How to craft the perfect job advert is something hiring managers often struggle with. It begins with an accurate, compelling, and meaningful job description that ticks job seekers’ boxes. But where to start? Read on to find out.
Crafting a successful and engaging job advert is a delicate process that needs to combine your understanding of the company and your target audience. On average, businesses take approximately 44 days to fill an IT job role and can spend several thousand pounds in the process.
Hiring mistakes can be costly and set you right back to square one of the recruitment process. Additionally, flaws in the job description can also increase recruitment costs and time. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what the perfect job ads should entail.
Businesses often struggle to get their jobs posted as quickly as possible. That’s why we have prepared this guide to writing the perfect job advert that attracts the ideal candidates and speeds up the hiring process. We can help you create a job advert that:
- Reaches the best potential candidate(s)
- Defines the responsibilities and requirements for the job
- Showcase your company culture
- Provide a clear call to action for the application process
Job Description, Job Advert, Job Spec… What’s the Difference?
Nobody can sit at their desk and create a compelling job ad from scratch. Creating an engaging job post is a multi-step process.
Firstly, the company needs to create a job spec or role specification, which you will not share with your candidates. It is an internal document that identifies the responsibilities, required skills, and hierarchic location for the role. It can be good to share this information with a recruiter if you need support designing the job description and advert.
Contrary to common belief, the job description and job advert are two different things. The job description aims to provide the potential applicant with a descriptive presentation of the role. Job descriptions should detail the skillset you expect them to have, level of experience and list the specific duties involved in the job.
The job advert, or job ad, rewords the description to advertise the role to your target audience group. It includes additional information that is relevant to the promotion of the company and the position. The job advert is an informative piece that should be attention-grabbing and punchy without sacrificing the core of the job description.
A Great Job Title Conveys Meaning
Job titles can be exciting when they convey the appropriate message. Ultimately, candidates scroll your job boards to find roles relevant to their career progression and experience. In other words, they are more likely to engage with a job title that builds a clear and defined picture.
A Digital Marketing Executive looking for their next role might be considering managerial positions, such as Digital Marketing Team Leader or Digital Marketing Manager. As tempting as it might be to write a stand-out ad seeking the next “Wizard of Creativity”, most people will not know what you mean. They are more likely to skip over job titles that include vague and unclear wording, such as guru, ninja, wizard, which fail to describe what the role entails.
If candidates don’t understand the job advert, they are unlikely to apply to it. Some wording can also put off individuals who don’t feel like the role targets them. Women, for instance, are less likely to apply for a job with ‘ninja’ or ‘guru’ in the title as they perceive these as male titles.
Ideally, when relevant, the title should also state the position level within the hierarchy, such as junior, middle or senior.
Narrow Down Your Target Audience
A detailed job description can help you determine who your audience is. Ultimately, effective job ads are not lucky in finding the right candidate. They are designed specifically with the audience persona in mind. In other words, when you write a job ad, you need to choose wording and values that will resonate with your target.
Any job board platform contains thousands of different ads. Therefore, you need to tailor yours so that it grabs your audience’s attention from the first line. This includes addressing your ideal candidate persona, not just in terms of skill sets but also personality and qualities.
For instance, a bubbly and lively job ad wording will suit a creative role in a relaxed environment. However, if you seek a computing expert for a highly controlled sector, such as finances, the same choice of tone might be counterproductive. Instead, a technical audience expects logical language using specialist terms.
More importantly, realistic expectations are a must. Asking for too much experience for an entry-level job could attract the wrong type of candidate. Furthermore, the salary must reflect your expectations. A job ad requiring niche technical skills but only offers a low salary will unlikely receive any applications. Likewise, jobs without any salary details receive 60% fewer applications than those that advertise a salary.
Sell the Business and Company Culture
It is not a great job because you say so. Candidates expect job adverts to promote the company culture; they will then decide for themselves whether the job is worth applying for. So when you write a job ad, you need to ask yourself: Why would candidates want to work within this business? Or how about asking existing employees why they enjoy working for you? This is your unique selling point to a candidate and what will make them want to apply for your vacancy over another.
Post-pandemic roles gain applicants’ attention with the promise of flexible work arrangements, including home-based or remote work. Digital positions in IT or marketing, for instance, are perfectly suitable for remote working.
Job seekers also consider company values and culture. Explaining what the company stands for can help applicants identify with your values. Additionally, some values are more desirable than others. For example, 80% of UK job applicants are more likely to apply for a role that mentions meaningful family, health and wellness, and work-life balance benefits.
Candidates also prefer businesses that mention career progression, training, and a salary range. Failure to disclose essential information can turn off candidates.
Explain What the Successful Candidate Will be Doing
Make it About Them
The worst performing job adverts include a long list of must-have qualifications, essential requirements, followed by a list of nice to have’s or additional requirements. What’s more, they don’t include any salary details or list any benefits of working at your company. Would you apply for a job like that?
Employees don’t go to work for the fun of it. The people who enjoy their jobs are the ones who feel valued by their employers and enjoy being part of their company culture. Keep this in mind when writing your job ads to attract more of the candidates you want to employ.
Making the job description understandable and accessible as part of your job ad is a no-brainer. A list of bullet points responsibilities can make it easier to digest. However, encouraging candidates to visualise themselves in the role through examples of the type of activities they will be performing can engage more applicants.
Explain Your Application Process
Last but not least, a good job ad needs to guide your potential candidate to the next step. It’s essential to define the application process, sharing all the information your audience needs to apply successfully:
- Deadline – if there is one, although keep in mind that this could potential applicants off
- Application link or contact detail
- What you expect: CV format, cover letter format, portfolio format, etc.
- If relevant, brief notes on the interview process (such as a requirement to prepare a presentation, etc.)
The introduction of a compelling call to action, such as encouraging applicants to become the next creative brain behind your brand presence for a Digital Designer role, can drive a higher application volume as it engages with candidates.
A Few Final Thoughts on How to Write the Perfect Job Advert
Writing job ads is rarely a hiring manager’s favourite task. After all, it’s not what their employers hire them to do. However, after reading this brief guide, we hope that you now have a better idea of how to design a compelling and successful job ad.
Creating effective job adverts that attract top candidates is something recruitment consultants have extensive experience doing. So if this is something you’re struggling with, please, don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out how we can help you.
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