Linda L. Miles gets plenty of hard workers to reply to her help-wanted ads. The CEO of Linda L. Miles & Associates, a $1.2-million trainer of medical office support staff, in Virginia Beach, Va., has fine-tuned her ad copy over the past five years while hiring 16 people. "When employees have a bad day at work, they go home and scan the want ads. Appeal to their sense of being underappreciated," recommends Miles, whose hook reads: "Are you enthusiastic, caring, and dependable? Would you enjoy a secretarial opportunity in an office that truly appreciates the staff?" "That says the company respects employees," says Miles.

She now recommends the approach to her clients. One doctor changed his ads from focusing on benefits, hours, and salary to a more appreciative approach. His responses shot up from 6 to 100. "His old ads attracted applicants who were more interested in benefits than doing a great job," says Miles.