As soon as a vacancy arises in your organisation, be it through growth or an employee leaving, the first thing you are likely to do is advertise the opportunity. In today’s market “traditional” job advertising does not get the same results it used to. It’s no longer enough to copy and paste a job description and share on Indeed and expect a flurry of well-matched candidates to send you their CV.
Here are 10 suggestions to transform your job advertising, and start to attract candidates today:
Sell the opportunity
What so many companies fail to realise is that while the job description acts as a great tick-list for candidate skills, it often does little to inspire and excite potential candidates. Job advertising needs to strike a balance between stating the skills and experience required from the candidate along with giving a real incite into your organisation, the company culture and the role itself. It’s a candidate driven market, if someone who has the perfect skill-set clicks onto your advert you want to do everything to encourage that person to apply. Promote the positives, tell them something about your opportunity that is unique and add some personality. If you write the advert to “sell” to the candidate instead of simply posting about what you need from a candidate, then you are guaranteed to get a better response rate.
Optimise the keywords
With a lot of the job boards there are hacks to improve the positioning of your adverts, which usually revolve around keywords. The job title itself must be relevant and throughout the job advert you need to ensure that you repeat the main key skills at least three times. You still want the advert to read well, so make sure you work them into the advert in context otherwise your advert will appear too robotic.
Highlight what's important
There are a number of things that are important to candidates when looking for a job, so to improve your chances of candidates applying you need to make sure this relevant information is easy to spot without someone having to read through paragraphs of text. Location is obviously important, and ideally you will want to be as specific as possible so consider including your full address and information about public transport / parking too. Salary is also very important here, and adverts that include salary get significantly more applications than those that do not. Make sure you include any additional information about the package too, things like pension, healthcare, holiday allowance etc. can make a big difference to a candidate so be as clear as you can about the perks and benefits.
Make sure it's mobile friendly
The majority of candidates will search and apply for a job on their mobile device so if you are posting your role online it must be on a site that is mobile friendly. If you want to take this one step further, then consider giving an option for candidates to submit their LinkedIn URL instead of a CV as not every candidate will have access to their CV on their mobile phone.
Job advertising on social, not just the job boards
The major UK job boards are still a good place to promote your vacancies, however, do bear in mind that this relies on people actively looking and there can be a lot of competition on these platforms. If you want to reach more candidates then a social media campaign is a great place to start, as you can build relevant audience targeting through paid adverts so that your content lands in the social “news feeds” of individuals who will potentially be a great fit for you. This is a great way to get your brand and vacancies noticed without having to rely on having an existing following on social media. It’s important to note that success through social adverts doesn’t always come overnight, you are competing against a lot of content that will be seen as more interesting to social users, and even if a candidate clicks through to your advert it doesn’t mean they are going to apply on that first click. Re-marketing campaigns will help you generate more engagement over time and consider testing different creatives and headlines to see which adverts perform best.
Bring it to life with media
As we mentioned earlier, social adverts are often competing with thousands of posts for attention, and this isn’t just posts from your competitors either. You are up against news stories, viral videos and cute animal pics so if you want to get noticed then you have to use media to bring your posts to life. It could be a video that gives a glimpse of your company culture or a well-branded infographic that showcases your vacancy through visuals. Don’t be afraid to try something different and be bold, because standing out will only help you attract more applications.
Consider supporting content
A single advert won’t always get you the results you want but a wider campaign that includes both job adverts and supporting content can increase the reach of your posts and get a better click through rate. For example if you are recruiting for a “Marketing Executive” in your organisation you may want to combine your job adverts with a series of blogs such as Q&A’s with relevant employees (to give an authentic glimpse into the relevant department), news from the organisation (e.g. new client wins, awards, office moves etc.) and blogs that shout about why your company is a great place to work. Ideally this content will be promoted alongside your job adverts, but as a minimum make sure it is hosted on your careers page / website in a place that is easily discovered by candidates.
Employee advocacy to boost your reach
One way to really increase the reach of your job advertising is to adopt an employee advocacy approach. Employee advocacy is the act of your employees endorsing your brand and sharing content to their networks, usually on social media. It can dramatically increase the reach of your adverts – for example: a company with 100 employees, all with an average 400 network connections, can get their job advert seen by a potential 40,000 people if every employee shares it once. Not only can employee advocacy increase your content reach without having to pay a penny to sponsor with paid social, but your employees are likely to be connected to people who are local, like-minded and potentially with the exact same skill-set (e.g. people they studied with at University or ex work colleagues). This is also a great way to build trust in your brand too, because instead of your marketing team sharing content about your company being a “great place to work” your employees are endorsing and reinforcing the message too. People are more likely to believe their friend showing that they love their job online rather than reading posts from what is perceived to be a “faceless brand”.
Consider a careers hub away from your website
Think of it this way, if you saw a restaurant with an advert for a head chef vacancy in their window would you want to eat there? While all companies have a need to hire at some point, it’s not always desirable for them to promote this on their own website. You need to advertise your opportunities without compromising the image of your organisation, so a stand-alone careers hub can be a great way to do this. Keeping the two elements separate will also allow you to be more specific and targeted with the information you share, keeping it relevant to the vacancies you have now as opposed to being overly-generic. Find out more about the JobHoller careers hub here.
Check how your recruitment agencies manage job advertising
If you use recruitment agencies to help fill your roles, then there will be job adverts going out for your vacancy that you need to ensure represent your company appropriately. Usually these will be anonymised (it’s in the recruiters’ best interest to not give away who their client is so that people don’t apply directly) but you don’t want mixed messages to be circulated into the candidate market, so make sure they clear all marketing with yourself to avoid any confusion. Consider inviting recruitment agencies in to your offices so that they can get a better understanding of who you are, what the environment is and what type of culture you have so that you have the confidence that they will sell your opportunities appropriately.