I have had the pleasure of writing job ads as part of my roles for over 20 years now. Ads for CEO’s of large businesses; ads for Process Workers within Manufacturing companies; ads for bar attendants in overseas hotel properties; ads for administration people in Clubs – you name the positions, I (and my fab team) have written a job ad for it. Like any skill that you aquire, you spend time tweaking and developing it. You strive for ways to continually improve on it. You ask others how they think it can be done better. You search deep inside for smarter ways and more articulate ways to appeal to the right people. You make sure that the ads are written with both the business AND the applicants in mind. You keep front of mind that to discriminate in any way is neither appropriate nor in the best interest of any of the stakeholders. In summary, it is a skill that develops over time – it is a true skill.
In saying all this, in my 20+ years of writing job ads, I have never felt ‘comfortable’ with putting a closing date on an ad. I am much more comfortable putting an opening date on the ad or in some way letting the applicant know when the job was listed if possible.
I have had many discusssions with people, including the White Now team about the pros and cons of putting a closing date on an ad. Basically the ‘pros’ that people seem to head towards the employer or recruiter wanting to organise their lists of applicants without the problems that arise when new applicants come in late, and to schedule interviews without any hassle.
For those who know me, I am the queen of scheduling, organisation and making lists that people always take the mickey out of me for. For an example, I have a shopping list printed out on A4 paper 52 times (one for each week of the year). This shopping list is divided into three sections; Supermarket/Fruit and Veg and Butcher. The supermarket list is divided into aisles and if I need an item that week, I actually know what aisle it is in and write it in that section of the list. This list matches our weekly menu planner that I write on Saturday morning so I don’t buy extra items and don’t have left overs. Now THAT is an example of how my brain works. Sad but true !
With that in mind you would think that I am in favour of having closing dates on ads to be SUPER organised – well, my behaviour is exactly the opposite. White Now always recommend AGAINST closing dates on ads (but of course if our clients want us to put a date down for their own reasons we always respect their decision).
Why am I not in favour of closing dates I hear you ask ? In my opinion, there is no point in ‘closing off applications’ until the very end of the process. By naming a closing date you are basically saying NO to a number of people who actually WANT to work for your organisation. If I had people WANTING to work for our organisation when I put an ad up, I would happily accept their application at ANY time !
Think about the people that you MAY lose by simply saying – bad luck, you missed MY cut off date. Remember that it is YOUR cut off date. You perhaps did not take into account that the ideal person could be on leave, dealing with the death of a friend or relative, caring for a sick child or … who knows what ? This person, that has not yet had a chance to see your ad MAY just be THE best candidate, MAY just be THE perfect match and MAY just have THE GOODS to take your business further than you could EVER imagine. Surely you would want to interview them or at least include them in a short list !
So, in my opinion, to put a closing date just so that resumes can be sorted and interviews scheduled makes no sense when you may be excluding the best resource for your business ie: the best person.
At White Now, when we are recruiting for a role, the role is open basically until a person is offered the position – in other words, when there is a ‘bum in the seat’. We know that that is the best service that we can offer our clients – doing ALL that we can to ensure that the best people are able to apply for a job EVEN if they did not see the ad when it first went live.
This opinion is that of mine and White Now only. Who knows what is right and what is wrong with this topic ? Everyone has their own personal reasons as to why the choose to advertise or not advertise a closing date. What I DO know though, is that closing off an ad just because the advertiser/recruiter wants to schedule their time to suit THEIR needs, just seems crazy. But who am I to say that – I am the one who has shopping lists divided into sections in order of the aisles in my local supermarket !
Have a fantabulous day and remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said; “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.”