Jargon-free recruitment ads

Hoping this e-mail finds you enthusiastically fit, full of queue-less fuel and raring to go now that the countdown to the mid-Winter Retail Festival (or Christmas as some of the quasi-religious folk insist on calling it) has begun in earnest, although that having been said, earnest is not especially pleased.

I just wanted to take issue with a couple of items from this week’s (MW September 21), one concerning AOL, the second, a comment about your jobs pages.

Firstly, it’s very enterprising for AOL to offer new members a fee of £9.99 a month and then a mere 1p a minute thereafter for off-peak use. Without wishing to pollute the water before your customers drink from it, I have been using One-Tel for the past four months. They charge 1p a minute anytime of the day, period. No access charge, no monthly fees, no software to snarl up your PC, just a good old 1p per month all inclusive. Beat that!

Secondly. I’m a regular student of your job pages, which I always peruse in case somebody wants me. However, one can’t help but notice all the brown-nosed copy (oops, there goes my chance of securing one of those “£excellent” marketing positions) in nearly all of the recruitment ads. It seems all advertisers, with little exception, consider themselves “leaders”.

All the recruitment agencies seem to work for “leading this and leading that”. I have always remembered, from my press release training days, never to say it unless you can quantify it. So to all those leading law firms, leading market research agencies, leading accountants, leading print consumable suppliers, leading financiers, I throw down the gauntlet. Either prove that you’re leading or copy write your ads in a less twee manner!

Following is an explanation of some of the terms used in recruitment advertising which may clear the air for some of your readers.

Attractive salary – as it’s so low, it’s extremely attractive to us

Plus benefits – tea and biscuits are free and you get to keep any unfranked stamps you steam off incoming mail

Northern-based – Aberdeen-ish

Pleasant rural surroundings – at our head office 48 miles outside Aberdeen

Good local facilities – the government hasn’t closed the local Post Office…yet

Car scheme – you go to the local garage and buy a car. We’ve negotiated 25 per cent discount, but due to location, the car costs 30 per cent more, so you make a net gain of minus five per cent

Non-contributory pension scheme – well, we don’t contribute to it

Fantastic opportunity – we can’t find another schmuck to take the job

Progressive company – we never pay you on the same day each month

One of the UK’s top… – there are only 3 other UK companies daft enough to be in the same business

Market leader – see previous point

Impressive range of clients – three “everything-a-pound” stores in Birkenhead, Scunthorpe and Dunstable respectively, a Chinese Takeaway in the Midlands, and a ball-bearing manufacturer in Devon

Knowledge of Windows useful – our window cleaner left three weeks ago

IT literate – well we don’t know how to work the blasted computers, do we?

Educated to degree level – we want some schleps who know nothing about business, especially ours, but is at least educated and dirt cheap

One of the UK’s fastest growing… – we keep increasing the prices of our products

Some international travel – we have offices in Baghdad and Northern Alaska

Highly respected organisation – bankrolled by the Mafia

Must not be a clock watcher – we expect a ten hour day from you so our directors can enjoy their golf uninterrupted

Must be a team player – we like to challenge the local radio station to five-a-side football when business is slow

Must be a self-starter – we haven’t actually got a clue what we want you to do

You will manage a team of four – the tea lady, toilet attendant, security guard and youth trainee

Your contribution will be acknowledged – the MD will thank you each time you lend him a fiver when the petty cash tin is empty

OTE £45,000 – your basic is £11,000 or to £45,000, after 20 years service that is. Your starting salary is £11,000

Performance-related bonus – depends how good you are at Karaoke

Generous holiday scheme – we own a two-bed chalet at Butlins in Skegness

Previous applicants need not apply – we had only 2 applicants last time

Apply to our retained consultants – seeing as we haven’t a clue ourselves

Who will shortlist suitable candidates – they haven’t a clue either

A second language would be an advantage – the wages accountant speaks only Portuguese

Good prospects – you’re bound to want to leave in a couple of years to go to a proper and better-paid job

Edward Moss

Edward Moss Communications


LS17 7NF

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