Diamonds in the rough: finding top job candidates is tough

Our ad agency, LoBo & Petrocine, has been fishing lately to fill a couple of staff positions, most importantly a new copywriter.

To say it has been slow going is a vast understatement. Glaciers move faster than our employee search.

It’s not the lack of people applying for the positions. We’re getting quantity. But what we need desperately is quality.


We don’t mean to besmirch two great pillars of the digital realm, Linkedin and Craig’s List. The hugely popular online sites are drumming up action, just the wrong kind.

That’s probably our fault for choosing these mediums to advertise our potential openings. It’s an old axiom: you get what you pay for. But maybe it’s also something else…

Over 90% of the responses we’re receiving are just woeful. Woeful! That’s a pretty strong word and even a stronger indictment of today’s job candidates.

Here are some examples…

• Would you interview, let alone hire someone for a copywriting/proofreading position who has a glaring typo in their very first sentence of introduction? Talk about a harbinger of things to come!

• Would you consider someone for a copywriting position who includes no cover letter or even a simple howdy-do? What happened to professional foreplay? Many candidates just dive right in, forwarding a resume only. Seems they can’t be bothered. Or, maybe they are already being paid by the word and don’t want to proffer their dazzling talents for free.

• And speaking of dazzling talents… Would you consider interviewing someone who jams numerous adjectives into one declarative statement describing their writing prowess? Grandiose words like fantastic, wonderful, fabulous, mesmerizing, unparalleled…you get the picture. I know we live in the age of “American Idol” where just about everyone out there thinks they are a superstar at what they do. But c’mon. Be realistic. A little humility can say a lot about a person and even more to a potential interviewer. Selling too hard can be a total turn-off.

• Then, there are those job candidates with diarrhea of the keyboard. Would you want to hire someone for a copywriting position who writes an overly verbose and clunky sentence such as this: “I would like to borrow a moment of your time and interest in learning more about the available copywriter position which in my humble opinion I would be perfectly suited to fill in a myriad of ways.”

Get to the point already and cut out that excess verbiage. Beating around the bush has no place in a field where you usually have a few precious moments to try and sell something or influence behavior. Please. Root canal is less painful.

And the beat goes on and so does our search. More potential job candidates are pouring in from cyberspace as this is being written. Hopefully, there are a few in there who still know how to write English succinctly with some semblance of grace and polish. We’re beginning to think we’d have a better chance of seeing Bigfoot in our lifetime.

© Prepared by LoBo & Petrocine Marketing Communications, a Melville, Long Island advertising agency serving a wide range of clients in education, finance, healthcare, natural nutrition, hospitality, the automotive industry and more.