Job adverts play an important role in recruitment yet are often rushed and overlooked. Eldon Jobe, CEO of HRS Recruitment Software explains how to write a great job advert.
Job adverts are not job descriptions. The role of a job advert is to engage prospect candidates whilst a job description is designed to help fully inform them in preparation for potential next steps (interview, presentation etc.)
Working in recruitment and now recruitment software I have seen all manner of job adverts. This is my breakdown of what makes a great job advert;
Most job boards / websites will style your adverts to match their content, however if you do have the opportunity to add your own styling don’t go overboard.
Stylised fonts and an array of colours often make information harder to digest resulting in potential candidates looking elsewhere. Remember a job advert should communicate key information quickly.
Job / advert title
The job title provided by the client isn’t always going to attract the most relevant views and applications.
Client side the successful applicant may be called a ‘Growth Hacker’ however you may change the title on your advert to ‘Digital Marketing Manager’. In this situation adapting your advert title could widen the net attracting experienced professionals in addition to marketing executives ready to take the next step.
Before assigning your advert title carry out some research across your database, major job boards and social networks. If you are struggling for applicants use Google Trends to estimate search traffic for specific phrases.
Key details (Location, salary, essential qualifications, role type etc.)
Highlight important information on the top of the advert. Include the following details:
- Salary bracket / OTE
- Position type (Permanent, Contract, Temporary etc.)
- Employee benefits (particularly those outside the norm)
- Closing date
- Internal Reference Number
Highlighting this type of information increases the number of relevant applicants.
Introduction / role summary
Keep the introduction short but descriptive, outline the core tasks and responsibilities of the role in addition to including any company/ role based USPs.
Repeat the job title within the first line of the advert, the first few lines of an advert are usually displayed with social snippets and thumbnails. Many job board algorithm’s also put emphasis on these first few lines when sorting and listing by relevance.
Using the ‘Growth Hacker’ example again the introduction would read something like:
“Digital Marketing Manager required for a high growth B2B SaaS start-up. The Digital Marketing Manager will be responsible for lead generation and customer acquisition across key digital channels including search, paid, social and email. Experience in B2B environment and understanding of mobile application marketing advantageous.”
You don’t need to go into great detail when describing the key responsibilities, compress the core tasks associated with the role down into succinct sentences. Your job advert needs to give enough detail to attract suitably qualified/experienced candidates, remember it is not a detailed job description.
If the business you are recruiting for uses specific software packages include these within the key responsibilities section (as advantageous or essential).
The qualities required for a Sales Executive within a start-up will differ to those required within an enterprise organisation. Focus on the personal characteristics, essential qualifications and traits required to succeed within the organisation and role.
Consider the amount of travel, standard working hours and the split between autonomous and team working required to succeed within the role.
Keep the personal specification section strictly aligned with the requirements of the role. Criteria not associated with the position could be viewed as discriminatory.
Call to actions
Clearly outline next steps and the information required to progress (cover letter etc.), in addition to providing contact details for yourself and the business. If the job advertised is not appropriate you may acquire a new candidate you can match with other positions moving forward.
Repeat your internal reference number to help speed up the process and sort inbound applications.
In order to create a successful job advert you need to get the right information from your client. When recruiting for a new role use the above sections as a guide and ask your client for any additional information that might not be covered in the job spec.
A question I regularly used in the past to get that extra bit of information was “what projects might the a successful applicant have worked on”.
What do you think?
Do you have any more points to add? What are your tips for creating a successful job advert? Let us know by using the comments box on the HRS website here.
More help on motivating and managing staff
For more tips and ideas on how to hire, motivate and keep great staff, read these guides;
- How to motivate employees and create a loyal workforce on a budget
- How setting up a salary sacrifice scheme can reward staff and mean lower tax bills for employers and employees
- The real cost of hiring your first employee
- 5 tips to help you create a great team at your start-up
- How to engage your employees and boost performance
And for guidance on other employment issues, try some of ByteStart’s other guides;
- The ‘Fit for Work’ scheme – what it means for employers
- How to prepare for and handle an employee grievance
- Health & Safety compliance for small businesses – where do you start?
- Anxiety and depression – how to manage them in the workplace
- Employers liability insurance – if you employ anybody you are legally required to have cover