Written by Holly Watson | June 24, 2014
Often underestimated in the hiring process, an effective job advertisement is vital to help you successfully recruit staff. It will be the first taster of the job for potential employees and will contain information that may be the deciding factor for whether candidates apply for your vacancy or not.
However, as employers (and recruiters) are starting to wise-up to the effectiveness of recruitment advertising, there is some confusion over the important (and not so important) factors in a job advert.
As such, Webrecruit has compiled a list of 10 of the common misconceptions about recruitment advertising:
1. “Adverts don’t matter”
The construction of a job advert is something that many recruiters see as unnecessary and is often a rushed task. However, recruitment advertising is key to attracting not just as many candidates as possible but the right candidates. Therefore, each advert is worth taking the time to get right.
2. “A job advert is the same as a job description”
Job adverts should provide a brief overview of the role and your company with a couple of paragraphs, or 4-5 bullet points, of main duties. The aim of the job advert is to sell the role; long lists of duties won’t attract candidates and are something to provide at a later stage in the application process.
3. “The salary isn’t important”
Many companies choose to leave salaries off their job adverts, however they could be greatly reducing their chances of finding the right candidate. In fact, job advertisements without salaries listed can have up to a 70% reduction in applications.
Not only do salaries act as an attraction factor, they also act as a guideline to whether a candidate is at the right level for a job (i.e. a £17,000 salary would attract a more junior level candidate, whereas a £60,000 salary would be an indicator that the job is a senior role).
4. “I can use the language of my company”
Don’t use in-house terminology that someone outside your company wouldn’t understand – be clear and concise. Stay away from jargon or any confusing terms – the chances are, if a candidate doesn’t understand what your company does or what they’ll be doing in the role, they probably won’t apply.
5. “I need to think of a quirky job title to catch attention”
Quirky or in-house job titles may seem fun but most people search for roles by keywords so use more generic terms.
You can call the applicant whatever you want when they start in the company but stick with something more general for advertising purposes. Whilst ‘Chair Development Master’ might sound like an appealing title, the suitable candidates for the role are more likely to search for the term ‘Carpenter’.
It’s also important to tailor your title to the medium of advertising that you’re using. For instance, searchable titles are vital in online advertising, whereas if you’re advertising in an industry specific publication, a more technical title might be more appropriate.
6. “I don’t need to include information about the role – my company details are enough to sell it”
Nearly 55% of candidates stated that it was the information provided about the role that was most likely to influence them to apply, Webrecruit found from their recent candidate survey.
With an increasing skills shortage across some industries, employers are having to work harder and harder to attract candidates so the information that you include about the role will be vital.
7. “There’s no need to provide details of benefits now”
If your company offers awesome benefits, make sure that you go into detail. This is particularly important for high calibre jobs, where great benefits packages are often equally as important as the salary.
Also, in recent weeks, the right to flexible working hours has been discussed in-depth, therefore if you already offer a flexible working pattern, this is definitely something worth mentioning in your job advertisement.
8. “Asking for a long list of skills will ensure that only the best candidates apply”
Many agencies compile a long list of essential requirements when trying to recruit staff. However, try and leave it as open as possible and limit yourself to five requirements. For instance, do they really need experience of using a certain software programme if they can be trained on it easily?
9. “Saying who I don’t want to apply for the job in the advert will ensure that the right people do”
Try not to use negative language in your job adverts as this will create a negative impression of your company. For example, don’t state “No telesales applicants”. Instead, why not tailor your language to attract the people you want to apply?
If the role really wouldn’t be suitable for someone from a telesales background, just ask for ‘face to face sales experience’ as an essential requirement. Focus on including candidates, not excluding candidates.
10. “I need to inform candidates of every aspect of the role”
Whilst providing information about the role is good, candidates don’t need to hear that they’ll be assisting with general housekeeping activities and attending a meeting every month. These are pretty generic duties so don’t waste valuable ad space by talking about them. Remember, when advertising online, you have just a few crucial seconds to catch candidates’ attention so don’t waste them.
Still struggling with your recruitment advertising? With Talent Finder from Webrecruit, you’ll not only have access to some of the top job boards in the UK, our team of copywriters will compile a web-optimised job advert for you to attract the right candidates for your vacancy.