How To Write A Job Advert To Attract The Very Best Talent in 2014

Rewind to five or six years ago and you will probably recall getting a great response to your job adverts from both very relevant and irrelevant jobseekers, regardless of how well they were written.

Fast forward to today and there is a pretty good chance that while the volume of job applications you receive has increased even more, the number of quality applications is in rapid decline.

I would also hazard a guess that you are still writing your job adverts in a similar way to those you wrote five years ago. If so, then this is the reason the best talent is no longer applying to work at your company. Today the highly skilled are able to pick and choose who they want to work for as job offers are never far away. To attract high calibre candidates you need to stand out from the competition and this includes the way in which you write your job adverts.


Most People Don’t Read Job Adverts

At best job seekers will give your advert a quick once over in much the same way  you scan read CVs for something that catches your eye so you have to grab their attention from the very beginning if you want high quality, relevant candidates to apply for your jobs.

One of the best ways to do this is to use a good job title in your advert, for example C# ASP.NET Web Developer would attract more attention that simply Web Developer. If you are looking for a C# Developer you will grab their attention from the job title alone, which will then encourage them to glance over the rest of your advert.

It is also important to understand how job seekers search for jobs. For example, it is unlikely that a Web Developer would use the search term ‘Web Developer’, they would search using the terms C# and ASP.NET.  If you include those key skills in your  job title not only are you more likely to grab their attention, but your job will also appear higher in search results.


Avoid Writing A Wish List

Detailed requirements ‘Wish Lists’, specifying that potential candidates must have experience in A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H with an equally lengthy list of desirable skills, are in abundance.

Realistically how many potential candidates possess expertise in all of those areas? By writing ‘Wish Lists’ you are potentially deterring candidates from applying for the position as candidates who may have all of the core skills required to actually do the job, but missing one or two of the required skills.

If a skill is not 100% necessary then it should not be listed in the advert! To use the above example, a C# ASP.NET Web Developer may not know too much CSS, but if they can code C# they could certainly pick up CSS extremely quickly!

Best approach would be to mention the absolute core skills and experience required to do the job. You would then attract as many applications as possible from those jobseekers who could do the job, but also from those who also have all of the extra skills that would be advantageous. You would not want to miss out on a top notch C# Developer because he had limited experience in CSS would you?

Don’t Be Too Vague

While it is important to avoid writing very detailed and lengthy job adverts, it is equally as important to not be too vague in your postings. A few simple paragraphs, or a short list of required skills may not draw attention to your advert and encourage jobseekers to press the Apply button.


Give Candidates A Reason To Apply

The very best potential candidates do not apply for a job simply because they have the required experience and the salary listed matches their expectations. You have to give those candidates a reason to apply, so make sure you let them know why it is a great place to work!

Do you work with the very latest technologies?  Do you work on exciting projects?  Is there an opportunity to travel?  Do you have a unique working environment?  Do you offer an outstanding benefits package?  All of these perks are worth mentioning in your job adverts; you want people to get excited about the potential opportunity to encourage them to apply, especially if they have just stumbled across your advert and are not actively looking for work.

Avoid Major Job Boards

No matter how well you write your job adverts, if you are posting them on any of the major UK job boards the quality of the applications you receive will not be as great you would hope.

Why? Firstly your adverts will be buried among countless agency postings, and secondly, passive candidates are not searching on job boards!

So wouldn’t it be great if there was a job board that only advertised jobs directly from employers, proactively marketing your adverts so that they were sent to both very specifically selected passive and active candidates?  Yes?  Well that’s exactly what we do!

Watch the video that explains how here

Mike Sandiford
Head of Partnerships
0207 193 9931

Related Posts

  1. Well I quite agree. The problem is people are obsessed with the “S” word – Skills. We hear it every day. Next time your hear a Politician talking about employment, count how many times he uses the “S” word. What companies should be on the look out for is “ability” and “capability” – you can teach anybody a simple skill, but not everyone has “ability”.

    So a company is looking for a driver. Lots of people apply, but if you don’t have “Ford” “Green” “Escort” … “Skills” then your CV ends up in the bin. Next we hear on the Radio that there is a shortage of Drivers, and a 1000 radios hit the wall by frustrated unemployed drivers “We just cant get the skills”. The government responds with training courses. You complete the course but cant get a job, because you have “Blue” “206” “Peugeot” …. wait for it … SKILLS !

Comments are closed.