While online job sites are an efficient and cost-effective platform for recruiting new staff to a small business, it is not as simple as just posting a few quick lines about the role. For the best outcome, it is important to invest some time in crafting a well-structured and targeted job advertisement.
As part of our series of small business tips, recruitment and careers expert Maria Borg provides advice on how to create job advertisements that attract valuable and appropriate candidates.
So you are looking to hire…
The first thing you need to remember is that an effective job ad is not just a job description. It:
- Is a professionally written message that generates an appropriate response
- Attracts the best quality talent and does not leave you inundated with inappropriate candidates
- Is the start of the recruitment relationship between you, your organisation and your candidate
You need to know your target audience and be able to offer them what they want in a language they understand.
Writing a good job advertisement is not difficult if you follow a clear structure (outlined below) and think hard about the qualities and abilities you want your ideal candidate to possess.
A good job advertisement consists of several equally important elements:
- an effective headline
- key benefits (usually 3 bullet points)
- a brief company profile
- a summary of the job itself
- a profile of the ideal candidate
- any rewards or incentives
- your contact details
- application closing date (optional)
Here are some tips to sharpen the focus of your ad:
Be very specific.
Be very specific with requirements to allow candidates to compare what is required with their own skills and experience and discourage those with limited skills and experience from applying.
Provide a clear job title (headline) and salary range.
Clearly articulate what skills and experience are essential or desirable.
Describe your company – but not in too much detail.
Take a look at Google search results to discover other commonly used terms that describe the job you’re hiring for and adjust the position title to accurately reflect what a potential candidate is looking for.
Speak directly to the reader.
Avoid phrases like “the successful candidate” or “the ideal applicant” and simply use the word “you”. Also, use colloquial terms common to your candidate’s demographic
Nail the short description.
On average, four times as many people read the short description than actually click through to the ad itself. So put some thought and effort into what you write (using the structure provided).
Ask for a cover letter.
This can provide useful clues to character, education level, and communication style.