How to write hiring pitches that don’t suck

As a recruiter, we sometimes overlook the value of a true pitch. I mean, we have a job, we have money people should want to come to get it, right?

That was true before the social media boom. The current reality is everything is a social sell nowadays. Don’t believe me? Look at cancel culture. Consumers are unfollowing brands, products, and services not because the product sucks, because of the social disconnect. The same process works for when you want people to “buy-in” to something.

All of this comes down to a simple point– If you want to get anything in front of the right audience you have to find ways to tug at an emotional pulse.

How do you do that? You have to talk about and address the things they care about. This is common in sales, but never in recruiting, specifically transit recruiting. Below I have posted a chart that helps me create great ads to get literally hundreds of candidates.

At first glance, you’ll see the bus of where our candidates are vs where we want them to be.

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Prospecting vs Hired

It is extremely important to consider the current generation we live in.

I call this the Swipe Click Era.

People are conditioned to swipe and make some sort of click within the first 3 seconds. In short, this means, as a recruiter we have about 3 seconds to get them to click, and then about another 3 to get them to continue reading. We have to get and retain their attention. Money is not the way to do this. Simply because most bus jobs pay the same and big-city transit will out pay everyone.

We do that by picking a direct demographic/profile and using your companies benefits to talk directly to those people and their problems and reservations. I will use myself as an example.

My demographic is I’m black, a millennial, a father, a husband, and a former transit employee. You are probably wondering how any of this helps me recruit better? I’m glad you asked.

Why does my race matter: Social equity is a real thing and it matters in 2021. If your company has a vested stake in black communities and black issues it helps you stand out and tackle a huge social issue for minorities like myself.

The lack of diversity and inclusion in transportation administration.

Where are the black-owned motor carriers? If you are an LLC or Corporation do you have black people on your board? Or is it just another job where I get to be another black dude that’s good enough to work for an all-white company while having no real stake or equity? I had a conversation with a good friend of mine a while back about transit equity, and I raised this point about workplace culture;

‘What does it say about a transit agency where the majority of the drivers are black, the street supervisors are black, the superintendents are black, the radio room personal is black, and the person in charge of all of those departments, a white guy. It says you’re good enough, but not quite good enough to make decisions.

If you have a company that offers growth, promotions, and a clear path to better opportunities within the company, don’t you think you should advertise that?

Why is it important to note that I am a millennial?

This is important because it helps you find me where I am on the internet, and how to talk to me. I am not on Government Jobs or Monster. I am on Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok, and you should be too. I also do not respond well to long reads. Why? Because I am conditioned to get a certain amount of content in a 30-second video window. In short, I probably won’t read that entire job ad if it looks too long. There are certain things in there that I just do not care about.

In all honesty people, my age do not value working for a family-owned business. We didn’t grow up in an era where that was a big deal, so we can’t appreciate it. We don’t value long-term jobs and unions because again, we weren’t brought up in an era where that stuff was a gamechanger. Not to mention we’re hot potatoes, we generally don’t plan on staying one place for 30+ years so it benefits you nothing as a recruiter to speak highly of how your company is 100 years old.

Also consider the number of requirements, even after meeting all of them, most candidates lose interest after seeing how strict this opportunity is. Most millennials won’t sign up to be nitpicked. You can sum up 30 points about a driving background simply by saying all driving records are considered and if your’s has issues, let’s talk about it. It is personal and lets the candidates know you can have a convo, opposed to them being “disqualified” by a software function. I’m also am not going to be nitpicked and I’m not going to fill out this 10-page application. Why does where I worked 10 years ago matter? It doesn’t. Me in 2011 and me in 2021 are two different people, bro.

Have you ever seen an Amazon DSP application? I can get an entire Amazon shipping business from my phone with a few PDFs and a type form. Uber, Facebook, and all that good stuff.

In short, this means the things we care about are simple and easy to complete before we get bored with them.

Why is me being a father and husband important?:

It means I have a family, and time at home is important. Vacation time is important, daycare options are important, sick days for me and my kids are important. A decent attendance policy where I don’t get penalized for trivial things is also important. I recently did some ads for an over-the-road motor coach company, and they were struggling to get drivers…like bad.

I pitched them this: understand that due to federal rules most over the road bus drivers are older people with families. If you are boarding a driver in a hotel anyway, give them options to bring their family with them whenever a bus doesn’t sell out. It can be that simple sometimes. I personally would jump at the idea to travel the road with my family. COVID allowed people to spend more time with their family while also showing people a ton of money doesn’t compare to time with loved ones. Those days, I believe, are gone.

I’m a former transit employee: Why is this important?

Transit is great, I love it. However, there is a huge pool of drivers who love the job but don’t love the job, and for whatever reason, are no longer there. Why are they no longer there? I left MDOT to chase entrepreneurship full time, does your company offer incentives for business-minded people like me? Programs? Mentorship? Business investment? I’d take an investment in Supir before I took a signing bonus. That’s just me though. What are some other reasons people leave transit and how can your company alleviate those pain points?

This read ended up being a lot longer than I intended, why didn’t I just make it into an Instagram Story?

Well……do you go to Instagram for stuff like this? 😉

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