It’s half-way through 2019 and you’re still trying to figure out how to write the perfect job ad, and who could blame you? Technology has altered how we access and process information, completely changing the candidate experience and how job ads are designed for them. Your business is ready to hire a new team member and now it’s time to put your perfect job ad out there!
How can you create the best possible job ad to attract the Mr Darcy to your Elizabeth Bennet? The Vegemite to your buttery toast? The… okay, you get the idea.
We think we have a pretty good idea of how to write a good job ad. Charlotte, our Talent Acquisition Specialist nails it every time. Luckily for you, not only will Charlotte share her top tips, but we’ve also asked our friends at JobAdder to weigh in and provide their expert job ad advice.
BONUS: We’ll also throw in examples of some killer job ads at the end
1. Use a highly-relevant job title
The job title is the most important part of your job ad. You need to make sure it stands out the moment an applicant comes across it. It should also explicitly state what the job is.
As fun and creative as they sound, no-one is going to type “sales guru” into Google… So, we suggest that you aim to use industry standard titles instead. Mention the level and type of role, and use terms that candidates would search for. This means you’ll receive more applications for the role.
TOP TIP: Steer clear from adding jargon, as 60% of candidates say terms like ‘ninja’, ‘guru’, and ‘superstar’ are gimmicky.
2. Share your company’s story
Most candidates will have no idea about your company or clients before stumbling across your job ad. So it’s good to lay the groundwork in the job ad so they know what your company does before they apply.
Start off with a small introduction on who you are and what you do. Highlight your achievements, reputation and include your company mission and core values. Here’s an example of one of the job ads we recently posted for a role here at Employment Hero:
We clearly demonstrate what the company does and what our mission is to potential candidates. They now know that the company works in the HR tech industry and that we have a clear mission statement to be Australia’s first and leading all-in-one HR, payroll and benefits platform.
TOP TIP: Include information about the specific team they’ll be working with. For example, if the role sits within the marketing team, add info on any big accomplishments they’ve achieved recently or big projects they are working on.
3. Grab their attention with key selling points
You want to make sure your key selling points for the job role are clear and concise for people thinking about applying.
Showcase the best things about the role such as:
What will the candidate do?
What’s a company highlight?
What’s a benefit that your target candidate would care about?
Not all companies feel comfortable doing this, but adding “please contact me to discuss,” or “salary negotiable,” will motivate your applicants to reach out, especially if they’re really interested in the role.
5. Provide a job summary
A job summary is very important for making sure any potential candidates know exactly what they are applying for.
Here are a few things you should include in a job summary:
Describe the basic purpose of the job and why the role is actually needed within the business
List the various duties included in that role. Describe what those duties are, how they are performed and why they need to be done
Even if a job title is similar to a role they have done before, this doesn’t mean the role will be exactly the same. Assume the candidate knows nothing about your job and explain it as clearly as possible
Provide business information about who they would be reporting to, what other positions report to the same supervisor and if anyone reports to them
6. Set clear goals
Defining the role with clear goals will tell job applicants what they will need to accomplish to reach and deliver key results for your business.
Lou Adler, CEO of performance-based Hiring Learning Systems is a huge advocate for performance-based job descriptions over skills-based ones. The idea is to focus on the results you want from the new hire, instead of education or experience.
Add a list of the primary responsibilities and set tasks they will be doing, but don’t overwhelm your applicants with too much information. By adding any more than seven role responsibilities, a reported 69% of candidates would be discouraged from applying.
7. Language and layout
When writing a job ad it’s important to not get stuck on the details.
Use simple language and a clear structure to help candidates to understand the role and the business. Use bold subheadings to break your content up into clear themes which will help candidates to scan-read the ad.
TOP TIP: Make sure you’re being concise with your language. Trim any unnecessary words to make your job ad punchy but meaningful.
8. Sell your benefits
Employee benefits is something we happen to know a lot about at Employment Hero. We ran a nation-wide survey to find out exactly what employees want from their employees. The survey revealed that the top things that influence candidates when accepting a job offer are pay (63%), location (52%), flexible work (45%) and career progression (43%). These are all things that you should be showcasing in your job ad. Especially salary and employee benefits.
Add any employee benefits you offer in your job ad – things such as training programs, commission schemes, incentives and employee wellness programmes. Demonstrate that your company have a good work-life balance. This is really important to candidates who are attracted to a job because it offers flexible hours. Understanding what motivates your candidates, whether its remote work or flexible hours, will give you an advantage over your competitors.
9. Location is key
It’s clear that location is key when it comes to candidates looking for a new job. Candidates will pay close attention to this part of the job ad.
