When it comes to recruiting a new employee, there are obviously many points to consider. Whether it’s ensuring you have the finance to sustain the role, having the structure arranged for the new recruit to work within, or knowing exactly what you’re looking for in a new worker, each factor needs to be in place.
Once that is all worked through, the next vital step is to know how to advertise a job vacancy as effectively as possible. Making sure you know how to advertise a job can be the difference between finding the strongest set of possible candidates and missing the ideal person, meaning you having to settle for second or third best.
The aim of this guide is to give you a helpful overview of all the key factors to consider when you come to advertise a job vacancy. With our experience of recruiting candidates effectively for thousands of jobs across a whole range of industries, we’ve learnt a thing or two that we’re happy to pass on to you here.
This opening point may sound too obvious. I mean, of course you’ll produce a good advert, because after all, who knows your business better than yourselves? But you’d be surprised (or possibly not surprised) to see just how many adverts don’t quite hit the mark with what they’re communicating to clients when they try to advertise a job vacancy.
So what does a great job advert need to include? Having reviewed thousands of them, we’ve narrowed it down to the following must have features:
Using a generally recognised job title will help your advert get found in job searches. It’s important that the job title is neither too vague nor too specific. Selecting a job title that includes both the job role and its level is recommended.
A good example for advertising a job title would be "Senior Copywriter" rather than "Content Wizard". You may think that nobody would use the term "Content Wizard" as their job title, but they have, and that’s far from the strangest we’ve seen. If you want to roll the dice with an unusual name in the hopes that candidates stumble across it and are intrigued, then that’s your choice. In reality, most applicants just want to be able to clearly understand what they’re applying for.
Clearly explaining what you expect from the successful candidate in terms of the duties and responsibilities of their job role is a must. It doesn’t need to be an exhaustive list, but spending a paragraph or two communicating a few key areas of the role will be so helpful to candidates as they analyse whether they match what would be expected of them.
A fairly familiar but still effective way to do this would be to provide a bullet point list of the key tasks you’ll expect you’re employee to handle as part of their role.
It’s important to provide applicants with a list of required skills, qualifications and experience. This will differ widely depending on the job role and the field of work, but in every job it’s important to clearly define between required and desired attributes.
It may be that to even be allowed to perform the job, the candidate will require a particular qualification, or that to be able to function effectively within the role they must be proficient on a particular piece of computer software. Equally though, it could be that while three years’ experience is desired, it’s not a requirement, and it may be that many aspects of the job are able to be grown into as long as the candidate is teachable and adaptable with some intellect and initiative. It’s just important to let applicants know your stance in the job vacancy advert.
It’s a really good idea to explain to potential candidates a little of what your company is like, both in what you say and the way that you say it. You don’t need to use your company name in the job description, but including a few lines on how you’d describe the work environment will give the candidate a good idea of the sort of company they are applying to work for.
Are you communicating that you’re a friendly and welcoming environment, that you’re a highly competitive and driven workplace, or a balance of the two? That’s for you to decide, and neither option is necessarily more effective than another, but you want to set a consistent tone throughout, depending on how you want the applicant to approach you.
We always recommend something about a salary in your job vacancy. Including clear figures can be beneficial to both the candidate and yourself as it sets the parameters from the beginning and means candidates know where they stand and whether they want to apply.
Some companies will ask candidates to include a salary expectation either with the initial application or when they come for interview. This method allows the company to gauge how experienced the candidate is in the field they’re applying for or how much they’ve researched it. Either option can work, but most companies tend to just be upfront about what salary is being offered. Using a salary band or set salary are both fine.
There are many benefits that candidates find useful other than salary. When thinking through how to advertise a job, it can be effective to engage applicants by adding some of the benefits of your workplace. It’s great if your business offers perks such as a company car, private pensions, and profit shares, but they’re not the only benefits that can make a job seem more attractive.
Does your company offer free car parking, good holiday entitlement, desirable location, free tea and coffee, a canteen and/or free uniform? If so, you should list some or all of those benefits in your job description. Maybe ask a few employees what benefits they can think of if you’re struggling for a full list; you might even find out about a hidden benefit!
Writing a job description can be a time-consuming task, but getting it right really can make the rest of your recruitment process so much more effective. If you’re still unsure about writing the advert yourselves, why not let us do it for you? We have a team of copywriters on hand to offer expert help with your job descriptions. We’ll take your lead on exactly what you want and check for your approval before posting it on our network, but letting us provide our expertise can save you a lot of time and effort.
It’s important when thinking through how to advertise a job that you help your advert get the biggest exposure possible across the candidate marketplace. We’ve already covered in the section above that using a well recognized job title will help you appear in searches. It’s also become clear that being too specific or using an unusual or quirky job title can confuse searches and candidates.
At the same time, being too vague with your job title or using single word generic terms can also cost you appearing near the top of many searches, so it really is vital to hit that sweet spot of defining the job role in a clear and recognizable manner. But how do you then get the job out to the biggest job market? Which one of the big names do you use, or do you try to find a smaller agency who specialise in your field of work? There’s actually another solution for how to advertise a job vacancy and get the biggest possible reach.
We’re confident at That Recruit that we’ve found the most effective way to work across hundreds of job boards including market leaders like Monster, Total Jobs and CareerBuilder. We target all our job adverts at the bigger premium boards to gain their wide focus, but we also analyse a network of smaller industry specific job boards to help you find the best quantity and quality of candidates possible.
Because we utilise such a huge network of job boards, as well as other candidate sourcing tools, we’re able to help advertise any UK role in any UK location. We want to help give your job vacancy the greatest possible springboard to allow you to reach the candidates you need to, and do it at the best price possible for our clients.
If you’re looking for someone to paint your garden fence, then you can probably still rely on taping an advert in the window of local newsagent, but if want your job advert to reach the right number and quality of candidates to strengthen your business, you’re going to need to pay to advertise a job.
You don’t need to pay over the odds though, and you should demand a great service for your money. Too many recruitment agencies want you to sign-up for an ongoing fee, or attach hidden extra fees after the recruitment process.
You deserve to know exactly what the process of advertising a job will cost, and if you’re going to a pay a premium price, you deserve a premium candidate. It’s not unreasonable to pay upwards of £100 to find a candidate, especially for a skilled role where they could produce many times that amount for the business. But you certainly don’t need to pay over the odds or have the fee inflated later on.
We don’t believe that either of those are fair expectations on clients, and we have an in-house commitment to make the cost of our services as transparent as possible. You pay a single, low cost, flat fee without any contracts or hidden extras. Check out our flat fee recruitment page for a detailed description of how our process works, but we’re confident you won’t find a better offer given the level of service we provide.
This is often overlooked in the process of how to advertise a job. Given that it can be stressful enough simply finding the right candidate, many of those who recruit are happy to forget about the process as soon as the ink is dry on the new employee’s contract.
It can be really helpful however to keep a track of how the process went and particularly how you feel the job advert performed. How many applicants did you receive? Where did they see the advert? Were the candidates responding of the desired level of qualification and experience? Looking at each of these factors can be a really helpful way to monitor whether you’re getting all you should be from whoever you paid to advertise your job.
With these factors in place, you should have a highly effective strategy for creating, marketing and reviewing your job vacancy process, all with the aim of helping you find the ideal candidate every time you advertise a job vacancy.
The only thing left to do now is to get started on the process and let us help you turn that job vacancy into the ideal employee for you!