7 tips for writing a killer job ad to find the right employee

The internet is flooded with job ads. From both employers and organizations. And, when you come to hire someone, it seems like everyone else is looking for the same thing: a really good employee who helps the business grow. but Before you hire the right employees, you need to post the right job ad. So what can you do to make your job ad stand out from the crowd and actually attract applicants?

Once you’ve written a job ad or two, they can start to sound the same. To make your ads stand out, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. But if you just change the job title and role responsibilities, leaving the rest of your ad the same, you’ll lose engagement from your audience. If you want to attract the brightest talent your business needs, Your ads need to be punchy, detailed and stand out from the competition.

Detail what candidates want to see when reading a job ad. Anyone can write a simple, run-of-the-mill ad. One that speaks of being a team player, entrepreneur, and hit the ground running. But to whom does this really appeal?

If you operate in a candidate lead market where competition for talent is intense, you need to sell your opportunity and business in detail. This is so candidates can already start picturing themselves in the role. It is often said that reality Good employees are hard to find. However, one of the reasons leaders struggle is their job posting. Below are the key areas you should focus on with every ad you write.

1. Choose a proper job title

It is very important to get it right and should be given considerable consideration. I’ve had clients at startups call and ask for CVs for roles like CTO or Product Director. In fact, once we drill down to the requirements, it’s really an engineering head or lead designer that they’re looking for. However, if you advertise a CTO role, guess what? You will find CTO applicants who are looking for the salary and responsibilities associated with that title.

Not every initial hire at a startup needs a C-level title. So, if in doubt, skip to the next level heading below. It lets you go somewhere when you get promotions and salary reviews. This allows candidates to grow into a role as the business grows. Doing so will attract ambitious, key talent from other successful companies that may not have the opportunity to move up.

2. List clear roles and responsibilities

Here you want to include as much detail as possible about what is required and what the post-holder will do on a day-to-day basis. Candidates need to be able to picture themselves in a role to know if they want to do something. It doesn’t have to be a paragraph of text; Research shows that most people read job ads looking for easy, digestible information, so bullet points are good, but make them specific and avoid the generic.

To achieve this, sit down and think about all the responsibilities of the role and make sure you include them. What will your head of sales be involved in besides running a team or department? If they work alongside the marketing and product teams, be sure to highlight that, as this may be the diversity someone is looking for in a career. If there is a possibility for the post-holder to shape their role in some way, make sure you mention that too.

People like to take ownership of their role, and if someone wants to leave their current job because they feel like they’re not getting on in the organization or aren’t being heard, this kind of detail can be very interesting.

3. Describe the company environment/culture

Ask yourself, what is it really like to work for you and your business? Is it a collaborative environment, a small team, what is the size of the office, do your employees socialize, do you have a remote workforce, or offer flexible working? Paint a picture of what it’s really like to work for your business with the current team. This will get engagement from really qualified candidates. Some things may seem small to you. Like Friday pizza at the office. But, these things help Build a culture, team spirit, and bonding within your team. New employees want to know about this.

Consider the following examples, which one is more attractive to a candidate? The first is the type of general description I see in employers’ ads all the time, and the second actually gives some specific details:

  • You will join an ambitious, hard-working team. We provide fruit, drinks, snacks and a social program as well as annual office trips.

Or, another way of putting it:

  • You will be part of a 5-person team.
  • We work hard, support each other, and have breakout areas where you can quickly sanity-check a colleague to ask for a second opinion.
  • We provide drinks and snacks (from fruit to pizza) and love to socialize.
  • We have weekly drinks on Thursdays. If you’re a fitness fanatic, we also do a monthly run (none compulsory!).
  • Our annual trip took us skiing last year. This year, we are considering a city break.

It’s a long ad, sure. But, it provides real detail and rises above generic words.

4. Mention future opportunities

While the focus of your ad should be on the role you need someone to do for you right now, where will that role lead in the future? Most employers save this information at the interview stage, but why? If you don’t attract the right people with your ad, you might not get there.

Be sure to include a sentence or two on future prospects. Or, you can even mention what a previous post-holder has done within your business. This way candidates can see that the role offers a future for them, rather than a job that requires you to do it. Lack of advancement opportunities is one of the main ones That’s why good employees quit. If your candidate is looking for a place where they can grow, mentioning those opportunities in your ad will get their attention.

5. Include compensation or salary range

You don’t have to include the entire remuneration package in detail. This is because securing that key player may require negotiation at certain points. However, by ignoring salary, which many employers do, you are undoubtedly missing out on many applicants. Salary can certainly be a sensitive issue. But at least it doesn’t waste anyone’s time by including a range. And, your applicants will be in the right ballpark when you agree on salary.

In addition to salary though, include all the other benefits you offer. Remember, money is not everyone’s number one priority. So if you offer equity options, additional accrued vacation, flexible work arrangements, childcare, training, etc., make sure they are in your ad.

6. Describe the ideal candidate

It shouldn’t really be stated, but it should be clear about which skills and experience are essential for the role and which are desirable. Few employers find that 10/10. Most hire someone very close with the ability to grow and become that 10/10 person. So, while you have your ideal wish list of what you’re looking for, be honest with yourself about the essentials. And just understand what a “stay nice” is.

If you’ve never written a job ad before, be sure to consult on the language used. This ensures that you are not being discriminated against in any way without even realizing it. You don’t want to miss out on that perfect candidate because they were turned off by poor phrasing or implicit discrimination.

7. Your business personality

Once you have all the key information, your ad will likely be very informative but will likely lack any “voice” or personality. So think about your business, how is the company culture and vibe? Perhaps it’s a formal environment where everyone is expected to wear a suit but if not, you want to get your voice in the ad.

There is nothing wrong with using humor in advertising. I’ve seen some really fun, or just a relaxed, informal style that can best represent your culture. Either way, if you can give your ad a tone and voice that truly represents you and your business, you’re well on your way to creating unique ads that will attract the right people.

This article was originally published in 2019 but has been updated and expanded.

Simon Benson on LinkedInSimon Benson on Twitter
Simon Benson

Monthly Contributor: Simon is the founder of a specialist UK-based recruitment business supporting technology startups. He advocates a consultative approach to recruiting and blogs to benefit both employers and job seekers, as well as experience running a startup himself. He has a background in document editing and loves good coffee and his vinyl collection. Follow him on Twitter @sibenson_wg

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Article Tags:

Company Culture · Featured · Find Your Way · Grow Your Business · Leadership

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Find Your Way · Grow Your Business · Lead Your Team · Your Mindset

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