“Words are important.” This is a phrase I’ve uttered many, many times – both in my previous position as Marketing Director and my current position as Library Director. Whether we are using words to demonstrate the promise of our brand or choosing words to describe our strategic direction, words matter. This will be the first in a series of posts that illustrates that it’s not just about what we say, it’s also about how we say it.
Let’s consider the job ad. Here are a few that might sound familiar:
Public Services Manager, Any Town Public Library (ATPL)
A highly responsible professional administrative position, the Public Services Manager will be a part of the ATPL Leadership Team and coordinates the work of the Public Services Department, including but not limited to: reference, readers’ advisory, programming, circulation, outreach, and services for teens, adult, and seniors. The Manager supervises departmental subordinate supervisors and other employees, determines work schedules, recommends personnel actions…
Library Director, Any Town Public Library (ATPL)
Under guidance and direction of the Board, the Library Director performs administrative, supervisory and professional work in planning and delivering library services. Implements Board policies and recommendations; manages the daily operations of the library; hires, trains, and supervises staff; oversees library collection; prepares annual budget and associated financial reports, compiles monthly and annual statistics…
Sound familiar? In a certain sense, there’s nothing wrong with these ads – they most likely served their purpose. ATPL probably hired people into both of these positions.
But do these ads reflect the culture of ATPL? Do they make ATPL stand out from any other library out there? Do they address the softer skills needed in these positions? Do they serve as an initial touch point for the library, signalling the direction they are heading and what types of people they need to get there? I don’t think so. I think that these are missed opportunities to do all of the above. They miss out on the essential nature of the job ad:
“Remember that a job ad is still an ad. A lot of people forget that. You should be thinking like a marketer.”
That quote is from Michael Overell, co-founder of RecruitLoop, a marketplace for independent recruiting, and included in a very good article from Inc, titled 9 Steps to Writing Job Ads Top Candidates Can’t Resist. Continue reading