I think this is the important point you've missed:
You, the recruiter, are tired of sifting through irrelevant fluff.
So, you skim-read job applications.
Candidates are also tired of sifting through irrelevant fluff.
So, they skim-read job adverts.
Good candidates are not reading every line of every job advert for the exact same reason you are not reading every line of every job application.
Many, many job adverts are very badly written, and candidates have to read many, many job adverts. Many (if not most) applicants therefore skim-read job adverts, out of sheer necessity. Even the ones they apply to. Don't be shocked - can you honestly say you've read every line of every application of every candidate you've invited to an interview? You didn't skip over lines about their driver's license, or how they learned team skills in college sports 10 years ago, or the additional admin duties of that job they had in a different industry in 2011?
Your experiment could work, but you must put the 'trick' line alongside the important information, not towards the end where it looks like skippable HR fluff. For example, it could be item 3 in a neat, concise bullet list titled "Essential skills", that actually contains the actual essential skills.
Also, expect it to be perceived like how a recruiter would perceive a "quirky" job application. Some might be amused or charmed by it (I remember seeing something like this in a job advert and smiling, but maybe I'm biased because I've also been a recruiter), but many will be annoyed or put off. Consider the personality types you want to attract (and, not deter).
Recruiting is a two-way street - especially in tech currently, where demand for quality usually exceeds supply.
An example, fairly typical job advert
For research purposes, I went to a jobs-list site and opened some random job adverts to give an example of what applicants have to wade through. Below is the second job advert I opened.
Edits taking out company name, industry, etc are in italics: no need to name and shame, this is not an unusually bad job advert, it's merely the worst of the first two I opened. I also added bold to the section headings. Everything else is the real job advert as published.
Adverts like this are very common. Job seekers wade through dozens of these a day, hundreds a week, potentially thousands a month. In this long example, I'd say there are maybe five important points. Read through it, and try to pick them out. Then imagine doing this a few hundred times.
That's the answer to your implicit question, of why candidates don't read every line of your job adverts. I suspect you won't want to read every line of this one, let alone a hundred like it. After a few dozen of these, you'll be good at skimming and will habitually skim good and bad adverts alike.
Who we are
CompanyCo was founded in 2024 with a clear mission: foo without borders - so people and businesses can send and receive foo
effortlessly, whenever, wherever.
Sure, the heart of what we do is foo transfer. And we're committed
to making it foo-tastic, convenient and fair for millions of people,
all over the world. But we're growing our other products and our teams
at an exciting pace. And we're looking for the very best to jump on
What it's really like to work here
At CompanyCo, we do things a bit differently. There's no corporate
nonsense and no old-fashioned hierarchy. Instead, we work in dozens of
self-sufficient, autonomous teams. Think of them like start-ups within
a start-up that learn from each other.
Each team picks the problems they want to solve. So there's no
micro-management. No hiding behind fancy job titles. And no one
telling you what to do. You are your own boss. But you'll get tons of
guidance and plenty of support from talented, super-smart colleagues
from all over CompanyCo.
We're going to be upfront - the way we work doesn't suit everyone. But
if freedom, autonomy, and life-affirming, head-scratching professional
challenges rock your world, we could be a match made in heaven.
So, what's the role?
In general, as a Foo Engineer in CompanyCo you will work towards
making our product the best that it can be. On one hand you will do
this by solving very complex technical puzzles while on the other
hand, you will do this by figuring out what are the best product
decisions based on feedback we get from our great customers.
More specificly [SIC - spelling and grammar mistakes in job adverts are extremely common], we are currently growing our local FooBar
engineering team which holds from an engineering perspective our
CompanyCo for Businesses product. So, currently looking for talented Foo Engineers ready and up to the challenge of helping us in scaling-up our Business product. What we re [SIC] looking for:
- Background with backend MVC framework - Language and Tool
- Experience with Query databases, writing custom queries
and designing schemas
- Understanding of test driven development (TDD),
and the desire to write tests
- Experience in distributed and concurrent
systems, knowing the tradeoffs between stateful/stateless and
... while we will also very
much appreciate any of the following
- Passionate about technology, product and user experience
- Customer is at the heart of everything you do and that empathy drives every decision you make
- Ability to work independently and plan your own solutions to problems
- Open to travel and work with Engineering teams from Atlantis and Avalon
- Broad understanding of the minimum viable product concept & conversion rates
- Knowledge of/interest in foo platforms, foo exchange & performant complex systems
- Experience using database abstraction layers like Product
- Understanding of Scrum and Agile development - particularly lean methodologies
- Be a customer of CompanyCo
For a sneak - peek [SIC] into our Engineering world check: http://foo.companyco.foo
Benefits: Apart from the all-expenses-paid company trips, stock
options in one of Eurasia's most hotly tipped startups, a laptop and
team lunches every Friday, you won't get much in the way of extras.
However, we will give you 25 days holiday a year (plus public
holidays), a fun, friendly atmosphere, plenty of opportunities to grow
and the chance to be part of our little revolution. Oh, and coffee,
there's plenty of coffee.