Get Rid of JATS (Job Ads That Suck), Join the Movement!

By Dan Ridge, Senior Contributing Consultant, Q4B

I would like to think that our recruiting and management team at Q4B started something. A few months ago we decided to target a part of our recruiting process in an effort to improve the end results of the process. We noticed that this part of the process is a part of every recruiting organization’s process and that for years and years and years we have all been doing it the same way, with pretty much the same results.

The part of the process to which I refer is the job ad, the job description, the job order call it what you will. We all take them we all use them in our recruiting efforts, we all post them to our job sites, to job boards and to our social media channels. Sometimes we get results, sometimes we do not. Chances are good that we do not really question why we do it, or if we do question the effectiveness of this effort it is usually a question of how many responses, not so much the quality of those responses.

We at Q4B have made a decision to change the way that we manage this part of the recruiting process. We have made it our mission to rewrite all of our current job postings and to only post new job descriptions that we have written, using the information that we gathered during our needs analysis with the client as well as information from the client and the client’s web site. In other words we want to get rid of JATS!

And here are our reasons. We feel strongly that our candidates, the candidates that we want to eventually present to our clients deserve better. We feel that they are our customers, just as our company clients are our customers. Our company clients are hiring us to find them top talent. The job ads, the job descriptions that we post should reflect that and should be written in a way that they attract that quality of talent. We would suggest that easily 99.9% of all job ads that are posted are an insult to the very talent that the ads are seeking to attract.

I said earlier in this post that I would like to think that we at Q4B have started something. In truth, we are not the first to suggest this and hopefully not the last. Lou Adler has been preaching this idea of getting rid of job description for years and replacing it with Job Profiles which certainly have much more meaning and carry much more weight in determining which candidate would make a great hire. More recently, there have been some great articles on this topic, from Maren Hogan to Eric Gaydos to the surveys that are run by the folks at CareerXroads.

As recruiters we have a unique opportunity to change this part of our recruiting process, the job ad, the job post and how it is presented to our candidate audience. If it is done well we should immediately see an improvement in the quality of candidates who respond to the postings. And with better quality responding, our jobs would become much more enjoyable and rewarding.

So, are you ready to join the movement? Ready to order your T-shirt, arm bands and posters? Ready to take this to the Street?

Oh, wait, I haven’t told you what those letters stand for have I? I wouldn’t expect you to join without knowing what you were joining. So here it is. Our movement is called Get Rid of JATS and the JATS stands for JOB ADS THAT SUCK!

Are you in?

Views: 861

Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 7, 2012 at 8:11pm

I'm in!

Comment by Daniel F Ridge on August 7, 2012 at 10:16pm

Thanks Sandra, I was hoping that I could count on you to join the movement.

Comment by Amber on August 7, 2012 at 11:55pm

Sounds good, Daniel.(Like where is the company out there who wants someone with limited vocabulary and minimal grammar skills?) Most job descriptions/ads/whatever seem to have evolved from HR and legal departments trying to avoid any potential violations of anything and everything. Sort of like what happens to things the governement gets involved in.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 8, 2012 at 12:08am
I'm in! Where can I get a tshirt? :)
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 8, 2012 at 2:52am
And our tag line is...only RATS use JATS. Now somebody define RATS.

Daniel would you post an example of a JATDNS..job ad that does not suck.
Comment by Daniel F Ridge on August 8, 2012 at 8:51am

Thanks for the comments everyone. This movement now has some momentum. Sandra, I mentioned the article by Eric Gaydos in the blog. He has three great examples of JATDNS. Also if you go to and click on the Senior Technical Recruiter posting, the Geologist posting and the .NET posting you will see some of Q4B's efforts in rewriting job ads. As to the T-shirts, we are looking into that and will have ordering info available shortly!

Comment by Daniel F Ridge on August 8, 2012 at 8:52am

I am also working on a definition for RATS....maybe that is the next topic for my next blog.

Comment by Erin Passmore on August 8, 2012 at 9:17am

Oh how I would love to join this movement - but my company won't let me :(  Our job ads are embarassingly bad.  

Comment by Daniel F Ridge on August 8, 2012 at 9:44am

Erin, we would love to have you join the group. The more in house recruiters who join the movement the more successful we will be at getting rid of the job ads that suck! The movement needs you Erin, someone on the inside who can make a difference. May be you could use an alias?

Comment by Joshua Barger on August 8, 2012 at 1:01pm

I agree completely.  I've made an effort to liven up some of ours and have actually received some fantastic candidates that seem more interested and engaged in the process as a result.  Two quick examples: (Admin Asst.) and (Web App Developer).


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