From identifying only crucial requirements to shifting the focus to role expectations, here are 13 answers to the question, “Can you share your best tips for creating job ads that attract the right candidates?”
- Avoid Turning the Job Requirements into a “Wish List”
- Highlight Benefits and Perks
- Demonstrate the Possibility of Career Advancement
- Create Impact-Based Job Ads
- Skip the Generalities When Crafting a Job Ad
- Include Details About the Company’s Culture
- Be Straightforward, Yet Creative
- Craft a Compelling Message
- Make Sure Your Language is Inclusive
- Properly Qualify Candidates Up Front Using Vision
- Describe a Typical Workday Rundown
- Be Transparent About Salary
- Shift Focus From Role Expectations to Skills
Avoid Turning the Job Requirements into a “Wish List”
From my observation in the recruiting industry, many employers create job posts with extensive and unnecessary criteria for qualifications, skills, and experience. While you might think listing all the good-to-haves is a smart tactic for attracting the highest-potential candidates, it often ends up putting off well-qualified professionals from applying.
For instance, if the job duties are easy enough to perform after a few months of training, requiring years of experience will make you lose out on valuable and affordable applicants.
With top organizations, including many Tech Giants, forgoing college degrees as a hiring requirement, employers need to think smartly and focus on what matters. Identify the most crucial requirements for a particular position and hire based on those.
Anjela Mangrum, President, Mangrum Career Solutions
Highlight Benefits and Perks
Highlighting the unique benefits and perks of working for the company is a key tip for creating job ads that attract the right candidates.
In a highly competitive job market, candidates are often looking for more than just a job—they are looking for an opportunity to work for a company that aligns with their values and offers the benefits and perks that are important to them.
By highlighting the company’s unique benefits and perks, such as flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, or a supportive team environment, the job ad can communicate the company’s culture and values, as well as the tangible benefits that come with working for the organization.
Demonstrate the Possibility of Career Advancement
Potential employees need more from an employer than just a pleasant workplace. Also, they are looking for employment prospects and advantages that will enable them to advance their careers and be superior to those they are currently receiving in their current position.
Smaller businesses may feel they can’t compete with prospects presented by larger ones. Yet, if you show prospects how much room there is for advancement within your organization, even in entry-level roles, you may still draw in top candidates. It can thrill workers to work for a smaller business where they can assume more responsibility and advance within the organization.
Bigger organizations will desire to concentrate more on the framework and assistance they can offer a worker throughout their career. Make sure the tone of your job description is encouraging! Provide opportunities for development, training, and support, and show why employees are thrilled to work for your business.
Create Impact-Based Job Ads
If you are looking for candidates that want a long-term position with opportunities for growth, create impact-based job descriptions. These job descriptions clearly outline exactly what the candidate will learn, do, and impact in the first one, three, and six months of their employment.
Impact-based job ads also outline the potential promotion path for the candidates that hit the one, three, and six-month goals described in the job ads, which allows high-performing candidates to have a clearer picture of what their future in the company can look like and hold their managers accountable while they work toward their goals.
Skip the Generalities When Crafting a Job Ad
As a recruiter, I’ve seen the best and worst with job postings. My pet peeve? Job ads that are so general as to be meaningless.
Euphemisms have no place in a well-constructed posting. Phrases like “natural leader” or “team player” are so ubiquitous as to be nearly worthless. Hiring managers should look at other postings in their industry. That job ad that sounded fresh in isolation might have a little too many words in common with the rest of them, making it easy for an applicant to skip.
Set yourself apart with concise language that clearly lays out the skill set and responsibilities expected. Top talent doesn’t have time to waste on generic offerings.
Include Details About the Company’s Culture
When creating job ads, it’s important to focus on more than just the job requirements. Including details about the company’s culture can be a great way to attract motivated and qualified candidates.
