deliver an outstanding outcome in a short period of time.
This is an excellent current example of our industry proving to its clients the value of working with a skilled and passionate external recruitment professional.
Well done, Tom.