85% of jobs are found through connections. And interestingly, the best candidates are off the market within 10 days. The job ad is therefore the last solution when sourcing and attracting candidates, and in some cases, it’s the first impression they get from your organisation, so it needs to be right.
On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. So, improving the quality (as opposed to quantity) of your response starts by having a well-written job ad. Here’s some tips on how to do this:
1) Know your target audience – a job ad for a Personal Assistant would be very different to a job ad for a General Manager of an investment bank
2) Paint a clear picture about the company and the role – it needs to be in a succinct, scannable format. And be authentic. This not only helps entice the right candidate to apply, but it also helps keep them if they’re hired as their expectations are met
3) Structure the job ad correctly –
a. On online job boards like Seek, CareerOne and Indeed, the short description is key – On average, four times as many people read the short description than clicking through to the ad. You need to compel people to read the whole ad
b. Title – use commonly known names to help with search-ability e.g. marketing coordinator not junior marketing guru
c. Outline the main benefits of the job in 3 brief points e.g.
- Newly created role
- $85k + super and bonus
- Great location in CBD, near transport and shop s
d. Give a company snapshot – You want to attract candidates who are not only qualified, but also align with your vision and company values. Also give top-line info about your industry and product offering. 58% of job seekers say that corporate brand is the most important consideration when evaluating an employer. Though remember, you don’t want them to fall in love with the company and not the job itself
e. Provide the job description in a short bullet point summary – focus on the main responsibilities of the role and how it relates to the overall business
f. Qualifications and requirements –outline education and experience, professional and soft skills. Be clear on ‘must haves’ versus ‘nice to haves’ as this helps job seekers determine if they have the right background for the role
g. Additional benefits – communicate any extras that’s on offer like flexible hours, employee incentive schemes, gym membership, car parking, volunteer days and extra leave etc
h. Ensure the Call To Action (CTA) is clear –
- Make it easy to apply. 60% of job seekers have quit an application because it took too long. A big ‘Apply now’ button is the best CTA
- Add an email address or phone number if you’d like to give candidates the option to get in touch. Phone is a great way to get a sense of what a person is like, though it may take more time upfront, it can help reduce hours of wasted time in interviews down the track
- Make one person responsible for managing the applications. It’s a nice idea to include a photo too
- Keep candidates in the loop and manage expectations. This saves admin time e.g. successful applicants will be contacted by October 23.
4) Ask candidates to submit a cover letter – only 17% of employers read a cover letter, but it provides good information about a person’s character, experience and communication style, so it’s worth reading it. If you do see a ‘cut and paste’ attempt with little or no relevance to the job ad, remove the candidate off the list. It shows no effort or ability to follow instructions.
5) Lastly, go over your job ad and double check that it’s optimised for maximum results –
a. Keywords –talk to the reader. Use the word ‘You.’ Allow the reader to visualise themselves in the role
b. Location – job seekers search by location, 52% say it’s a top consideration
c. Salary – Candidates search by salary range. 74% say having salary details positively impacts their decision to apply