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How To Write a Job Advert That Actually Works in 2021

Tired of posting jobs to little response or enthusiasm from jobseekers? Not attracting the top talent which you crave? Despite how amazing you think your business is, you could be missing out on the war for talent because your job adverts are letting you down.

As Steve Jobs (the Co-Founder of Apple if you didn’t know) says, “Hiring the best is your most important task” and we couldn’t agree more.

Writing a killer job description is critical to attracting quality applicants and there are key elements which must feature within your job advert if you’re looking to achieve success.

Ultimately, your job advert should engage jobseekers, give them a clear idea of the role and responsibilities, entice them to apply right away and include a clear call to action to apply for the position.

Before you put pen to paper, it’s worth considering that many professionals have reevaluated their careers during the Covid-19 pandemic and their ‘dream role’ might look very different to what it was 18 months ago. (If you’re mystified by what jobseekers are looking for, a quick survey with your existing employees might be able to shed some light on what matters to them and how you could make the business a more attractive workplace.)

In our latest insights piece, we take a look at how you can write a job advert that actually works in 2021 and the 9 most important elements which you must be including.

Job title

Including a job title goes without saying. However, some employers can be tempted to use interesting or intriguing job titles as a lure to attract applicants.

The problem is, most jobseekers will search for jobs using terminology which is industry standard.

For example, a Salesperson will search for jobs under terms such as ‘Sales Advisor, Sales Executive, Sales Manager, Sales Representative etc… It is unlikely that they would be searching for jobs such as Sales Ninja or Sales Extraordinaire.

By not using terms which are commonly searched for, you could miss out on appearing in job search listings and not receive the applications you’re hoping for. Write your job titles with SEO in mind.

Salary

Listing a salary is one of the most important pieces of information on a job advert. In fact, many jobseekers won’t apply for a position if the salary range is not displayed. Think about it, would you apply for a job if you didn’t know the salary?

Additionally, during a job search, jobseekers will usually filter out jobs which don’t match their salary expectations. It’s little surprise that job adverts with salaries displayed receive more applications.

By featuring a salary, you will be safe in the knowledge that the candidate's salary expectations have been met and you will save time in the long run. You wouldn’t want to go through the entire recruitment process only for the candidate to drop out at the eleventh hour due to the salary not meeting their expectations.

If you’re completely against listing an exact salary, you should consider including a wide salary range, stating that salaries will be dictated on skills and experience.

Location

A location, or even the ability to work remotely, is an integral part of the job advert in 2021. For remote positions, you should include full details such as if it’s temporarily remote due to Covid-19 or if you require remote employees to visit the office once in a while. By outlining specifics, it will save you time sifting through unsuitable applications.

When listing the location, being ultra specific could help you to attract more applications. Locations such as ‘North West’ or ‘London’ cover a wide geographical area; candidates who can’t or don’t want a long commute time might rule out your position if they can’t ascertain where the job is based.

If you can, include your postcode; job boards are pretty advanced these days and will allow postcodes to be included so that jobseekers can search for jobs by radius.

Introduction to your business & company culture

The modern jobseeker is not just looking for a job, they are looking for a career in which they can flourish.

That means jobseekers will want to know more about your business before they will take the time to apply for your position. The key here is to be as transparent as possible.

On the job advert, you should give an exciting overview of the business, the success you’ve achieved so far and the job role which they would be expected to perform.

Jobseekers should be engaged and get an idea of what it would be like to work for you.

If you’re a small start up, don’t be afraid to showcase that; even though you’re a new business, describe to jobseekers that you have a big ambition and explain that this hire will be a huge part of helping them expand.

Prepare for candidates to research you further on your careers page, social media channels and platforms such as Glassdoor - remember, the information found across various touch points should be consistent.

Glassdoor gives unique insights into what it’s like to work at a business, told from the perspective of current and previous employees.

Details about the role

This is another important section within the job advert as jobseekers want to know what they will be required to do day to day.

Instead of reeling off a long list of boring tasks, you should highlight the most important tasks and responsibilities in a compelling and interesting way.

The duties should inspire the candidate and allow them to imagine how their input will contribute towards the businesses overall objectives.

Details about the ideal candidate

This section is designed for jobseekers to better match themselves to a position. You could include information on skills and experience which is preferential or a must have. For example, ‘The successful candidate must have 2 years proven experience in Graphic Design,’ or ‘Though not essential, a degree in XYZ would be advantageous.’

In this section, you could also describe what type of candidate would fit into your company culture.

However, be careful to not inadvertently discriminate against anyone here. For example, instead of stating ‘We’re looking for a young professional to fit into our vibrant team’, you could state ‘We have a lively & vibrant team and we’re looking for a professional who will thrive off a busy office environment packed with fun and innovation.’

The more specific you are at this stage, the less applications you will receive. For positions which naturally attract hundreds or thousands of applications, this strategy might be purposefully adopted.

Let jobseekers know about the good stuff

For some professionals, money isn’t the be all and end all; perks and benefits are equally as important. As much as a jobseeker will need to impress you with their CV, you must also impress them enough to make them apply.

A pet friendly office, an office creche, flexible working, early finish Fridays, free gym membership are all ways which could make your company a desirable place to work.

Not only will it help you to attract new talent, it will help you to retain your existing staff.

Some professionals view career progression as the single most important thing which they are looking for so be sure to include personalised information on the opportunities available to progress within the business.

Listing the benefits of working for you will help you to compete for attention on a busy job board. If you’re unable to offer remote or flexible working post pandemic (which is highly desirable at the moment), interesting and exciting perks could make professionals more inclined to give up the flexible working which they love in a trade off for great benefits.

An explanation of what will happen next

All too often, jobseekers will apply for a position and never hear from the business ever again. This can provide a poor experience for jobseekers who have taken the time and effort to apply.

By outlining what will happen next, even if they have been unsuccessful, it will reassure candidates that you are a professional business with common decency.

Recruitment processes can vary from business to business; some vary in time and some may require the candidate to perform a task in order to reach the next stage of the process.

By outlining the entire process and time frames involved, it will give jobseekers peace of mind that their application is still being vetted.

Jobseekers who have offered a position with another business might also find this information useful.

A closing statement to prompt action

If a jobseeker has read your entire job advert, the chances are that they are interested in applying for the position. A strong closing statement can help to seal the deal.

Summarise what makes you great and encourage the jobseeker to apply right away.

Including a closing date for entries, or stating that the closing date could be shortened if there are too many applications, could help to create some urgency.

You could also provide links for further research such as your careers page or social media channels.

Once you have crafted your job advert, a jobseeker should be able to

  • Understand what the job role entails

  • Understand what the business is looking for and if that matches what they can offer

  • Recognise the company culture and understand if they would ‘fit in’

  • Easily apply for the position and understand what will happen next

Before you hit the publish button, we would recommend that you get another pair of eyes to check it over first. You’d be surprised at how many recruiters fall victim to mistakes which are easy to fix. Poor spelling and grammar could reflect badly on your brand.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Formed in 2017, we're a multi-sector recruitment agency, specialising in a range of key disciplines within both the public and private sectors.

Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we are passionate about what we do and love watching our clients and candidates grow from strength to strength.

We currently specialise in 8 sectors:

  • Accountancy & Finance

  • Construction & Trades

  • Corporate Functions

  • Education & SEND

  • Health & Social Care

  • Housing

  • Interim & Executive

  • Technical & Engineering ​

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help?

One of our Recruitment Consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you.

Alternatively, you can discover more here or submit your vacancy by visiting here.