News & Blog

03 December

Want to attract candidates quickly? Then copy that – or it’s over and out.

Live by the pen or die by the sword. Copy is King.

Imagine this.

You’re a jobseeker. Stressed and probably sleep-deprived, you’re sitting on the 6pm train, idly flicking through jobs on your smartphone. You’ve just been put through the ringer by a job you don’t enjoy very much. You have so much more to offer and you really want to find the perfect fit. But all of those key selection criteria, the throngs of dot points…. they’re blending into one homogenous soup. You’re getting nowhere.

Until, that is, an ad catches your eye.

It speaks to you.

It tells you what life could be like for you. It entices you with benefits. Great team. Flexible hours. Day off on your birthday. In an instant, you get a snapshot of the company culture – and it sounds perfect. A smile forms on your face: you can’t wait to apply! You’re going to do it when you get home.  No, wait – you’re going to do it right now.

It might sound totally superfluous, but stay with us. When you’re about to recruit, the absolute first thing you should do to attract candidates and get results is write an engaging, eye-catching, enticing ad.

Imagine that you’re a salesperson, and your candidates are your potential buyers. Just like selling your house, you’ve got to give them reasons to choose what you have to offer. Sure, you could give them extensive, thorough lists of the sorts of tasks they’ll need to undertake to maintain the house, but at the end of the day, this is just as likely to turn them off. After all, housework is a given.

But what isn’t a given is the dinner parties you could host in that stunning, open-plan kitchen. The cosy winters spent snuggled up by the fireplace. Lazy summer afternoons in the backyard, as your kids squeal with delight as they wage war with the totem tennis pole.

It’s sentiment that sells a house – and the same goes for vacancies, too.

You could provide your potential candidates with a list of duties that they’ll need to undertake. It could be a very extensive list. But beyond a few key points that give an instant idea of what the role entails, there is simply no need: it’s just excess weight, destined to become part of a homogenous soup.

Take, for example, a Big Splash client, who struggled to attract candidates for a difficult role.  When readvertising the following year, she opted to have her ad re-written and saw her number of applicants skyrocket by 380%.

However, if you think we’re advocating for style over substance, think again.

Good copy is a balancing act. Veer too far towards style with little informative content and you’ve got a recipe for 100+ unsuitable candidates.   Which, unless your HR department has unlimited resources, can be as much of a disaster as leaner pickings.

So how do you negotiate that fine line?

Think about it this way. Put yourself in your candidates’ shoes. If you knew nothing about the role, would you be captivated, desperate to apply? Would you be able to isolate and describe the qualities you possess that make you a perfect fit for the role?

If the answer is no, then you know: something needs to give.

Here are our top tips for good copy to attract candidates:

  1. The first few lines are make or break. Think about your opposition for a moment. Not only is it other job ads, it’s also Facebook. Pinterest. Snapchat. LinkedIn. Youtube videos. Nobody is going to continue to read your ad if the first 30 seconds bore them to tears.
  2. Keep the dot points to a minimum, no more than 5. Unless you’re listing reams of enticing benefits, save them for the PD or risk losing your candidates’ attention.
  3. Wherever possible, speak to your audience, not about them.  Phrases like “the successful applicant will”…  makes the role seem distant, unachievable. Disheartened candidates won’t apply. You catch more flies with honey!

Pushed for time? Not feeling creative? Our copywriting team help. Speak to your Account Manager today for an ad that packs punches.




Want to attract candidates quickly? Then copy that – or it’s over and out.