At least when you’re hir­ing professionals.

It’s been a bad habit in the past for us to cre­ate posi­tion ads that are far, far too dense on text. While HR wants to list every ben­e­fit — which does make sense as a mar­ket­ing tool — the truth is that most health­care facil­i­ties have equiv­a­lent ben­e­fits. And writ­ing all that copy pro­duces an ad that looks more like a car-​​rental con­tract than a job opening.

For a while we were try­ing to focus on the things to see and do in the area, but to my mind that’s not such a good idea. We’re about 30 miles from Laughlin, NV, where peo­ple go to gam­ble; next clos­est major des­ti­na­tion is Vegas at 90 miles, then Flagstaff at 120 and Phoenix at 180. There’s hik­ing, to some extent, though not as much in the imme­di­ate locale as one might pre­fer; and there are lakes as well but each one is far enough away to qual­ify as a day trip.

Besides, we’re not really look­ing for peo­ple who plan to spend every week­end in Vegas.

Another strat­egy has been to show images of some of the locale, most notably the west­ern end of the Grand Canyon — which is only eas­ily acces­si­ble by heli­copter flight, so I’m not sure what the point is. I sup­pose what set my teeth most on edge was when I learned a for­mer recruiter had taken out a full-​​page ad extolling the virtues of this city — but included, as the only pho­to­graph, a shot of Havasupai Falls.

The prob­lem? Havasupai Falls is located a day’s drive and a hike from here. There is nowhere, any­where nearby, that looks even remotely like this. The image, in imply­ing you’ll have sweep­ing vis­tas of its kind in your own back­yard, is at best disin­gen­u­ous. Since it was uncap­tioned and there­fore meant to be pre­sumed to be a local attrac­tion, it was really more a lie.

You don’t get peo­ple to come to work for you if you lie to them about the majesty of the land­scape. They’ll look at the ter­rain, look at you, and won­der what else you haven’t been hon­est about.

So what does that leave us? If we’re not going to talk about spe­cific employ­ment attrac­tions, or area attrac­tions, what have we got left?

How about a dis­cus­sion of the part­ner­ships avail­able by choos­ing to come to work with us, as with this ad for hospitalists?

The idea here was to reach out to pro­fes­sion­als who felt they wanted a slightly dif­fer­ent path than the one they were on. Maybe they felt restricted or con­strained; or maybe they were ready to help get another pro­gram going; but in any case they no longer felt they fit where they were.

Or some­thing a bit more suc­cinct, as with this nurs­ing recruit­ment ad?

Here, of course, we’re talk­ing about fit­ting in again; the sym­bol­ogy is far too obvi­ous for me to need to point it out.

With a professional-​​level recruit­ment ad, I don’t think the idea is to throw every­thing at the reader at once. The idea is basi­cally to set the hook and get them to call. The recruiter is the one who closes the deal.

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