Rewind to five or six years ago and you’ll probably recall getting a lot of job applications from both irrelevant and very relevant jobseekers to your adverts, regardless of how well they were written. Now fast forward to today and I’d say that there’s a pretty good chance that the volume of applications you get is still the same but the number of quality applications is decreasing.
I bet that you’re still writing your job adverts the same way you did five years ago? If so then this is the reason that the best talent is no longer applying to work at your company, the highly skilled nowadays can pick and choose who they want to work for as job offers are never too far away. To attract high calibre candidates you need to stand out from the competition and this includes the way in which you write your job adverts.
Most People Don’t Read Job Adverts
At best they’ll give it a quick once over. In much the same way that you scan read CVs for something that catches your eye, jobseekers do the same thing with your job adverts. So you have to grab their attention from the very beginning if you want high quality relevant candidates to apply for your jobs.
One of the best ways to do this is to use a good job title in your advert, for example C# ASP.NET Web Developer would attract more attention that simply Web Developer. If you’re looking for a C# Developer you’ll grab their attention from the job title alone which will then encourage them to glance over the rest of your advert.
It’s also important to understand how job seekers search for jobs; it’s quite unlikely that a Web Developer would use the search term ‘Web Developer’. It’s much more likely that they would search on the terms C# and ASP.NET, if you have those key skills in the job title not only are you more likely to grab their attention but your job will also appear higher in search results.
Avoid Writing A Wish List
We’ve all seen them and I bet you’re guilty of posting a few of them yourself; the Requirements Wish List, specifying that potential candidates must have experience in A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H , I, J and K, with an equally lengthy list of desirable skills!
Realistically how many potential candidates possess expertise in all of those areas? I’d imagine not too many! By writing wish lists you are potentially deterring candidates from applying for the position, candidates who have all of the core skills required to actually do the job but may missing one or two of the required skills.
If a skill is not 100% necessary then don’t list it in the advert! Going back to the above example a C# ASP.NET Web Developer may not know too much CSS but if they can code C# they could certainly pick up CSS very very quickly!
The best approach would be to mention the absolute core skills and experience required to do the job so as attract as many applications as possible from those jobseekers who could do the job but also from those who also have all of the extra skills that would be advantageous. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a top notch C# Developer because he didn’t have too much experience in CSS would you?
Don’t Be Too Vague
Whilst it’s important to avoid writing very detailed and lengthy job adverts, it’s as equally important to not be too vague in your postings. A few simple paragraphs or a short list of required skills won’t draw too much attention to your advert and encourage jobseekers to press the Apply button.
Give Candidates A Reason To Apply
The very best potential candidates don’t apply for a job simply because they have the required experience and the salary listed matches their expectations. You have to give those candidates a reason to apply, let them know why it’s a great place to work!
Do you work with the very latest technologies, do you work on exciting projects, is there an opportunity to travel, do you have a unique working environment, do you offer an outstanding benefits package? All of these perks are worth mentioning in your job adverts; you want people to get excited about the potential opportunity to encourage them to apply especially if they have just stumbled across your advert but aren’t actively looking for work.
Avoid Major Job Boards
No matter how well you write your job adverts, if you’re posting them on any of the major UK job boards the quality of the applications you receive won’t be as great you would hope. There’s a couple of reasons for this; firstly your adverts will be hidden amongst countless agency postings and secondly passive candidates don’t search job boards.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a job board that only advertised jobs from direct employers and proactively marketed your adverts so that they were seen by both passive and active candidates…