The number of job advertisements and applications are continuing to rise in the UK, and are making it more difficult for companies to attract the right candidates to their vacancies.
The rate of applications to job advertisements has remained higher than pre-recession figures. A recent report from CV Library looking at job-seeking trends found that most industries have seen a surge in submissions in 2014 so far. The number of job vacancies being posted has also increased, leading to growing competition amongst businesses to secure the very best talent.
So, what can businesses do to get the right candidates responding to their advertisements? Our guide looks at how to tailor job postings to make sure you get the responses you want.
What should your job advertisement do?
Any job posting that you promote should work to:
- Attract, interest and communicate to the right candidates
- Discourage candidates unsuitable for the role
- Portray a positive image of your organisation
- Adhere to legislation surrounding discrimination
- Provide clear instruction of what a candidate should do next
Job advertisement checklist
The content in your job advert needs to meet a certain criteria, as specific information is required in order for it to be effective. This list covers the basics:
- Job title
- Employer or recruitment agency
- Job location
- Job role and its timescale
- Responsibilities of the job role
- Outline of ideal candidate profile
- Qualifications and experience required
- Salary or salary guide
- Description of organisation
- Where the role is situated in the business structure
- Contact details
You should also include details of any employee recognition schemes or benefits programs that you have available. These are becoming increasingly valued by employees, so can help you to attract the most talented applicants to the vacancy.
By providing the above information in a clear and concise manner, you make it easy for the right candidates to recognise that they are suitable for the role and attract them to apply for the position.
Top tips for appealing to the right candidates
When putting together a job post, we would also recommend tailoring the following features so the advertisement can attract the most suitable candidates:
- Add a relevant and clear headline – the job title should be a clear description of the job function. If this is not possible, include a small introduction to explain the purpose of the position so readers have a clear understanding of what to expect.
- Draw attention to your heading, strap line and main message – the majority of your job advertisement should be devoted to these elements – don’t be tempted to add too much additional information in the space available.
- Brand up your job advertisement – if you are a recognised or reputable brand, your logo or name should appear prominently, as talented professionals often want to work for businesses of stature.
- Make the text clear and easy-to-read – write efficiently, use simple language and include vocabulary used by the candidates you want to attract. Also add bullet points and bite-sized paragraphs so that there is adequate space around the text and the focus is on your words.
- Involve the reader – refer to the reader as ‘you’ to draw them into the job advertisement and allow them to imagine themselves in the role.
- Add any unique information – stress what makes the role or your organisation unique and interesting as people often want to work for exciting and special employers.
Remember that you are attempting to get the right candidates to apply for your role, so should be doing everything possible to try and attract your target audience. Write in a manner that will catch a candidate’s eye and adopt a welcoming manner to encourage suitable professionals to apply.
No-no’s for job advertisements
There are a few common pitfalls to avoid when writing job advertisements which can significantly impact on the quality of candidates you get applying for advertised positions. These include:
- Extravagant design work or graphics
- Excessive use of technical language and detail
- Excessive use of language
- Dull job descriptions and ideal candidate profiles
Avoid any details that will make it difficult for the right applicants to read your job advert quickly and easily. Instead, focus on writing a post that advertises both the role and your organisation in a simple and straightforward manner.
Also don’t be tempted to copy and paste an old description from a previous job application. Instead, think about how the responsibilities and requirements of the role have changed, and how your company has grown since your last recruitment drive. By tailoring the job advertisement to meet your current desires and expectations, you are likely to attract candidates with the right attributes.
By taking the time to craft job advertisements that clearly outline what you want from applicants, and what they can expect from your organisation, you can significantly enhance the quality of candidates applying for your vacancies, streamline the admin involved in recruitment and even improve the calibre of employees at your company.
Author: Lauren Knowles is a digital content writer for portfoliopayroll.co.uk, a specialist recruitment agency with years of experience matching high calibre candidates with payroll jobs in businesses across the UK.