Write More Effective Job Adverts
Posted by Lawrence Bond November 12, 2023
An advert and a job description are NOT the same, so treat them differently.
So many recruiters and businesses post a job description and then feel a slight frustration that their ideal candidate hasn’t applied.
If you want that person to apply, write an advert that ‘talks’ to them, engages them and makes them want to be part of your journey.
Most advertisers or social media experts will advise you to write a ‘persona’, and to ensure that your advert is likely to resonate with them more than the previous or next advert that they see.
If you adopt this approach and really talk about how this role will benefit and appeal to that audience, you’re far more likely to attract relevant and suited applicants than other companies who are trying to attract the top talent.
By focusing on the benefits to the reader, you will also be avoiding the next and possibly most common mistake of inexperienced advert writers. An advert is not a job description, so treat it differently.
Tell your story, make your vacancy part of a journey and help the audience feel engaged from the start.
Do not post a comprehensive list of duties. Instead, tell the reader why they should consider your Company. Get the benefits of working for your business across to the reader at the start and try to get the reader really wanting to know more. By making them realise how you value their motivation, you’re also sending out a clear signal about why your current team are there now and the idea of joining a motivated group who are working towards a common goal is a powerful attraction.
My approach started with me realising that if I was looking for a new role, and especially if I was fairly passive about my search, I wouldn’t apply for any old role. I would only apply if it sounded better for my career or knowledge than my current, or alternative positions.
Once you get the reader’s attention, followed by their interest and desire, then you can tell them what to do if they are keen. Be clear about this. How do they apply, what information do you require, what are the timescales etc.
Remember, once you have attracted a targeted audience, you can then become selective about those you feel suited and whom you wish to progress to interview.
Sometimes the best advert in the world will not generate a decent response if it’s in the wrong place. If you think about where your target market are likely to look, you will increase your chances of success. You clearly wouldn’t go fishing if there were no fish in the lake!
Finally, PLEASE don’t fall into the trap that agency recruiters so often do, by using language without really thinking. If you look on the job boards, you’ll see the same phrases from so many different agencies all claiming the same, that their role is “an exciting opportunity”!
If you’re going to call your Company or role ‘exciting’, qualify that and tell the reader why that’s the case. Remember, this role might be exciting to you, but try to create an element of excitement without using cliché’s or simply telling the reader that they should be excited. Even better, don’t use those cliches!
You also have to appreciate that advertising is just one part of the candidate attraction process, which is specifically targeted at active job seekers, who happen to be looking at your chosen medium and see your advert. If this is a key recruit, you would do well to consider other candidate attraction methods.
There are so many other routes to source new members for your team. A combination of candidate attraction techniques are often required, including pro-active headhunting and marketing to passive but relevant job seekers.
Respond to ALL candidates!
That sounds impossible but it’s not. At BondMoran we manage to do it and we receive hundreds of advert responses for each assignment. Don’t forget that people form an opinion of your brand based on their personal experience and a mere disclaimer on your advert, doesn’t cut the mustard.
It’s not easy and you will need a process for this.
There are so many other factors to think about when writing adverts, but I’ve covered some of the key points here. If you are thinking of going down this route, I hope it has kick started a more strategic thought process.
If you would like help, or more targeted advice, please feel free to get in touch.
…If you are responsible for recruiting and your historic agencies write ‘typical’ adverts on job boards and merely forward CV’s onto you, save money and do that yourself! We’ll even help you!
Old fashioned ‘CV sending’ agencies who don’t add genuine value are a dying breed for a reason, and this article sits with our desire to build relationships based on sharing our knowledge and gaining trust. If this article gets you thinking slightly differently, get in touch and let’s talk.