Is the BLIND ad dead?
Companies have many legitimate reasons for not wanting to reveal themselves or job specifics to job applicants. Chief among these reasons is that the position may not be open yet and the company is discreetly trying to see who is out there as a potential replacement should the position become available. Other reasons may be to cut down on the overwhelming response that job ads cause, or to hide information from competitors or from current employees who may see the job ad and disagree with the timing. All good reasons to run a blind ad.
What has changed?
In the past, this was a very effective strategy. There was an unspoken agreement between company and candidate that the candidate was on a need-to-know basis and many, many quality candidates responded to this type of job ad. Unfortunately, a blind ad now can mean something entirely different to candidates. It could be a shady “foreign fishing expedition” to get personal information from people by posing as a recruiter. It could be a cover for any number of special “opportunities” out there ranging from unwittingly shipping illegal goods to signing on with reverse recruiters who actually charge the candidates a very large fee to search for jobs on their behalf. For these reasons, and many more, really good candidates simply do not respond to blind ads. And if they do, it is with extreme caution.
So what now?
The most effective strategy is to be as specific as you can about the job at hand. If the position is currently filled, this might mean being straight with the person still in the role. If that is simply not possible then you can advertise for a similar position, leaving out some of the specifics but being as forthright as you can about the company, the location and the pay-and anything else that communicates legitimate employment. This will help you avoid wasting time and money on job ads that won’t attract your ideal candidate.