News & Blog

27 October

Your job advert will work better if you show candidates what they want to see

When you’re looking for a new employee, you need to get good applications. The best candidates apply to the best job ads, so how do you ensure your advert stands out?

You tell candidates what they want to know. Here are the top 5 ‘must-haves’ for a successful job advert in 2020.

  1. Job-status - security

Post-COVID, job security has taken a hit and many workers are understandably nervous about the future of their work. Adverts for permanent work have always attracted more candidates than maternity leave and short-term contract positions, but in 2020, this is even more pronounced.  

If you are offering a role that you imagine will be permanent or ongoing, then highlight that in the first 3 lines. It’s a strong selling point and will help your vacancy stand out. If your advert is a contract with the potential to extend, make sure you mention that.

  1. Company culture

“WORKER WANTED:  Must be fit and able to work Saturday. Must have own car. Email to apply, no calls.”

We’ve all seen adverts like this. It does nothing to make someone want to work for you. If anything, it suggests your workplace is unfriendly and you don’t care enough about who applies to make any effort. This is the type of advert that attracts candidates who are desperate and will apply for everything, not quality candidates that have a choice about where they work.   

Contrast this with:

“We’re a small friendly team on the North Coast, looking for a new worker to join our team.   You’ll be working Tuesday to Saturday, out and about making deliveries to our customers so you will need your own car and to enjoy having a laugh…

As we said, the best candidates apply to the best adverts. Therefore, it’s worth making the effort to put your best foot forward and appeal to the person you really want.  

  1. Salary

This is the number one thing that candidates want to see before deciding to apply for a role – which has been consistent in surveys for the past decade. No one enjoys wasting their time, and making it clear what the parameters are around salary range is the first step to avoid this by discouraging candidates who are not a match. 

The preferred option from a candidate’s perspective is to list a clear salary range – e.g. $50k -$60k, depending on experience.  If it’s a sales role, you can cite ‘OTE $100,000’ (on-target earnings, which includes a base and commissions).   If you operate under an Award, you can cite that – SACS Level 5, which avoids the need to put a figure in the advert, but suitable candidates know if they are a match. 

If you don’t want to publish salary information in the advert, we recommend using a candidate management system to quickly and easily filter by salary expectations when reviewing applications. This also tells you quickly what the salary expectation is amongst candidates with your ideal level of skills and experience.    

  1. Location

For big-city residents, knowing where a role is based has been high on candidates’ wishlist for years. When interviewers ask, ‘Why are you looking to leave your current job?’, the response: ‘because I spend too much time in the car’ is consistently in the top 3.  Whether it’s office-based or on the road, candidates want to know where they will be working. Now with the proliferation of work from home and satellite co-work office options, it’s worth dedicating a sentence in your advert to clarify how often they will need to be out with customers and/or where the workplace will be.

  1. What’s in it for me?

Although unemployment rates are up, there are still job adverts competing with yours and quality candidates are sought after. They have a choice about where to apply and will look for companies that offer something besides a salary. Whether that’s a higher purpose, an alignment with values and rewarding work, or something as simple as regular team lunches, your advert should aim to excite them. 

What do your staff enjoy at work? What makes them stick around? If you don’t know, then when you’re writing a job advert is a great time to ask! Avoid the temptation to write a huge bullet-pointed list of requirements and balance the ‘you must have’ with ‘what we offer’.

Follow these guidelines and enjoy a great response to your job advert!

If you need help, Big Splash offers a copywriting service. We will bring your job advert for life for just $99 +GST.

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