The job ad is an essential tool in attracting applicants to a vacant position, but unfortunately, all too often small and medium businesses fail to get them right. They then wonder why they’ve only received few or low quality applications and are forced to hire a less than perfect candidate to meet business requirements. Often the applicant is unsuited to the role, leading to gaps in performance or resulting in the need to re-advertise the position again 6 months later.
So what can you do to ensure your job ad attracts the best applicant pool possible? Consider these 5 elements before placing your next job advertisement, whether it’s with an employment agency or online job site, to not only attract qualified applicants but also a wide applicant pool to give you the benefit of choice.
1. A Clear Position Description
Perhaps most importantly, to avoid a mismatch of expectations, abilities and skills, it’s important the job clearly explains what’s expected in the position. Avoid using colourful job titles, i.e. Receptionist rather than ‘Director of First Impressions’, and opt for traditional titles with relevant keywords that describe the role. This will allow qualified applicants using search engines to find your listing at a glance based on previous job titles or their experience in the field. The job ad should also include a paragraph or dot points outlining the position including regular tasks and duties associated with the role — including the challenges and demands of the position. It’s important applicants have a realistic preview of the role, so carefully consider anything in the position that could be considered misleading.
2. Engaging Writing
A boringly written advertisement will send an impression of a boring company, which may narrow the applicant pool or attract ‘boring’ candidates. Use persuasive and positive language that reflects the culture of the company, whether innovative, youthful or fun loving. Remember a job advertisement is also an opportunity to spread the word about your business and is a chance to build the branding of your business. If writing is done right, it can encourage not only applicants but others who stumble across the ad to want to learn more about your business.
3. What’s in it for them?
Applicants are most likely fishing in several job pools, and yours is most likely not the only job they are applying for. That’s why it’s important to include not only what YOU want but also what benefits they can expect for working for you. Every application takes time to complete. If you take the time to include information that entices people to want to work for you company such as perks and other benefits, you’ll encourage more applicants to apply for the role.
4. Use the A.I.D.A. Approach
A job ad is like all other advertisements, designed to generate interest and persuade people to take action. With this in mind, follow the marketing 101 AIDA acronym. Firstly, whether with a headline, banner image or company logo, motto or other branding the job ad should attract attention. Only then can it generate interest with the details of the ad, enough to create a desire that’s strong enough to lead the applications to take action (a.k.a apply for the role.) Remembering this approach at every step of the way will allow you to craft a job ad that is strong enough to encourage better applicants that may be more choosy about which positions they apply for.
5. Avoid Lengthy, Padded Out Descriptions
Where possible try to keep the job ad as succinct as possible, and this may mean making revisions to trim the text. To make the job stand out from similar positions ensure all descriptions are unique and not copied and pasted from similar roles. Avoid generic descriptions and clichés that could apply to many roles even if they may be applicable to what you are looking for. Sentences such as ‘We’re a dynamic business experiencing rapid growth and a leader in our field looking for a committed, dedicated and self motivated individual,’ are not particularly specific and tell applicants little about the business or the position.Read More