If you’re like most people today, you’re probably spending a bit more time in front of the television. Which means that you’ve probably viewed panning shots of empty cities and up-close portraits of essential workers while a piano plays gentle music and a subdued voice tells us about the “new normal” and how a company will be here to help us as we “get through this together.”
While one can debate the motives behind such advertisements and argue about their effectiveness, one thing is readily apparent: They are all the same, literally.
They are so alike that a YouTuber named Microsoft Sam posted a video two weeks ago titled “Every COVID-19 Commercial Is Exactly the Same.” It featured a supercut of every TV ad made specifically to advertise during “these trying times.” Having garnered over a million views, the video illustrates the eerie similarities of attempts by companies to connect with their audiences, with commercials from across all industries by well-known businesses, from Apple to Verizon and every company in between. It’s a sure bet that if you’ve heard of the company, it’s probably represented in the montage.
So, what do these TV commercials have to do with recruiting?
The spate of COVID-19 ads demonstrates a problem that afflicts not just general corporate advertising but recruitment marketing, as well — the failure to differentiate yourself.
Recruiting professionals are keen on buzzwords (candidate experience, AI, D&I), and they love to quote talent acquisition case studies about companies like Facebook and Apple — and then copy them. But that’s no way to do employer branding.
Try this little test: Take a look at one of your company’s job posts. Compare it to your competitor’s job posting. My guess would be that the ads are pretty similar, probably a basic description of your company followed by a generic and likely unrealistic list of skills that you want in your new worker, capped off with some legalese.
For instance, I conducted a recent job search on Indeed that revealed over 3,000 jobs within a 25-mile radius requiring a “self-starter.” Over 4,000 positions demand “detail-oriented” candidates. And almost 7,000 jobs need someone who’s “passionate.” Read more here…