How to attract talent with the right job advertisement

So you post a new job advertisement and wait in anticipation. Instead of the right talent, you get:

  • Lots of unqualified applicants
  • Very few job applicants
  • Lots of views on the job advertisement, but only a handful of people applying

To ensure you maximise your chances of getting results from your job advertisement, you need to take the following steps:

Post on the right platforms to get the right traffic to your job advertisement.

Traffic matters. Not only larger volumes of traffic, but the right traffic. You need to think about where your target job candidate hangs out and then post that job advertisement across multiple relevant platforms. You also need to think about where passive talent is hanging out, that is not necessarily looking, but could be open to new opportunities.

The key is to get really strategic about what job boards, social media, LinkedIn, paid advertising (e.g. Google Adwords) and association sites that you use. For example, it is probably unlikely that a senior manager is going to be searching for jobs on Gumtree, but the site might be perfect for a Childcare Cook.  Likewise the local job board might be cheap, but if it only gets 1 visitor to your job advertisement, then it is unlikely the right person for your role will visit and apply.

Deliver an effective job advertisement

Most job advertisements are simply checklists of the duties that a new staff member will be responsible for, the skills and experience needed to fulfill the organisations needs and instructions for applying.

The problem with this sort of job advertisement is that it does not focus on the needs of the job candidate. If you want to attract the best talent and lots of relevant talent, then you need to market the job opportunity and your organisation to top talent.

Incorporate marketing into your job advertisement

When drafting your job advertisement ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why should they apply for your specific position (as opposed to your competitor)?
  • What are the benefits of working at your organisation for their career and life?
  • Why is the workplace culture so great?

Top talent and hard to find professionals need a compelling reason as to why this is a great opportunity. If your job advertisement does not tell a compelling story and give a sense of your company’s culture, mission, the benefits you offer and why it is such a great place to work, then you are not marketing yourself effectively to job applicants. Remember, a job description and a list of mandatory requirements is not a compelling reason for job applicants as to why they should apply for your specific job.

Keep the screening requirement list down to a minimum

This might sound counter-intuitive, but longs lists of requirements, might put off great talent. Pick the top screening requirements such as working rights in the country, mandatory qualifications, years of experience and essential technical skills.

Does the job candidate really need all those software tools to really excel on the job? Only list what really matters!

Use warm and friendly language

If you sound too corporate and cold, you are not going to attract talent. Take these two examples:

Established in 1994 we are an independent firm of Chartered Accountants based in Brisbane. Our practice extends business consulting and advisory services to clients who range from public companies through a broad spectrum of commerce and industry to fledgling entrepreneurs making their early moves in the business world.

We take pride in our ability to attract and retain a dedicated and talented team of staff enabling us to provide continuity, regular contact and a proactive approach to our service delivery.

There’s no one kind of Googler, so we’re always looking for people who can bring new perspectives and life experiences to our teams. If you’re looking for a place that values your curiosity, passion, and desire to learn, if you’re seeking colleagues who are big thinkers eager to take on fresh challenges as a team, then you’re a future Googler.

We want Googlers to be happy and healthy both inside and outside of work. Our benefits and perks vary by region, but they’re all based on the philosophy that taking care of our people is good for all of us. We know that everyone is different, so what we offer is constantly evolving based on employee needs and feedback.

Ironically the first example was from a smaller sized accounting practice. The second example is from Google Careers  one of the largest global corporations in the world. Across the entire Google jobs site, you will find warm and friendly language. Take the cue from Google, warm and inviting works.

Keep your application process simple

Providing detailed instructions that you want potential candidates to follow is just fine. But making the process really difficult and long for job candidates could result in you losing some higher-quality applicants and those that aren’t desperate for a new job.

So don’t for example make the job candidate re-enter all the information on their resume onto an online application form, have them undertake testing, before they are even shortlisted, or get them to answer long questionnaires.

A too-arduous process can drive away semi-passive, but highly qualified candidates.

Finally, remember your job advertisement may be a potential job applicant’s first exposure to your company. So clearly communicate your value and what you offer them and what sets you apart from your competitors.

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