Adverts can be a real missed opportunity –  with costs ranging from £75 to hundreds of pounds they must be used to create the best possible return on investment. Think of your job advert as advertising for your company, not just for a specific role – it’s a great chance to build on your employer brand.

Things you need to consider:

  1. The purpose of a job advert is to attract the best candidates and increase your pool of suitable applicants. But it may also be seen by people who don’t have the skills for that particular role but may have friends or family members who could be suitable. You want people to want to work for you – you never know, they could be just who you’re looking for in 3 months’ time!
  2. The advert is the start of the psychological contract with your new employee – this is a set of  ‘expectations’ that are exchanged between the parties in an employment relationship. Unlike formal contracts of employment, they are often tacit or implicit and tend to be invisible, assumed, unspoken, informal or at best only partially vocalised, so you need to think carefully about the language you use to attract candidates. There’s no point saying the role is within a forward-thinking team if the only other team member is Jerry the goldfish!
  3. Not only is diversity recruitment the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. It increases your pool of suitable candidates and recruiting minorities is essential to the sustainability of some industries, strengthening your work force by providing experience and background knowledge from different perspectives. By building a reputation for valuing differences, you can attract talented employees who know that you will appreciate and utilise the skills, backgrounds, perceptions, and knowledge they bring to the table. This leads to greater commitment and higher productivity. Be careful not to use gender bias or ageist language, such as “must have a minimum of 10 years’ experience” which discounts younger applicants or “ambitious and driven” which could put off older workers. watch out for usage of masculine and feminine words, as research shows gender biased language can put applicants off.

 To create a great advert, we need to apply the marketing model AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action


Attention – Start with the Job Title followed by an eye-catching strapline. If your Job Title works perfectly internally but to the outside world means nothing, change it! Can you guess what a ‘Beverage Dissemination Officer’ is? Surely ‘Bartender’ would attract more candidates! Your job title needs to be easy to search; think of the key words used for a google search and apply the same methodology, the more hits you get the more applications you will receive. The strapline also needs to be true to the role – if it’s an exciting position then what makes it exciting? If the role is due to a promotion let the reader know. If your company is expanding or experiencing growth then tell the job seeker why…

Interest – this is where you get to sell your company and the role. Don’t just copy and paste the “about us” from your company website, make it relevant to the role! What will be their contribution to the business aims? Have you won any awards for the work you do? How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Be specific about the role and the skills you’re looking for, but stick to the essentials of the role, as you don’t want to scare off potential candidates with a wish list. A good way to approach job requirements is to determine if your company can or cannot teach an employee these skills – if you are unable to teach a skill that is essential for job performance, then it is a required skill. But if you can teach a skill, you have just created a job benefit – on the job training and learning new skills is one of the most powerful selling tools for attracting talented job seekers. Tell the candidate in simple language what they will be doing on a daily basis and what opportunities and challenges they will face.

Desire – everyone’s favourite! Sell the benefits of working for your company, the culture, how their life will change for the better if they come and work for you! Candidates are looking for more than just a salary – think about what fundraising you have been involved with, your convenient location, or perks like onsite parking. Have you mastered flexible working, healthcare, pensions, holidays? Are you a disability confident or a mindful employer? How do your values translate to your employees?

Action – every good marketing campaign MUST have a call for action. Tell them how to apply, with the closing date and if known, the interview date. The best call to action we’ve seen in a while – “Take charge of your career and apply now!”

And if you don’t have time to create your own ads, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!


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