Recruitment ads are not a new phenomenon, be it in advertising or in any other industry. Only that the ones that are created to hire talent in the ad world are expected to be more catchy and cleverly crafted. That again is hygiene now. The next frontier seems to be ads on social media.
Bates CHI & Partners uploaded an ad titled 'More Idiots Wanted' on Facebook recently. The visual-led ad informs aspirants that two new senior hands (Mukund Sharma, Devesh Desai) have come on board to handle the agency's Bengaluru operations, and are looking for equally zealous people to join them.
Similarly, a few other agencies like Bang In The Middle and Happily Unmarried have posted recruitment ads on social media portals in the past to attract talent (see all the ads below).
How effective are these ads given the rather unconventional medium they are released on?
According to Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar, national creative director, Bates CHI & Partners, such ads are effective on two grounds. One, they communicate the kind of leadership the agency has in place. Two, it spreads the word about the agency and creates conversations among the people within the industry, he reasons.
He added, "You don't need an ad every time you want to hire talent. For an Ogilvy, Piyush Pandey is a recruitment ad himself. Similarly, I am a recruitment ad for my agency. But these ads help in communicating what kind of people you are looking at hiring as well."
So how does social media as a medium impact advertising for talent?
Most of these people (the required talent) are hooked onto social media, believes Rahul Anand, co-founder of Happily Unmarried. He said, "It works for us because social media portals like Facebook provide us a realistic base to attract people's attention. If we put something on Facebook, we know it's reaching the right people and we've got a fantastic response to our ads." So far, Anand has hired three people (two designers and one copywriter), all at the beginner level, through ads on social media.
Prathap Suthan, managing partner, Bang In The Middle, has managed to hire six people (one senior, four mid-level and one beginner level) through a recruitment ad on Facebook. "We got over 200 resumes from across the country and overseas including applications from UK, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Dubai and even Pakistan. And these were exactly the kind of profiles we had mentioned in the ad," he mentioned. But the people he hired had directly approached him via phone.
Suthan plans to continue advertising on social media to hire talent because he believes that while he may know the seniors in the industry and a lot of mid-level ad folk, it's the juniors one always struggles to establish a connect with. And the content of these ads helps in letting the juniors know more about the creative leaders of these agencies, he notes. "It's an opportunity to showcase the talent within your agency as well. Because if you simply write, ‘Wanted brilliant art directors and copywriters’, it’s not going to work like magic on the readers, " he stated.
Anand is of the opinion that such ads only work when you need to hire people at the beginner or mid-level, and not much higher. "I don't think giving a cold call works beyond a certain age group but that could just be my assumption," he elucidated.
But given the attrition rates in the industry, adlanders agree that there's no specific time for putting these ads out. Agencies are forever in need of good talent and will target them through every potential medium. And social media is a definite catchment area, at least for the young and the restless.
Here are the ads: