What’s wrong with LinkedIn’s new TV ad?

Rob @ offpaper
Oct 30, 2019 · 3 min read
Watch the ad

Last night I spotted LinkedIn’s new TV ad. Well, I heard a moving bit of classical music first which got my attention, and incidentally suits the sentiment of the ad really well. The advert is for LinkedIn Jobs, a job search tool.

The script centres around people’s answers to the question “What are you searching for”, and reveals what they’re really looking for in a job. It features a diverse group, all with different and deeply human reasons for their job search.

It’s one of those ads you see a lot at the minute, that centres on telling human stories and creating an emotional connection. It feels authentic to a point and is designed for as many people as possible to resonate on that shared human level. I like it.

I made a point of back-tracking through the ad to look at what people were searching for…

Naturally, I produced a table:

All very human, and all very relatable I think. So agrees Ngaire Moyes, senior brand director at LinkedIn EMEA who said “What are you searching for? It’s a powerful question, and when we’re talking about jobs the answer is different for everyone which is why sharing the experiences of our real and diverse members is a key part of our advertising strategy.”

I agree that there’s huge power in people’s responses to that question and it can reveal a lot about people’s true motivations. But the reality is, it may be part of an advertising strategy but the functionality of LinkedIn Jobs couldn’t be further from the message here.

What people are searching for, and what they can actually search for are worlds apart…

Time for another table:

Just look at the massive difference here between what humans are motivated to search for, and the functionality offered by a job search platform. It’s not just LinkedIn either, because pretty much every job search portal operates in the same way. Now tell me that can’t be the root of so many problems in job search and hiring..?!

The sign-off hit hard too;

“Search millions of jobs on LinkedIn. Find one meant for you”.

If the answer to “What are you searching for” is so different and diverse, then why is there only one way to search? The advert captured the depth of human emotion that’s involved in finding meaningful work, but highlighted a problem in just how hard that is to find.

Something feels deeply, systemically broken to me.


About offpaper

I suppose this is where a core principle of offpaper comes in. offpaper puts the core drivers of work happiness firmly at the start of job search and discovery. We use all the really important ‘hidden stuff’ like personality, values and behaviours to match people and companies using a smart algorithm. Our algo uses sophisticated data models to interpret huge amounts of publicly available data about companies and understand what it’s like to work there. Then, we layer in feedback from real users to validate, learn, and enhance the accuracy of the personalised matches we’re suggesting. So if you tell us a bit about you, we’ll do a pretty darn good job of recommending companies where you’ll be happiest.

We’re aiming to end the endless trawling through millions of job listings and relying on your best guess — get the info you need fast to make confident career moves that last. Try offpaper.

Rob @ offpaper

Written by

Humans > CVs. Let’s do something about it.

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