2022; the toughest job market we’ve ever seen. Not for candidates though, as they have a plethora of exciting opportunities to choose from. With vacancies in the UK soaring to a record high, and unemployment hitting an all time low, businesses are facing a fight to bolster their teams.
One classic mistake we see time and again is in job adverts. Too often these become a long list of requirements, and tell a prospective employee nothing interesting about a role or company. What most hiring managers forget is that this is your shop window; a chance to show candidates what YOU can offer that others can’t.
Writing a great job advert can be a minefield. Trust us, we know. There’s so much to consider. Have I used the right language? Is it accessible? Am I appealing to multiple demographics to improve my chances?
If you’re staring at a blank page with no clue where to start, why not grab our Job Ad template via the pink button below, make a brew, and work your way through our top 10 tips to increase applications to your job advert.
1. Keep it simple
Getting the job title right is essential. We don’t want to see any ninjas or gurus here, as you won’t show up in the search results. Regardless of what you call the role internally, refine it down to its simplest form. What will your target audience search for; “Inspirational Digital Guru” or “Head of Digital”?
2. ALWAYS show the salary
We understand the sensitivities around pay and remuneration but, “competitive” has seriously negative connotations. We polled our LinkedIn community and 76% of people would not apply for a role without the salary listed. Listing a salary bracket reduces the number of irrelevant applications, helps guide potential candidates on the experience level required and shows you value your employees.
3. Location, location, location
Where will the role be based? Are there office days required? Is it fully remote? Do you offer any flexibility? These are all essential questions to answer early on in your advert. You only get 3 seconds to make a first impression, and these are important details to your prospective applicants. Plus, it saves you time sifting through CVs of people who don’t live a commutable distance to the office if you require them to spend time there.
4. Sell the role
You’ve piqued the interest of a few people, but can you convince them to apply? Before you get into the nitty gritty of what you need, let them know what you can offer THEM. What about your role is different to the other 20 adverts they’ve skimmed through on their lunch break on a bad day? Depending on the seniority of the role, chances are the reader already knows what a typical day in the job looks like. So rather than waste valuable real estate regurgitating the job description, focus on what is unique about the role in your business. You can share the full role specification as preparation for a first stage interview instead.
5. Sell your company
They fit the bill and are bought in to the way the role fits in to your business goals. How do you convince them to click apply? By hyping yourselves up! Why would they choose YOU over a competitor? This is a great spot to talk about your culture and working environment but remember to keep jargon and internal acronyms to a minimum. Conversational language will reflect your overall brand voice much clearer. Oh, and a gentle reminder: table football and bean bags are not culture.
6. Is that REALLY an essential skill?
Be honest with yourself here. It helps to have a clear idea of what skills are non-negotiable, and which are just nice to haves or things you can teach should you need to compromise further down the recruitment process. Many women will only apply if they meet 100% of the requirements, whereas most men will apply if they possess just 60% of those skills. By splitting skills into Essential and Desirable, you open up your talent pool, which in turn increases applications. Plus, offering support with developing additional skills is a huge selling point for current jobseekers.
7. There’s more to remuneration than salary
Everyone wants a big package. Steady on! We’re talking benefits here so get your mind out of the gutter. This could be a joining bonus, car allowance, private health care, counselling … the possibilities really are endless. If you’re looking for some inspo, why not check out our piece on Employee Benefits Trends for 2022? What we will say is that onsite parking, tea & coffee and minimum pension contribution are not benefits. If you’re package is basic, it would be better to leave this section entirely than try to pass 20 days holiday (a legal requirement) as a ‘benefit’.
8. What do you want them to do next?
A strong, clear Call-To-Action will encourage readers to hit the Apply button. Things applicants find useful are:
Closing date – so they can come back to their application when they have more time
Next steps – when can they expect to hear back?
Recruitment process – If you have a week earmarked for interviews, why not share it? Will they be face to face or via video? Are you having an assessment day? Will there be a technical skills test?
9. DE&I starts at the very beginning.
Finish off your post with your diversity and inclusion statement to encourage applicants from all walks of life. But don’t just drop one in for the sake of it. Only include this if you are serious about D&I. You could also use this opportunity to run the advert through a language checker to highlight any gender coded words than you can substitute. You’ll find lots of versions of these online.
10. Reply to EVERY applicant
Put yourself in their shoes. Looking for a new job can be a full-time commitment, so you would expect to at least have your application acknowledged. It’s simply not possible to give bespoke feedback to every applicant, however, a little goes a long way towards solidifying your employer brand as a company that respects its workers. Automated responses can really help here.
If you have a tricky role to fill and need some advice, pick up the phone and give us a call. Our recruitment consultants will be happy to help!