Written by Holly Watson | March 2, 2016
44% of small businesses find creating attractive job adverts to be their biggest recruitment challenge, Webrecruit found in its recent survey.
This could be due to a number of reasons – with many small businesses lacking an in-house recruitment function, they might not have the time to sit down and carefully craft effective recruitment advertising copy. Alternatively, they might lack the knowledge of what makes a great job advert.
As such, we caught up with Alex Coombes, Service Delivery Team Leader and manager of Webrecruit’s Copywriters, to discuss what makes a brilliant job advert.
1. Why do you think that job adverts are so important?
“They serve as the primary point of contact between candidates and the employer,” Alex explains. “They provide the opportunity to inform candidates about the vacancy, as well as sell the role and make people want to apply.”
2. What are the most common queries you receive from clients in your day-to-day role?
“I often get asked for salary information and what would be a competitive salary for a particular role. Clients also tend to need guidance in terms of choosing a searchable title for their vacancy that will be easily found by online jobseekers.”
“I also get asked how companies should be positioning a particular role – what title we should be using and how we should be writing it to appeal to the target audience.”
3. Are there any recruitment advertising trends that you’ve noticed recently?
“More companies are trying to get their brand out there, regardless of their size. We’ve seen a big increase in branded advertising, with small businesses as well as larger companies.”
“Whilst I appreciate the pressure to get a brand out there, branded job adverts can be dangerous for smaller businesses. They can attract a large number of direct applications, which is what many of our clients try to avoid in the first place and are using our services so that we can manage their incoming applications.”
“Many smaller businesses don’t have the resources to be able to process a high volume of CVs.”
4. What’s your favourite aspect of your day-to-day role?
“I like the variety – I can come into the office in the morning and write an advert for an IT Sales Executive, followed by a role for an exciting new media agency, followed by an Engineer, followed by an Administrator. My day is split up into 20 minute/half hour segments and everything is different. I’m constantly learning new things.”
5. How do you think that job adverts will change in 2016?
“They need to keep evolving so that candidates remain engaged. Personally, I’d like to see adverts become less corporate and more colloquial – more talkative, almost in the style that blogs are written. I think that a balance of information and humour to engage candidates is important.”
“More jobseekers are also searching for their next role on the move, so it’s important that adverts are mobile responsive. We make sure that our adverts are easy to read on mobile devices.”
6. In your experience, what kind of advertising copy do you think gets the best response rates?
“I think it’s a combination – you need to get the traditional elements right, including using a good title, a competitive salary and advertising the role in the right place. But you also need to know your target audience to write good, engaging and informative copy.”
“I’d recommend talking to your advertising suppliers directly and finding out what makes their candidates apply. You can then try and incorporate some of these tips into your adverts.”
7. What do you feel is the most important feature of an online job advert?
“I’d say choosing the right essential criteria. If you have clear essential criteria listed in your advert, including transferable skills, people are able to assess themselves as suitable or unsuitable. This means that we’re able to bring in more of the right candidates and keep our clients happy.”
8. What’s your favourite job sector to write recruitment advertising copy for?
“I don’t have a favourite job sector in particular but I like being given the freedom to be creative and being provided with information that enables me to write a great job advert.”
9. If you could give one piece of advice to clients when creating a job advert, what would it be?
“Think about your unique selling points (USPs) – why is it good to work for your company? Try thinking of around 3-4 USPs to include in your advert. USPs are so important – without them, you’re just creating a generic job advert. However, if you include why it’s so great to work for your company, the advert becomes YOUR advert and is fully tailored to your business.”
For more information on Webrecruit’s copywriting services, request a brochure today or give us a call on 01392 823137.