If you want to attract great talent you need to create a winning advert. Many employers make the same mistakes time and time again, and lose out on the huge number of passive candidates who are looking for that “perfect” job. In my experience these 8 tips will ensure that your advert has the highest chance of not only attracting the right candidates but also entices them to apply.
1. Always display the salary on offer
Candidates on the main are looking for more money, albeit in addition to other benefits. It is therefore important to be upfront from the initial advert and to be honest about the salary offered. Over the years employers have asked me to refrain from displaying the salary. However, over 45% of job seekers will avoid applying for role that does not state the salary or at least a salary range. Displaying “negotiable” or “competitive” is rather frustrating for candidates who want to know whether they should invest their time in applying.
2.Publish details about other benefits
Potential candidates are keen to understand the full benefits package so they can compare with their current contract and weigh up the full offering. Employers who list benefits and company perks have a real advantage over those who simply state salary. I have found over the years that flexible hours and holiday allowance remain the second and third most sort after benefit. This is followed by free parking and sick pay. When writing your advert, ask yourself questions like; Do we have modern offices? Is there an early finish on a Friday? What company bonus opportunities are there? Is there a Sharesave scheme? There is so much that employers forget to mention at the advert stage.
3. Describe the company culture, industry type and share values
Candidates often ask me about the culture of a business so make sure you explain what type of people you have working for you and what type of environment you are cultivating. Is your business a more corporate, work hard, play hard company or a more relaxed and friendly local company? Each type of business is trying to attract a different type of candidate and it is best to be open as to who you are looking to attract. You will only save valuable interview time later!
4. Be honest and specific about the duties give volumes and values
Rather than a bullet point which states “administration duties” it is more effective to describe in more detail what the candidate will actually be doing day to day. For example, it would be more beneficial to state “daily administrative duties such as managing post, typing letters, typing up minutes, filing and preparing up to 100 sales invoices a month,” this way candidates can see more openly what they will be required to do.
5.Describe the work environment they will be joining
It is a good idea to make sure that you describe the type of working environment the candidate will be working in. Try explaining the size of the team they will join or if they will be working alone, make this apparent. You could explain that the job carries much autonomy and will require plenty self-motivation and time working alone. This will help to attract the right person and also allow for a better success in finding the right fit once it comes to interviewing.
6.Try to describe a typical working day
My candidates love to hear what a typical day will involve so try and give detail regarding daily, weekly and monthly tasks. If they will be spending the majority of their time on the telephone taking orders then state this in the advert. If the role involves plenty of face to face contact with clients out on the road then ensure this is make clear in the advert. The best adverts include a paragraph dedicated to this which usually starts with “A typical day in this position will begin with…. and will finish by….” It paints a real picture of how a candidate would fit in and if it is worth pursuing.
7.Be clear on the essential criteria…but careful not to restrict applications
Most candidates will refrain from applying for a position if they do not fit at least 90% of the essential criteria. For this reason it is important to be mindful of listing essential criteria that is not actually essential. Try if possible to restrict this to really critical qualifications and experience as you may find that you can offer training for the right candidate.
8.Advertise the correct job title
Job titles are much more than words to most candidates. Be careful not to use old fashioned job titles such as “Personnel Manager”, instead use “HR Manager. Most candidates search using job titles as criteria when looking for job postings so try to consider the market when you place an advert. Make sure the job title is not too internal sounding and ensure it will appeal to a wider audience.
I hope this blog post has got you thinking about how your business writes and places adverts when you are recruiting. I wonder how many of the above tips you could implement next time you place an advert?