Representing a fun, supportive, and dynamic working environment can really give incentive for a person to apply. By demonstrating core values like inclusiveness, creativity, or sustainability, you set your desired company up as an attractive place to work. This will help attract the right candidates who are excited to share the values you’ve highlighted.
Be Straightforward, Yet Creative
Having worked with hundreds of candidates, I know what they’re looking for when they see a job ad: transparency and creativity.
When you’re in the throes of a job search, all ads look the same. Most include zero personality and are pretty dull. Often, candidates are required to read between the lines. If companies can be straightforward about what they’re actually searching for and infuse some of their culture into the ad, they’ll likely attract better candidates.
Craft a Compelling Message
Make sure that the ad speaks directly to the needs and interests of your ideal candidate. This means understanding your target audience and what they are looking for in a job.
To create an effective job ad, you need to use language and messaging that resonates with your ideal candidate while highlighting the role’s key responsibilities, requirements, and benefits. It’s also important to provide a clear sense of the company culture and work environment so that candidates can get a feel for what it would be like to work at your organization.
Once you have created a great job ad, you ensure it gets in front of the right people. This may involve using social media, job boards, or other online platforms, as well as more targeted approaches, such as employee referrals or professional networking. Continually monitor its performance—gather feedback from candidates or employees, and adjust the messaging or format as needed to attract the right candidates better.
Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP, Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded
Make Sure Your Language is Inclusive
The language used in a job ad can make a big difference and may deter some job seekers from applying. Certain words, such as competitiveness, ambition, and drive, are more masculine in nature, while words like warmth, compassion, and support tend to have more feminine connotations.
Eliminating these gendered keywords can increase the number of applicants by a considerable amount. Consider using a gender decoder tool to help write your job ads in a way that doesn’t unintentionally discourage certain candidates from applying.
Properly Qualify Candidates Up Front Using Vision
As an entrepreneur, my most important job is to build and develop a dynamic team that can help me reach my goals. That’s why I always ensure that the job ads I craft are comprehensive and accurately reflect my values, mission, and culture.
To attract the right candidates, I emphasize the value proposition of working with me, demonstrate our commitment to developing employees, and provide clear expectations for the position.
I also use relevant keywords in the ad in order to make it discoverable on search engines. Doing this allows me to draw candidates who will be a great fit for the role and for my team.
Describe a Typical Workday Rundown
Talking about a typical day at work in the job ad is one of the best practices. Explaining the major portions of the workday itself ensures applicants know what to expect and can handle the job.
If a job involves multiple team meetings, traveling, etc., break it down into a general outline. Mention specific skills and how they will be used in these day-to-day activities to tie into the required skills section more organically as well.
Be Transparent About Salary
Realistically, the most important consideration when seeking a new role is the remuneration package. If an organization cannot match your current package, it’s unlikely that you’ll consider leaving, no matter how many fringe benefits are offered.
Furthermore, top candidates are unlikely to apply for roles without transparent salary information, fearing that they won’t meet their salary expectations. If you’re obtuse about salary, you’re also more likely to attract desperate candidates who cannot afford to be picky.
Conversely, if you find a great candidate, they may argue over salary after receiving your offer, which could have been avoided by being clear initially. Therefore, I strongly recommend providing an indication of remuneration in the job ad itself.
This will signal to strong candidates whether the recruitment process will be worth their time and encourage their participation if the package is competitive.
Shift Focus From Role Expectations to Skills
Your job ad should focus on the expectations and desired outcomes of the role, not just on the skill requirements. Listing skills alone can be limiting and may discourage candidates who have transferable skills or who haven’t developed a specific skill set but can still deliver the desired results.
By focusing on what a candidate can do with their skills, job ads open up opportunities to a wider pool of candidates who may bring unique perspectives and experiences to the role. Moreover, focusing on what a candidate can do with their skills helps to provide a clear picture of the role and the impact the candidate can have in the organization. This can help to attract candidates who are passionate about making a difference and can see the potential for impact in the role.