4 steps to writing a job ad that attracts real talent
Advertising vacancies for positions is a necessary aspect of growing any company, but all too often employers waste time with ads that don’t hit the mark.
Without appropriately worded information, you may find yourself receiving the wrong kind of applications, or worse – no applications at all.
Getting your job ads right will therefore save you time and money, while also helping you to build your team with the best talent available.
Here are some simple tips to remember when writing your next ‘position vacant’ notice.
1. Take time to craft a snappy job title and opening paragraph
It may be tempting to be creative or conversational with job titles, but using formal, universally understood terminology will help jobseekers understand the role immediately.
Job titles are the terms jobseekers use to search for positions, so you want to be sure your ad is optimised for search. The term “Office Manager” will outrank “Office Coordinator” for volume of search results, and it will therefore have the furthest reach.
Be sure to include keywords that are most commonly associated with the position. For example, using “Senior Retail Sales Executive – Full Time” is far better than “Looking for an amazing career in sales?”
Once you’ve mastered the job’s title, it’s important to focus on writing an appealing first paragraph. The first sentence or two are usually shown in search results and can encourage a job applicant to click and apply.
A good advertisement repeats the job title in the first sentence, and also includes key information like the job location and a positive aspect of your company.
For example, “We are looking for an experienced office manager to join our award winning, boutique PR Agency in Newtown. The role involves…”
Next you should move on to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the role, like the specific requirements and qualifications you are looking for.
2. Think hard about including salary information
As a business owner, it may go against your instinct to post salary information. Often, we believe that if we advertise a good rate, we may be offering ‘too much’ to someone who would have worked for less.
This is a common misconception.
Salary usually determines a person’s level of experience and seniority. Including salary information helps set the applicants’ expectations and understanding of the role’s requirements.
And while salary may not be the most important element of a job ad, research shows that positions without an advertised salary receive fewer applications. Lack of clarity can lead a potential applicant to feel uncertainty about the advertised role.
As well as ensuring the salary is listed, make sure it is also realistic and in line with the responsibilities and experience required.
Listing the correct salary can encourage the right applicants to apply.
3. Be proactive – use social media for added reach
Where recruitment used to follow the ‘post an advertisement and get applications’ rule, the use of social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook have changed the process, with many of the best qualified candidates waiting for employers to find them.
LinkedIn offers a database of profiles employers can use to search for candidates who may not be actively looking for a new position, but who are open to new opportunities. Many companies have found this feature helpful when they have a very defined role or requirement for specific experience.
The new Facebook jobs feature has been designed to keep the entire application process within Facebook.
Employers post their jobs on the platform and then applicants fill in an application form which includes their personal details and answers to job-specific questions.
The employer can then filter the applicants and the rest of the recruitment process, including a video-call job interview, can be conducted completely through Facebook Messenger.
Whatever the process, employers who take proactive steps to make sure the advertised position appears in front of the right people are the ones who will recruit the best talent for their needs.
4. Analyse and report to decide what works best
Understanding the results of your efforts is just as important with recruitment as it is with performance.
Increases in online recruitment has seen an influx of options available for employers, and without assessing what works for you, hiring can become a costly, ineffective process.
Monitoring the quantity, as well as quality, of applicants you receive can help you pick the best options for your company when it comes to advertisements.
But if you’re doing your absolute best and still can’t seem to find the right person for the job, it might be time to bring in a professional.
Remember, recruitment firms offer a huge range of services, from a simple job ad ‘audit’ to managing the entire recruitment process.
Having the right staff is an essential part of business growth and success, but recruiting those staff members is often no easy feat.
Get it right and the rewards will far outweigh the effort.