lemonade standIn an effort to join other great economic failures, newspapers have increased their prices as the demand for their product has declined.  For you non-econ majors, this is the exact opposite of what is supposed to happen.  Think about it: less people want to buy lemonade at your lemonade stand because it doesn’t taste that good. Crystal Light, really? Plus, Newman’s Own makes a pretty tasty virgin lemonade and it is probably bacteria free unlike your cardboard contraption by the side of the highway.  Anyway, sales are declining at your stand, increased competition from modern alternatives (darn philanthropists) and due to the lack of demand for your product and the increasing costs (your 8 year old heard about the minimum wage increase and wants $11 an hour now!) you decide to raise prices.  More expensive bad lemonade does not attract more buyers.

What does this have to do with your job ad?  Well, newspapers have fewer readers now and that means they sell fewer papers and more importantly they sell fewer ads.  As a counter measure they have raised their rates.  I don’t know about you, but I call that decreasing value.

So you wake up one morning, still sad that one of your favorite employees has left your company (your 8 year old is now working at Newman’s Own), but equally excited to have a new person join your team.  But where will you find them?  Well everyone knows the first thing you do is write an ad and send it to the newspaper…right?  Except then you learn the paper wants $200 per day if you actually want your ad large enough to fit some text.  And of course they recommend running it for at least a week to get the best chance of being seen.  “Why so expensive?” you wonder.

I actually had a newspaper tell me not too long ago that they would not allow abbreviations in their ads.  For instance I could not put $12.00/hr I had to put $12.00 per hour.  Why?  Well you are paying for space and they want you to use as much space as possible.  But I am getting off track.

So you complete your glorious ad and set aside your $1,000 (sorry honey no Disney this year, gotta pay the man).  A week goes by and you are hearing crickets.  A few resumes roll in but you wonder if they even read your ad because they seem largely unqualified and strangely unaware of that fact.  Then a few angry letters and emails: “Why haven’t I heard from you?  I applied for your job I saw in the paper and sent you a resume and you didn’t even have the decency to respond to me!  I have a family and bills to pay and people like you don’t know how to treat fellow citizens.”  Ouch.  “I was excited about this new opening and was trying to put a silver lining on it”, you think to yourself.  Now you are $1,000 poorer, your kids didn’t have any fun on the trip to the town beach (maybe Disney next year), and you have upset some unknown citizens who are now boycotting your company.

Save your money. Network your job with everyone you know and meet.  Jump on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn and talk about all of the great aspects of working for your business.   I don’t know a single job seeker who only looks in the paper when hunting for jobs.  Sure they look in the paper, but they also talk to their friends and relatives, they go on sites like Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com.  Our site at Masiello Employment receives over 10,000 visits a month from job seekers.   And if you need help with this strategy give me a call, I would be happy to help, free of charge.  Of course if no one takes me up on this free offer I will have to start charging a fee.  I do have bills to pay!