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7 things every effective job ad should have

18 Mar 2021

The right amount of detail, clarity and information when writing job ads can help you attract and retain the best candidates, writes Hays’ Travis O’Rourke.

The changed world of work calls for a reappraisal of how you portray your brand’s values, culture and communications when writing job ads. This, in turn, will help to keep your organisation relevant and attract more of the most relevant talent for months and years to come.

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Providing key information about the role and your organisation is crucial to ensure jobseekers are getting the full picture. You are much more likely to retain them this way.

We’ve already looked at the most common mistakes when it comes to writing job ads. Now, let’s look at what you should be getting right.

1. A clear job title

Potential applicants can see hundreds of job ads every day, so it’s vital to make the title relevant and descriptive to hook the candidate in to read more. Exactly how you structure the title will also hinge on how you wish to position your available vacancy.

2. A short introduction to the company

This should be a single paragraph that gives a flavour of the most exciting aspects of the role and your organisation, perhaps while drawing attention to key points, accolades and awards.

3. And it’s bigger picture

After salary, culture is the number-one consideration for professionals applying for new roles. So it’s crucial to introduce the reader of your job advert to the values of your organisation as well as your organisational purpose, while encompassing its diversity, job security and progression opportunities.

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4. The right amount of detail

This is the part of the job advert when you will need to outline the main component parts of the role without overwhelming the reader with too much detail.

To determine what to write here, consider what challenges you will expect the new hire to resolve in this role. Also be sure to reference aspects such as the working hours, salary, benefits, development opportunities and anything else an employee might find enticing.

5. The ideal candidate

The person specification is a powerful part of a job advert, consisting of a list of the required skills and desirable traits of an organisation’s ideal candidate.

This description of the ideal candidate should be effective in narrowing down a shortlist by attracting applications from those suitable for the role, while keeping the job advert broad enough to also attract those with transferable skills.

These transferrable skills may include both hard and soft skills that applicants can easily apply to the role if – like many in the wake of Covid-19 – they are seeking not only a new job, but also to enter a whole new career field.

6. A note on what to expect from the hiring process

Outlining to candidates what will happen after they apply will assure them that you are professional, have genuine regard for them and will provide them with a positive application experience, even if you do not ultimately invite them to interview.

This part of the job advert should include an emphasis that you will be in contact with successful applicants as soon as possible.

7. A way to continue the conversation

Your job advert should end with a closing statement that encapsulates the best parts of your role and organisation and expresses an eagerness to continue the conversation after application.

Sell your company further by including links to any website pages or videos that illustrate what it’s like to work with you.

By Travis O’Rourke

Travis O’Rourke is president of Hays Canada. A version of this article previously appeared on the Hays Viewpoint blog.

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