The Failed Job Ad

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“Exceptional person still wanted for $150k+ salary job in Taumarunui“, I’m sure that you would’ve seen or read this article that has gone viral in the past month. If you’ve been living under a rock, the article covers the story of a high paying General Managers job for ‘Forgotten World Adventures‘ in… now here’s the twist… the King Country town of Taumarunui.

Now, for many people the location of a job doesn’t matter so much when the criteria simply asks for someone who is “excited”, “passionate”, “focused on developing” and “exceptional” with no tourism experience offering pay of $150k+. I mean, depending on your situation, I can imagine a few eyes lighting up despite the location. There has however been a lack of candidates, forcing Forgotten World Adventures to close the door on the vacancy. So why has this job gone so far under the radar?

From a recruiter’s perspective, it is reasonably obvious why this job advertisement failed. These buzzwords such as ‘excited’ and ‘passionate’ have the tendency to bore a candidate reading a job description. Candidates often flick through a handful of jobs at a time and those that don’t immediately catch their attention get swept under the rug. Looking for a job that doesn’t require a passionate and excited person is sometimes like looking for a needle in the haystack.

We aim to be this needle. Before we post a job description for ANY job, we weave through the 3 Pillars:

Pillar 1) What makes the job good? (pull the benefits)

Pillar 2) Identify who can do the job (target this audience)

Pillar 3) Start tapping shoulders (aka. recruiting… if you are passionate about finding the best candidates, sometimes you must actively search)

These three pillars then hold up a format which attract the best candidates for the job. Within these pillars are a few extra details which, we feel, are necessary for any good job description. They are as follows:

Experienced description – When writing a job description, it helps to have it examined by someone who has already worked in that role or one similar. Professionals with related experience to the position will help to set reasonable expectations and figure out what qualifications are necessary, what are nice-to-haves and what are totally unrealistic or unnecessary.

Detail – While you don’t want a job description to address every skill under the sun, you do want it over detailed rather than under detailed. Include day to day responsibilities, role functions within the organization, who they will be in regular contact with, preferred years of experience, salary range, and finally, what makes your organization UNIQUE!

The Future, not the past – Maybe your company has an outstanding history and great brand recognition, but guess what? Candidates care about the future, not the past. After all, they are the ones who will help to shape and execute future plans.

What the company can offer them – A small section on the company’s unique perks will boost a company’s employer brand! Job seekers will begin to keep an eye out for this company’s vacancies if they know (and like) what you have to offer them.

Your job description is your best chance to connect with potential candidates and build a strong employer brand. Job descriptions that engage the right candidates take planning and time to complete, a good first impression is the key to candidate engagement. In the end a good job advertisement will prompt the right people to apply and help you to find the perfect candidate for your role.

If you feel like seeing some job descriptions that work, visit our job search page and have a look for yourself. If you have any immediate or near future needs that you’d like to discuss with us then please do not hesitate to contact You can reach me by email or by calling 0800-171-000.

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