Monday, 12 February 2018 21:05

Practical Job Posting Lessons from Super Bowl Commercials

Written by Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, SPHR, SHRM-SCP YOLO Insights®

The Super Bowl is a much-anticipated annual event. Sports fans debate the skills of quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs. And the rest of us talk about the commercials.

About 111 million viewers watched the Super Bowl in 2017. Companies spend $5 million on a commercial to receive huge exposure to potential customers. The concept is similar when you invest your money and time placing job ads. You want an ROI that yields qualified candidates. However, unlike a Super Bowl commercial, you do not want to reach 111 million people, only those who will be the right fit for your organization.

Spending time on unqualified applicants is a waste of time and resources. To reduce the number of unqualified applicants, you must think differently. That’s where marketing comes in.

Think about those Super Bowl commercials that touch your emotions. A great example is Ram Truck’s “So God Made a Farmer.” There was nothing in the ad about the product until the last few seconds because it was designed to attract their ideal customer, a farmer. That’s exactly what you want to do with your job ads—attract your ideal candidate.

Think about what makes your company and your jobs attractive to your ideal candidate. What makes your company a great place to work? What are some things that might drive your ideal candidate crazy working for your competition? The answer to these questions is your basis for a job ad that will attract your ideal candidates because you understand their needs and more importantly, understand their pain.

Remember, you don’t have to win an award to be a great workplace. You will be amazed at how simple it is to attract great candidates.

Here’s a quick example.

I asked an employee of a client what she thought was the coolest thing about working there. It wasn’t pay, benefits, or remote work options. Her answer was taking her mother on vacation and seeing her company products used in hotels all over the world. That simple statement is recruiting gold! All of us have this gold—we just need to find and use it.

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Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is the author of The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business and co-author, Rethinking Human Resources. She can be reached at

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