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Attract The Best Staff

Close up of a man holding a card with 'Join Us' written on it There are many reasons why your job advertisement might not be getting the attention you expected; where the role’s located, the salary, or a simple shortage of talent are just a few examples. But sometimes, it’s for the simple reason that the advert is, for want of a better phrase, badly written. If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated because you’re not getting the amount of applicants you wanted for your job adverts, it’s probably time to look at how you write them. It’s tough out there in the competitive employment market, and if you want the best candidates, you’ve got to make it worth their while to make the move – that all starts with the job advertisement. This week we’ve identified four ways to make your job advertisement appeal to the cream of the talent crop.

BE DIFFERENT

If you want to attract the best and the brightest, you’ve got to stand out. This means creating a job advert that grabs the attention of prospective candidates and really shines. We’ve written before about the importance of an appealing company culture. So it’s no surprise that we believe that the personality and vibe of your brand should be woven through any job advertisement you put out there. It’s not enough simply for the role to appeal, today’s applicants want to know that they’re applying to a place where they’ll fit in, achieve progression and be happy. The world of employment is full of fresh, clever and funny job advertisements, (this article covers some sterling examples), but there are some dull as dishwater ones too. When it comes to that all-important hire, make sure your advert is the former.

BE CLEAR

If we had a pound for every time we met a candidate looking for a new role because their current one is not what they signed up for, well, let’s just say we’d be taking Rockefeller for a pint. It’s absolutely vital that in all of your job adverts, the description is clear and correct. Don’t advertise for a receptionist and then be surprised if they walk out when you ask them clean the windows. Give as much practical information as possible, without going overboard. If ‘working from home’ actually means ‘working from home when agreed with manager’, say that. If ‘based in Leeds’ translates as ‘based in Leeds but required three days a week in London’, be clear about that because that’s one hell of a commute. The recruitment game is hard enough – don’t make it harder. It’s worth spending some time on the style and layout of your advertisement. The use of bullet points and lists makes for more accessible reading, and make sure you put the important keywords in larger and bolder font to make it easier on the eye and harder to skip over. Details are important; the location of an office, if there’s a company car and whether flexi-time is on offer – it’s all relevant stuff. Of particular importance is information regarding salary. Studies have shown that job advertisements containing salary information have a massive 40% increase in interest than those that don’t. When it comes to prospective hires, it pays to show them the money.

BE CONCISE

A job advertisement doesn’t have to be short enough to fit on the back of a postage stamp, but it does have to avoid fluff, waffle and pointless jargon. Clear, concise and focussed is the order of the day: information that tells your prospective candidates what the job is, the necessary skills and qualifications, and what the benefits of the job are. When writing a job title, keep it simple. If you need a mortgage advisor, say that, because ‘House Purchase Expert Facilitator’ is just going too far. Keeping it simple will mean it’s easier for you to fill the role with the right candidate and also make it easier for applicants to find you on their job search. Long lists of required skills and experience don’t work: not for applicants and certainly not for employers. The right candidate may worry that they’ve only ticked eight out of the ten boxes, whilst someone who only ticks two may feel they’re a shoo in. Such lists make it harder to separate the wheat from the chaff and the only result is wasted time and resources.

BE A MARKETER

We don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but it’s not about you. A job advertisement is about your prospective employees and what you can do for them. A good job advertisement talks directly to applicants; think about how ‘the prospective candidate will’ sounds oppressive and harsh, whereas ‘you will’ sounds hopeful and inviting. ‘In order to be successful you must’ sounds demanding, whilst ‘when you work for us’ comes across as light and achievable. When it comes to the crunch, there’s really no comparison. An advert that’s extremely corporate and out of reach is going to get far less interest than one that sounds appealing, warm and enthusiastic. You need to think like a marketer showcasing a product, and make the role sound good enough for your consumers to buy. It’s also important to dedicate some time to promote the benefits of the role advertised. What are the perks? What’s so great about it, and why would somebody want to work for you? Remember, you’re not going to get something of quality, for absolutely nothing. So, after you’ve enticed your applicants, given them clear and concise information about the role and told them a bit about your business, all that’s left is to tell them how to apply and watch those CV’s hurtle down the office chimney. A solid job advertisement can work wonders, particularly when dealing with that all-important ‘passive’ candidate pool that’s browsing rather than actively seeking a change. As an employer, you can’t control who and how many will apply for your role, but if you take charge of ensuring that it’s a well written advertisement, you’ll be a step ahead in your quest for success.
Mark Gill

By Mark Gill

Recruitment Director with a proven record of providing world class hires at all levels of office and management positions within the Leeds Bradford region. We use our unique Headway Recruitment Platform incorporating psychometric testing to find the top candidates. If you want access to the full local talent pool get in contact with the team at Headway. We help companies achieve growth through our unique approach. This ensures the candidates we place are the perfect fit. Companies are then best placed to get the best from each individual as they understand their motivating traits. Proud to be recognised as preferred supplier for several businesses in the Sunday Times top 100 firms to work for.
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