5 Easy steps to making a complete hash of a recruitment campaign

Posted by Nick Mitchell on Mar 22, 2019 2:58:06 PM
Nick Mitchell
Alright guys. Nick here with a bit of useless advice on how to keep doing what so many companies do so brilliantly already: making a complete hash of their recruitment campaigns.

That's right. Whether you’re looking to get zero applications or an absolute shedload of rubbish applications from all the wrong people, this article is for YOU! It will revolutionise your ability to be a terrible recruiter overnight! Just read it and weep.

  1. Making a hash of understanding the brief

The first thing you have to do, if you want to stand any chance of not hiring the right person, is to make sure you have as little idea as possible about the kind of person you're looking for. So, try as best as you can not to talk to the hiring manager. That's really important. They might tell you a lot of useful things like what kind of skills the incumbent has that were just invaluable or what kind of personality might best fit into the department. Those are things that are likely to help you find a really good candidate, so if they do try talking to you, either put your fingers in your ears and say, 'la la la...' or answer every sentence with, 'I know you are, I said you are, but what am I?' This will put them off.

Whatever you do, don't let them tell you any positive, entertaining anecdotes about doing the job that might help to give uniqueness and personality to your campaign concepts. You're not David Letterman - what do you care about other people's boring work stories? Yawn!

  1. Making a hash of briefing your employer comms agency

Alright, you've already messed up here. If you really wanted to do this badly, you should have gone to a recruitment consultant and paid them a fat fee to get you the best of a bad bunch. Oh well, it is what it is. So long as you make sure you tell your employer comms agency as little as possible, you should still be in with a chance of not finding a decent candidate.

Let's start with the job description. Whatever you do, don't give them one. And, if you really must, at least make sure you wait at until no more than an hour before the copy deadline to send it over. We don't want your employer comms agency making educated guesses as to what the job entails. We want them to make uneducated guesses. Remember: 'a bad agency is a mad agency,' so really go all-out to annoy them.

There's a great trick you can use to get your agency all pissed off, actually. They'll never tell you they're pissed off because it's their job to grin and bear it. But you'll be able to hear it in their voices. They'll sound strained and a bit in disbelief. Anyway here it is... Whenever your Account Manager asks you a question about the brief, answer them by saying this:

"It's your job to know that."

Then sit back and wait for the flustered burbling of a confused supplier. Because, you know what... There is no way - NO WAY - that your employer comms agency will be able to come up with a half decent idea for you now.

Image: the warm confident smile of someone who's done everything they can to make life difficult for people - this is what you're shooting for.

  1. Making a hash of giving feedback on the work

Ensure you get as many stakeholders as possible involved in making a decision on the creative campaign. If you can, try to get people who are likely to all have conflicting opinions and ensure NETSthat they all give feedback at staggered points so that, just when an amendment has been made to a piece of work, a new piece of feedback comes in that totally pulls the rug from beneath the agency's feet. Even better, make sure your stakeholders are the forgetful type who'll contradict their own feedback within minutes of having given it.

It's really important to keep shifting the goalposts. If you don't, the work is likely to be cohesive and intelligible. And you don't want that.

Image: Your role models.

  1. Making a hash of the media

You've come this far. You've got a really confused (hopefully ugly and unappealing) creative advertising campaign that doesn't know who it's talking to. Don't go spoiling it now by choosing relevant media that will play right into the hands of your target audience.

Programmatic advertising is a huge trap and you'll have to work hard to avoid it because, I guarantee you, your agency will be recommending it. The thing about programmatic is that it not only delivers your message directly into the hands of the perfect people to work for you, it also opens up exciting, previously unaffordable media like TV (e.g. Sky Adsmart), that will give you the chance to recruit via channels you never had the budget to tap into before. Terrible. Bin that off right now. Tell them to do a full page in the local rag that nobody reads instead. That will be well better.

The easiest way to think about booking media is: if it's expensive and nobody uses it, it's the one for you.

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  1. Making a hash of the data

Try not to collect statistics on how your campaign performs. It will only make it easier to recruit smarter next time around. And that's for tossers! The cool, fun way of doing things is to just not bother keeping track of this stuff. Hit the pub instead!

The only good data is downward dwindling data. Triple D. Remember that. If your quality of hires is dropping, you're onto something. If your number of candidates is dropping, you're on your way to glorious failure. If your staff retention is at an all time low, you're killing it, baby!

Image: What you're aiming for.

Hopefully you've got a few really useless tips there on how to do what you would do anyway if you just turned off your brain and let the work try to do itself. If you have any questions, don't ask me. That's your job.

Topics: Employer Branding