As recruiters, we spend an awful lot of time writing job ads. A lot of time… and we don’t mind admitting that it never stops being a learning process! But while we’re fortunate enough to have a fantastic database to draw great candidates from, we can’t overestimate the importance of a strong job advert. Over time, we’ve come to learn and understand what works and what doesn’t.
There’s nothing worse than spending time writing a job ad and receiving just a few applications, or worse - being inundated with candidates who are completely unsuitable for the role at hand! Before you copy and paste your next job advert, take a few hours to think critically about your target audience and what might be their drivers and motivations. Then craft your job ad accordingly.
It is not a job description. Remember that it’s a carefully considered advert written with the aim of attracting the best talent for the job. It’s also representative of your employer branding. As such, stop:
Sure, you want to attract people to apply, but don’t exaggerate or tell tales. It’s not worth it. You’ll just end up wasting their time and yours, and worst case scenario you’ll be in the position of needing to replace the role again within 6 months.
2. Writing a boring headline
At least five times as many people will read the headline vs the job ad itself, so put some effort into it to encourage click throughs! With a limited character count, try split testing a few different ones over time to establish what really works with your target audience. Hint: Include the job title and at least one non-financial related perk!
3. Not sharing on social media
Don’t upload your ad and just leave it to weather the storm alone. Share it on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and anywhere else your potential candidates are likely to be hanging out. Encourage your employees to share it on their respective social networks as well.
4. Ignoring the culture
Some of the most successful campaigns are helped significantly by culture videos. See the one below for example, produced by Hubspot. Sure, they have some great perks to show off like free beer and flexible hours, but what they do really well is personalise their business and the people who work there. As a candidate, you’d want to work for them after seeing the obviously smart people you could learn from - and become friends with.
5. Being evasive about salary
Whilst salary shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all, it does stop any wasted time on their side and yours if you don’t include a salary range from the outset. We continue to believe that the most successful placements will be with candidates who are motivated by more than cash. Having said that, that’s why we’re all here after all, so just be transparent.
Last but not least, you’re probably incredibly busy and may not have the time to get back to all the candidates once you’re happy with your strong shortlist. Don’t blacklist your business by not getting back to them for weeks on end, or worse - not at all. Protect your integrity with a concluding, ‘Only applicants meeting the strict criteria outlined above will be contacted as part of the shortlisting process’.