Writing a better job ad is the key to attracting top talent. Unfortunately for most HR professionals, it’s usually an afterthought. And who can blame you because after a never-ending hiring to-do list, creating a compelling job ad is the last thing on your mind. What you don’t know though is that skimping on the job ad can cost you quality hires down the road. The good news is that you don’t need to make drastic changes to reel in quality candidates, you just need to be more strategic in your job ad approach. These two steps should help get you started:
Write a competitive job ad.
It’s easy for people to throw out a blanketed statement like: “write a competitive job ad” and be completely in the dark about what they’re really saying. When you’re writing an ad that is competitive, the first question you should be asking yourself is what sets my job apart? How is it different or better than any other job or a similar job opportunity offered by my competitors? Or better yet, what about this job opportunity would prompt me to apply?
How is it different or better than any other job or a similar job opportunity offered by my competitors?
If you can’t answer this question, then talk to your employees that are in a similar role. Ask them what drew them to the job initially. Why did they apply? What do they like about the position and what keeps them there?
Asking yourself targeted questions to get to the “meat and bones” of what makes your job ad appealing to others is going to provide you with the framework to compose an ad that compels people to apply. Once you’ve identified the strengths of your position by reviewing your targeted questions, you can then use that information to sell your job to applicants by highlighting those key benefits.
Your job ad should not read like a legal job description.
Can you imagine if you walked into a store, found the shampoo aisle in the hopes of purchasing a new one, but instead of the company listing all the benefits or the repairing benefits of using that particular shampoo, they simply listed all of the chemical components in all of their statistical proportions? Do you think that you as a laymen would have any idea how to pick the right shampoo for your hair type? Of course not. Unless you’re a professional chemist, that terminology would read like a very overwhelming (and extremely boring) math equation. The good news for shampoo shoppers though is that the shampoo bottles contain targeted marketing language which helps the purchaser to know which chemical components are going to nourish a particular hair type in addition to providing an overview of what you can expect your hair’s outcome to be after using it (silky, straight, curl enhancing, volumizing, etc.).
You wouldn’t purchase a shampoo that doesn’t tell you anything about it either on its bottle or its marketing material, so why do you expect your applicants to “buy” your job ad and apply for your position if you haven’t provided them with any useful information? Instead of composing an engaging job ad, a lot of HR professionals simply copy and paste the company’s legal job description which is the equivalent of reading a shampoo bottle with a breakdown of only the chemical components contained therein. I’d venture a guess that the vast majority of people hate reading legal jargon, so why would you use the language in your job ad and expect quality job candidates to apply to your open position especially when there’s so much job competition out there? Rethinking how you word your job ad is key to attracting top talent to apply. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your legal job description altogether. After all, shampoos have a list of their ingredients on the back of the bottle, it’s just not a primary piece of their design and marketing strategy. What we usually suggest to our clients is embedding a link to a pdf with your legal job description in your job ad, so you can still feel confident that you’ve covered all your legal bases.
Feel overwhelmed at the idea of having to redesign your job ad strategy in addition to all of the other hiring responsibilities you juggle each day? Let our hiring experts help! We’ll do it for free for 30-days. Give us a call to learn more.