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11 Steps To Writing A Successful Job Advert
Think of a job advert as a window to your company culture: a platform where you can demonstrate your organisation's most positive credentials that will appeal to a wide range of potential recruits. In this article, we outline how to create the best one possible.
What Is A Job Advert?
A job advert is the first meaningful point of contact between a potential applicant and your company. It provides a summary of the requirements of a role, packaged together with the core and fringe benefits that your company offers. It advertises your company, as well as a specific role, to top talent.
Where Might You Find A Job Advert?
Build it and they will come doesn’t apply to the world of job adverts. In fact, you should take the opposite approach: seek out the top places to advertise job openings. Indeed, LinkedIn, your own careers website, are all ideal places to start.
How Does A Well Written Advert Benefit Your Org?
A great job advert will define the role clearly and concisely, which will also help with the creation of a more structured and detailed internal job description.
Ideally, both the job advert and job description should be prepared at the same time, to ensure consistency and alignment between the recruiting department and the HR team.
With the current skills gap and shortage of labour in competitive sectors such as technology, transport, nursing and hospitality, and businesses struggling to fill multiple positions, a well-crafted job ad will make your company stand out from the crowd to attract the right kind of skilled talent to your organisation.
Ultimately, a high-quality job advertisement will give a positive impression of your company, and is more likely to be shared on social media organically – therefore spreading news of your vacancy far and wide.
What About A Bad Advert?
When hiring, companies are often swamped with unsuitable candidates, and that can sometimes be down to the quality of the job advert itself. It is crucial for organisations to ensure that the recruitment ad accurately reflects the open job position it’s promoting, therefore saving HR managers and departments a great deal of time sifting through irrelevant applications.
Equally, a badly-constructed advertisement may attract few or no candidates at all, costing the company time, money and inconvenience, and requiring them to start the process all over again.
Job Advert Versus Job Description: What’s The Difference?
A job advert is not the same as a job description. A job description is normally a detailed outline of the full responsibilities and requirements of a position, including mandatory qualifications and experience. A job advert, on the other hand, is a holistic collection of the role, the qualifications, and what the company can offer in turn. It is typically shorter, catchier, and is designed specifically to attract talent.
What Makes For A Great Job Advert?
So, think about the ideal candidate for your role. Put yourself in the shoes of your perfect applicant. That ‘dream employee’ will have certain attributes and experience, so you’ll want to make sure you have encompassed these in your job ad copy.
Best Practice: Take plenty of time to craft your ad, to make it sound as attractive and inviting as possible.
In addition to company background and benefits, a job advert should provide a summary of the role, expectations of the ideal candidate, seniority of the position, an indication of salary, plus practical information such as how to apply and the closing date. We’ll explore these in more detail below.
How Specific Should Your Job Advert Be?
Depending on the seniority of the position you’re trying to fill, you should also include some of the key responsibilities, but without going into unnecessary details. Remember, you are trying to excite a potential employee, so don’t include too many day-to-day tasks! Think about the topline skills they may need, as well as personal characteristics. Are they a good team player, and can they operate effectively when working from home? Do they thrive on pressure, and do they have ambition? Would they make a great leader?
Which Benefits Should You Include In An Advert?
Long term career opportunities, prospects for promotion, ethical and transparent operations, charity affiliations, volunteering days, community support activities… all the positive aspects that may just make a difference when it comes to attracting the best of the best. Don’t forget the fringe benefits, too!
How Do Job Adverts Relate To Your Employer Brand?
A perfect job advert should also be an encapsulation of your employer brand. What does your organization stand for? Which policies have you enacted to empower employees? What are your company core values and how do you live them? An advert should address each.
The 11 Things Every Amazing Job Advert Needs
A successful job advert will include the following elements:
1. Job Title
This should be at the top of your recruitment ad and is key to finding appropriate applicants. This will also form the basis of your ad’s SEO optimisation, to ensure your advertisement appears in relevant search results and achieves full visibility on platforms such as LinkedIn. Wherever possible, avoid quirky or unconventional titles, as these may be off-putting to applicants. They are also unlikely to rank well in search terms.
Is this a strategic or hands-on position? Some titles mean different things within different organisations, so it’s a good idea to indicate the seniority of the role. If there is scope for professional development and career progression, make this clear.
If the job location is fixed, be precise. If the role includes travelling, flexibility and home working opportunities, then highlight these benefits (the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the nature of work for good, and many candidates are now seeking remote or hybrid working options).
4. Salary & Rewards
An indication of hourly pay, salary bracket or remuneration package is essential, to attract the right candidates to your role. It also helps to set expectations. There is no point in attracting extremely senior applicants to a position that offers mid-range compensation. It also shows that your company has a transparent policy in terms of salary equality.
Include the most common benefits and perks, such as annual leave, company car, flexible working and childcare support. These are sometimes more important to job seekers than the salary package.
6. Company Background
Information about your organisation and why a candidate would feel excited or compelled to apply for your job opportunity. This can include inspirational factors such as company culture, employee resource groups and charity partnerships, as well as more formal elements such as equality, diversity and gender pay gap statements.
7. Role Summary
As mentioned above, these should be the key highlights of the role and not a huge list of tasks. The aim is to inspire the right talent to apply for your job opening, and not to weigh them down with minutiae. Once they make the shortlist, that will be the time to discuss the details!
8. Person Specification
You may wish to state some desirable personal attributes in your ad. If your applicants need to have strong presentation skills, be confident and forward-thinking, or have leadership qualities, then include these criteria in the copy. However, if the successful candidate could potentially be mentored or developed in these areas, then it might be better not to be too specific, as you may limit the number of candidates who apply.
9. Formal Qualifications Or Training
For some roles, there may be mandatory educational, technical or legal requirements. Make sure these are stated, to ensure applicants are of the right calibre from the start.
10. How To Apply
Make it clear how candidates should apply and state the closing date for submissions.
This may seem obvious, when posting your job on social media channels, be sure to include all the relevant hashtags that candidates will be searching for.
Keep In Mind: While you may be restricted by word count or space in your ad, we would recommend encompassing as many of these components as you can. Ultimately, you want to attract the most relevant applicants for your role, and by ticking all these boxes, you are preparing the candidates for the important next steps and setting them up to succeed in the candidate experience process.
How Do You Advertise A Job Opening?
Where are the best places to publish your job advert to entice the best talent? Here are the top four options you have on hand:
|Website||Most large organisations have (or should have) a dedicated careers or jobs page or section on their own company website.|
|Social Media Channels||Your social platforms, such as your company LinkedIn page, are a brilliant way to spread the news about your new job vacancy, both organically and through paid ads.|
|Specialist Or Local Media||If your job opening is based in a specific location, or if your business is within a niche sector, it would be worthwhile exploring media advertising within specialist or trade publications.|
|Online Job Boards||There are numerous careers and job sites, so make sure your vacancies are promoted on the most relevant to your industry.|
To the last point, Personio’s Posting Bundles offer access to 500+ job portals to ensure that your job advert maximizes its reach and reaches the exact right candidates. Click the button below to learn more.
HR Best Practice: The Most Attractive Job Advert Starts Here
Creating the most attractive job advert is only possible when you have taken the time to focus on the ideal candidate and, crucially, what they may be searching for in their next role.
Make sure the facts are crystal clear and you have positioned your brand in the most effective, positive and exciting way – and get the ad seen in the most relevant channels.
After all, the main objective of the advert is to appeal to the right people with the right skills and attributes – and to drive the best possible candidates directly to your door.
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