Getting Online Job Adverts Right

Getting Online Job Adverts Right

01 May 2024 by Justin Rush

When an online job advertisement placed on a job board fails to attract the desired volume and quality of responses, several factors could be at play. Take some time and review the copy of your job advertisement and see if there are improvements you can make based on the list below.

The focus is all on the company, not on the applicant.  When drafting an advert think ‘What’s in it for the me (the applicant)?’  We have to assume that for professional hiring, only those qualified, will apply.  Think about what this target audience is interested in: leadership, skills or experience they can gain, company culture and values.

“2 seconds, too late.” If an on-line job advertisement does not attract and maintain attention, your application rates will be lower than maximum. Make sure you start with an attractive job title, it is the first item that will be noticed.  After that, focus on creating a short paragraph listing why your business is a great place to work: recent successes, CSR initiatives, diversity and inclusion, promotions, events attended.  Ideally, insert a link to your website where more information is available.

Job Titles are really important.  Further to the above, if you were a recently qualified lawyer, which of these will catch your eye when listed on a page of other similar jobs? ‘Qualified Lawyer’ or ‘Lawyer – Pathway to Partner available’ or ‘Lawyer – High Growth Local Firm’.  Pitch your business in the job title, spark some interest!

Don’t paste the Job Description in the advert. It is understandable that many authors will aim to insert all the essential and desirable criteria for a job in the advertisement.  However it is important to remember, desirable criteria are used to enhance shortlists, to reduce numbers moving forward to the next stage.  These days our focus is to increase application numbers, not put potential candidates off by listing specialist knowledge or experience that they do not have. 

Absolute clarity on Reward and Compensation. Cost of living pressures have affected us all, basic salary and reward has never been so important to everyone.  It may be inconvenient but If the salary and benefits on offer are not clearly visible, below market rate or not competitive with similar positions, qualified candidates may be less inclined to apply. Compensation is a significant factor for job seekers when considering whether to pursue an opportunity.

What’s your model? Are you 100% in office, hybrid 2 or 3 days in office, or fully remote?  Whichever the working model on offer from your business for any position is, for some, it is as critical as salary and reward.  If your policy is set, make it clearly visible.  Remember that more flexible working arrangements attract more interest and higher levels of applications. Fully office based positions, for jobs that can be offered remotely, continue to gain the fewest number of applications.

Lack of Visibility. Even the most well-crafted job advertisement won’t attract candidates if it’s not reaching the right audience. If the advertisement is posted on obscure job boards or buried among countless other listings, it may not receive the visibility it needs to attract qualified applicants. Hot areas of the local market like accountancy, finance, law and technology are burdened with many job listings.  Your job could be one within hundreds, it is a numbers game that is hard to win.

You are selling your brand, not a job. The best active talent, want the best opportunities on the market.  It is highly likely they will research companies before applying, and a negative or unappealing brand reputation can deter potential applicants. If the company’s online presence, reputation, or employer branding are lacking, it will struggle to attract top talent.  How many 5 Star google reviews do you have? What is the feedback on Glassdoor for your business?

Lack of Diversity and Inclusion: A job advertisement that does not convey a commitment to diversity and inclusion will deter candidates from underrepresented groups and young people. Job seekers increasingly value diversity in the workplace and may be less likely to apply to companies that do not prioritize inclusivity. 

Complete a quick on-line search. Finally, have you ever searched on-line for the job you are seeking to hire for? Take some time and note, how many other businesses are looking for the same people?  What are they offering? How does your offering compare to the market? Ask yourself which job would I apply to?

Addressing these factors can help improve the effectiveness of online job advertisements and attract the volume and quality of responses desired by employers.


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