Tired of placing help-wanted ads for secretaries and clerical help only to get a few or no responses? Tired, too, of conceding whatever salary your candidate asks, even if it is more than you budgeted?

Paul Olsen, of Harvard Consulting Group, has this advice: stop running four-line ads in a major paper, where they get swallowed by all the ads surrounding them, and place a large display ad in a few local papers instead. It might cost a little more, but will undoubtedly get more responses.

For Olsen, the tactic has worked even in the extremely tight Boston labor market -- partly, he thinks, because he's used the extra ad space to tout "family atmosphere" or "flexible hours." Someone who values a position's intangibles may be more willing to accept a modest salary.