A little psychology plays into the long-running success of Bennett Contracting’s ad for lead carpenters. At more than 400 words — and posted online to attract better applicants than print ads tend to attract — the ad contrasts the stresses of being a self-employed carpenter with the financial security, benefits, and supportive team of Bennett Contracting, in Albany, N.Y.

“A lot of carpenters want to own their own business, and they quickly find out how difficult it is,” says Paul Gutman, co-owner of the 55-employee company. The ad (viewable at Remodeling Online) spells out the word “worrying” to underscore self-employment realities such as wearing multiple hats, working long hours, losing family time, and bearing financial risk.

The intent is to show empathy toward self-employed people who regret their decisions, Gutman says. The ad brings in lots of calls, including those from women calling for their husbands or boyfriends, and attracts candidates at all skill levels because “it indicates a progression,” he says.

Gutman screens callers on the phone, inviting some to send a résumé and have an interview. He keeps names on file for a year, sometimes going back to hire months later. In those cases, both parties’ continuing interest is a good sign that the commitment is real, he says.

Find out more in the Web Extra.