50% of employed candidates said that an opportunity with a good location would attract them to a job offer, with 57% of candidates saying that location is more important than salary.
Make sure you are showcasing detail to the office layout, such as:
Easy access to public transport, such as where the nearest train station
Free on-site car park or nearby parking options
Meeting rooms in the office
Details on the kitchen and break rooms available in the office
Nearby food outlets and cafes for their morning coffee
Explaining some of these smaller details about the location of your office will make the candidate feel like they’re welcome and already part of the team.
TOP TIP: Make sure you have photos of your office on Google My Business, Linkedin and Glassdoor.
10. Culture Fit
Ensuring a new hire is the right cultural fit is really important. You want to make sure all potential employees are going to fit seamlessly into your business dynamic so both you and they feel comfortable. Employees that fit your culture are also more likely to stay longer and improve morale and productivity.
Culture fit in the context of recruiting and job ads is all about attracting employees whose beliefs, values and behaviours are in alignment with those of your business.
Candidates want to know if you share their values as well. Company culture is increasingly important for potential candidates when assessing whether they would be a good fit for a company. A video is a great way to introduce candidates to your company culture and brand. This video could include;
Testimonials from current employees about why they enjoy working at your company
Information on what kind of people thrive in your business environment
Showcase how your business promotes a work/life balance
TOP TIP: Incorporate the language of your company in your ad. Simply using some humour or jargon can add flavour to an otherwise dull ad. Do this sparingly; you don’t want to deter a potential good fit because you’re seen as too niche.
You could also include positive testimonials from your Glassdoor or internal team surveys to jazz it up a little.
Great Job Ad Examples
Now, there’s the theory behind the perfect job ad but it’s time to see it in action. Make sure to right-click the following images and open in a new tab if you want to read them in more detail.
Example 1 – JobAdder Senior Recruiter Job Ad
SEEK + JobAdder, can you think of a more dynamic duo? JobAdder is Australia’s leading recruitment software, so you’d assume they know what they’re doing – and YOU’D BE RIGHT! This job ad for a senior recruitment role ticks a bunch of boxes.
There’s a clear job title.
Introduces the company and what they do.
Provides an overview of the role and what is required within context to the wider business objectives.
They don’t waffle on about company culture, instead they get straight to the point in the characteristics they’re looking for: intelligence, positivity and flexibility.
Delves into the role day-to-day and what the candidate can expect
A cheery, compelling call to action (CTA) that communicates the characteristics (intelligence, positivity and flexibility) mentioned above.
Tells candidates where they can go to get more information about the company and who they can contact.
Example 2 – Google Agency Development Manager Job Ad
As one of the world’s tech giants, Google is no stranger to attracting the best talent, but they don’t rely on brand image alone. Their job ads are jam-packed with clear and enticing information. Let’s dissect this recent job posting for an Agency Development Manager:
A clear job title that includes what department they will be in; this is especially important for large companies.
It is highly likely that Google receives hundreds of applicants for roles. Therefore it is imperative they weed out the unsuitable as quickly as possible. You can see this here with the ‘minimum qualifications’ required to be considered for the job.
They continue this with a ‘preferred qualifications’ that help candidates self-assess a step further.
After hopefully filtering unsuitable candidates, they go on to explain the job in more detail for what the potential ‘Googler’ can expect day-to-day.
They provide background information on the team and the behaviour (cultural fit) they’d be apart of.
Goes into more detail on the specifics of the role and the deliverables.
Talks to Google’s culture and values, especially highlighting their diversity initiative.
Example 3: Beyond Blue Strategic Communication Manager Job Ad
Beyond Blue is an Australian mental health charity. Their primary aim is to help every Aussie achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live. With such a noble and grand ambition, they need to attract the best talent possible. Let’s take a look at their posting for a Strategic Communication Manager.
Clear job title, the use of the word ‘strategic’ helps to frame the role.
The introduction is fantastic. In a few short paragraphs, we’re given Beyond Blue’s background, their values and the future plans of the charity.
A short paragraph introducing the role and expected deliverables.
Tells the candidate the exact type of role, “full-time, two-year fixed term contract”. Explains how to apply and provides information on where to send the application and by when.
Explores the job in more detail and lists the day-to-day responsibilities and activities.
Mentions the specific skills and behaviours they’re looking for.
Tells the candidate who they will report to and who they’ll be working with. Then highlights the benefits and perks of the job, as well as their recognition of important Indigenous events.
Use subheadings to break up your job ad. This helps candidates skim the ad for relevant information.
Tell them who the company is. Never assume they know who you are and what you do.
Include what you can offer them. This is a relationship and both parties need to bring something to the table.
Tell them what their day-to-day role includes and what they can expect.