How to write a job ad that attracts superstar candidates

How to write a job ad

If you hope to attract a new hire with the skills to elevate your business to the next level, you can’t afford to leave things to chance. You have to stand out from a competitive crowd, appearing desirable to prospective applicants. This means writing a job ad that connects with the right candidates and inspires sparkling applications.

As a Director at Robert Half Australia, I believe that small steps, such as considering your layout and differentiating yourself from your competitors, can make a big difference when it comes to the calibre of talent you hope to recruit.

Optimise your layout

Although steps such as eliminating grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are relatively simple, carefully plotting out your layout is what can yield surprising results. Candidates might be scanning up to 100 jobs a day, so it’s critical that your layout is succinct and user-friendly. It is about picking capital versus lower case letters, using bullet points effectively and blocking the job ad into separate areas such as company profile, the job function and key requirements. If you don’t think about the layout, your ad will be dismissed very quickly.

Find your point of difference

When you’re writing your copy, I find that it’s important that you research ads placed by your competitors and incorporate the attributes that set your organisation apart. If you’re advertising a management accounting role in the Melbourne CBD it might sound like many others, and you’ve got to be able to differentiate it because you want to attract the right candidates.

For example, if you’re a global firm, candidates might have access to overseas opportunities and if you’re a small company, there might be a private equity firm looking to invest, so the growth potential is enormous. Sometimes the company can be the differentiator.

Choose your words carefully

Crafting a job ad that clearly articulates role requirements, as well as the candidate you’re looking for, often means describing the position you’re trying to fill as succinctly as possible, while also considering current market terminology.

Think about the phrases and words job seekers will be searching for and use them. Make sure you include the correct job title – you want to remove any misconceptions about what the role offers from the very start. And always avoid in-house jargon and acronyms that others may not understand or be familiar with.

While it’s important to include key points such as company name, salary range, position description, skills and requirements; it’s worth talking to somebody in the recruitment industry to make sure your ad aligns with global market patterns.

Write the ad in a way that sounds like you’re having a 1:1 conversation with the reader. Terms like “the successful applicant” sound and feel quite impersonal and can easily be replaced with the word “you”. Candidates often skim read many ads and if yours connects with them, they are more likely to apply.

Make sure your ad reflects inclusive hiring practices

Hinting at hiring practices that are less-than-inclusive or flat-out discriminatory is a major recruitment gaffe. So many people still have little pockets of their job ad that might allude to something that has a discriminatory flavour to it – this is completely unnecessary and could have legal implications. If in doubt, seek advice.

Respond to every applicant

While sending a response to every applicant can be time-consuming – particularly if the job ad receives a high volume of applications – it’s critical to address a candidate’s effort and time. At the very least, create an automated response that you can send that thanks candidates for applying, tells them your plans to review applications within 24 hours and wishes them good luck should they fail to hear from you. You’ve got to make sure that candidates know where they stand.

From ensuring your job ad reflects the marketplace to treating your candidates with courtesy, there’s no shortage of steps you can take to ensure that your recruitment efforts shine. What steps do you take to attract exemplary new hires?

Need assistance with your hiring? Contact your local Robert Half office.

Tags: Hiring

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