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Finding the right talent for your vacancies is becoming increasingly competitive.
High employment rates mean candidates now have more choice than ever. It’s too easy for your advert to become lost among a wealth of other opportunities.
It’s therefore crucial that you get your advert right.
You need to provide potential talent with the information they really want to know. You need to present it in a way that’s appealing. And you need to make the opportunity you have sound worth their investment.
This guide will help you write adverts that successfully target the right talent and spark their interest enough to apply.
One of the most important things to consider when writing a new advert is to ensure it has a searchable job title.
Avoid using obscure job titles that are only used internally. Will somebody outside of your business understand what it means? If not, you need to change it to something more commonly used.
Use a generic term for the role that suitable talent is likely to be searching for.
However, that doesn’t mean not including the specifics.
For example, if you’re recruiting for a ‘Marketing Executive’ but the position is heavily focused on pay-per-click (PPC), you could call it ‘PPC Executive’ or add ‘PPC’ as a keyword. This will help make your vacancy even more searchable by relevant candidates.
Always include the exact salary or a salary range if you can.
Sometimes, there are internal reasons you can’t specify the remuneration package for a role.
If it’s unavoidable, it’s unavoidable.
But bear in mind that candidates could be put off by a salary that’s simply referred to as ‘Competitive’. It’s best to be transparent. Candidates want to know exactly what they’re applying for.
This also reduces the risk of wasting time on a candidate whose salary expectations are far higher than what you’re able to offer.
You should also mention any benefits (eg pension, company car, bonus). With so much competition, you need to sell the opportunity as much as you can.
Remember to tell candidates where the position is located and whether it’s a role that requires regular travel.
Being specific can also help. If you’re based in a non-central location, it doesn’t hurt to provide additional details. Are there bus routes nearby? Shops and restaurants? This can help talent to picture themselves more clearly within your business.
This is your chance to grab the attention of your reader.
You should use this space to provide a brief overview of the role and business. That way, talent knows what’s on offer right from the outset.
Provide 1-2 sentences that explain who you are as a business and what you do. This is especially important if you’re lesser known.
Then try to sum up in a sentence the key responsibility of the role. Adding relevant keywords can help.
Don’t list out everything the post holder might ever do. This is likely to be massively overwhelming.
What you do need to do is provide a clear overview of the primary responsibilities. Enough to give readers a good understanding of the position.
Although it isn‘t essential, you might want to add some detail around the team the successful candidate will be joining. And any current important objectives.
What are the absolutely essential requirements for this position? Think about technical skills, soft skills, qualifications and other factors.
It’s tempting to describe your ‘perfect candidate’. But this could very easily put off candidates applying. And those candidates may be more than capable of filling your vacancy!
The last thing you want to do is discourage applications – particularly if it’s a typically hard-to-fill vacancy.
This is where you can go into more detail about the business, following your brief introduction in the opening paragraph.
If you operate in a niche industry, you can explain more about this to help people understand.
What are the main priorities for the business at this moment in time? Where is your strategy taking you? Are there any upcoming changes on the cards?
Mention any notable awards or accreditations. And, if you’re active on the CSR front, cover that too. Younger generations of talent are particularly keen on working for responsible businesses.
Help readers picture themselves working in the role. Aside from their day-to-day responsibilities, what will their life as your employee look like.
Detail any benefits the successful candidate will receive. Think outside of the ‘bonus and company car’ box.
What learning and development opportunities might they benefit from? Are there any reward or incentive schemes you run internally? What is the working environment and culture like?
If you’re able to offer flexible working, you should say. As many as 87% of employees either already work flexibly or wish they could!
Engage with potential candidates by encouraging them to apply. Give them a clear call to action.
If you already have interview dates in mind, you can detail this information here. It can help increase your chances of candidates being available when you do come to schedule your interviews.
What you say is important – but so is how you present it.
Ensure your advert isn’t one big block of text. This not only looks unattractive, but it also makes your advert more difficult to read and process. Use sensible paragraphs.
You might even consider using simple headings throughout the advert.
If your business has a strong tone of voice, you should check that your advert feels consistent with that.
Your final task should be to proofread the copy to eliminate spelling or grammatical errors. It can be useful to ask someone to do this for you. A second pair of eyes is always helpful!
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