80s camp film lovers will be flocking to theaters to see the 2016 gender-bending ‘Ghostbusters’ summer blockbuster film, but what most won’t catch on to is the connection between the film and bad hiring decisions. Turns out, because of bad wording in a help wanted advertisement, the all-female Ghostbusting team end up with an over-the-top handsome assistant (played by heart-throb Chris Hemsworth) who is not what he appears to be -- a lesson for HR departments everywhere.
Says Saxon Marsden-Huggins, Managing Director of Recruit Shop, who shares with HR Grapevine readers that, “Always think about the same question – who you want to attract - and determine what words mirror the capabilities of your ideal candidates."
A strong or weak job title in any job advertisement can produce varying results when candidates misunderstand the role.
Never judge a book by it’s cover. But that’s exactly what a University of Maryland study from 2015 shows: people automatically think a good looking candidate is also smart. In the new Ghostbusters movie, headlining in July, a poorly written job advertisement produces a handsome, but incredibly dumb candidate.
Marsden-Huggins advises recruiters to change up job titles for a more diverse candidate pool and that hiring managers should, “Begin your process by coming back to the question: ‘Who am I trying to attract?”
Job ads should avoid any hint of vagueness. The perfect job posting is akin to a "checklist" for both employer and would-be employee. The ad must reflect a detailed description of job, and most of all it's got to be honest in terms of what the employer needs.