There’s one cry we hear again and again from recruiters: why aren’t we attracting more candidates with our ads? Is it time to drop more money into job boards and paid ad campaigns? Should we just give up and pay someone else to fill the role for us?The answer is no, you probably don’t need to be reaching for the company credit card yet. The first step is to make sure there isn’t something wrong with your job adverts – it could be that candidates simply aren’t finding your ads, or that something you’ve written is preventing them from applying.
Here are 3 quick tips to help you improve your job ads and attract more candidates:
Ask yourself: what are candidates typing into Google when they look for a job? Job title? Location? Salary?
Google AdWords is free tool that can help you with this if you’re stuck. Enter any word or phrase then search; Google will tell you how many searches per month there are on that word and any related phrases. Let’s say I’m advertising for an accountant in London: I’ve guessed that a candidate might search for accountancy jobs in London. That was a pretty good guess – it receives 8,100 global monthly searches – but if you look at the related phrases below, you’ll see that accounting jobs in London gets even more.
Once you’ve decided what the best keywords are to use in your ad, go ahead and use them. You don’t need to go overboard with repeating them over and over – just make sure they’re in there somewhere, preferably in the headline.
You’ve got their attention with your headline – but you’ve still got to convince candidates that the job is right for them. Transform your dry job descriptions with positive language: which would you prefer, to “report metrics to the board at the end of every month” or to “get involved with regular executive meetings”?
Make sure you outline what the candidate will gain from the role as well as what you want from them. Benefits don’t have to be financial: career advancement, personal development, flexible working hours, and other aspects of company culture are just as desirable.
How much does it put you off candidates when there are obvious spelling and grammatical errors in their CVs? The same is true of candidates reading your job ad: if there are careless mistakes in there, they may decide against applying.
Equally, if your ad is too long or complex it may be putting people off. Go through it and replace unnecessary commas or ands with full-stops. Cut anything that doesn’t have to be there. The longer your ad, the less likely candidates are to make it to the bottom of the page!
Ailsa is a technical writer and solutions engineer working at Instructure in London.