Employment Advertising Tips

With a growing network of over 31,000 people, the team at Gladstone Regional Jobs always hear how the work has “dried up” in the Gladstone Region. We would like to firstly set the record straight…… with reference to the amount of job advertisements and applications received, the work has not dried up….. the quality of applicants has!

Most people who have something to offer can now choose a variety of media options, more than ever before when trying to capture the right candidates attention. If you are fortunate to catch their attention with your advert, you need to make the most of it because you are unlikely to get another chance. Given that advertising often plays such a fundamental part in the recruitment process, it pays to get it right.

A poor ad may not just be a waste of your money and time – it may also damage your brand and make it more difficult to attract the people you need. On the other hand, a really well written ad may catch the eye of that stellar employee who can make all the difference to your business.

Structure Your Advert

Don’t underestimate how much candidates can be put off by a poorly written ad, or one that is disjointed. It’s important to set some quality time aside and put some effort into the content and structure of the ad. With one local alone quietly tipping thousands of dollars into the pockets of local businesses in order to increase their levels of service and attract a larger and more target specific audience, it’s time to help out and draw upon this experience.

There should be a logical sequence to a job advertisement which draws the audience in and persuades them to keep reading. Half an hour spent writing a really good ad can be a valuable investment. It may even take longer, but if you’re going to advertise it’s worth doing it well.

Tip: It can be difficult to come up with a creative advert under pressure, sometimes the words just don’t flow! Try to set time aside to write ads well before the copy deadline or before you want to post the ad.

The Title

The title is the first thing a prospective candidate will read in your ad. If it doesn’t hold their attention it will be the only thing they read before moving on to the next ad. Needless to say, the title is very important!

The advert title is usually the job title, in which case make sure it accurately reflects the nature and level of position, otherwise consider using a different advert title. Also consider a ‘tag line’ – a short statement about the position intended to grab the attention of the audience. This may appear immediately after the title or even be added on to the end of the title. For example “Senior Planner – career progression opportunity!” sound a lot better than simply “Senior Planner”. At Gladstone Regional Jobs, our new web platform is growing by the hour as a result of the enormous reach of each and every job post. You are guaranteed thousands of views, targets views from those local to the region.

Bullet Points

Many advertisers use bullet points after the title. Bullet points can be useful to highlight positive attributes of the position and the company and persuade the audience to keep reading. But that’s all bullet points should be used for. Reiterating the title or stating the job reference number are hardly going to grab the attention of the reader. In fact it may say “I couldn’t think of anything to put in the bullet points but they were on the template so I used them anyway”.

The Organisation

The main body of the advert should begin by giving the reader some information about the organisation (the employer) and highlighting the positive aspects of the work environment. This isn’t just about finding the right employee, it’s about your brand and you should use it as an advertisement. Obviously you should state the location of the job (if it’s not already shown along with the title, in the case of many web based advertising products), but you may also consider expanding on this if the location may be an attraction. The new and exciting exclusive job platfrom for Gladstone region provides users with a map so they can easily get directions at the push of a button or simply get a rough idea of your location.

Tip: Don’t assume that job seekers with instinctively know anything about your organisation.

The Position

This should be followed with a description of the position or ‘opportunity’ and the major responsibilities, (particularly the more interesting responsibilities!). Only a summary is required – you want people to apply so they can find out more, or at the very least contact you for more information.

Tip: We sometimes see advertisers dump the whole PD into the ad – don’t do it! It’s really obvious that is what you have done, it appears lazy and can simply be too much information at that stage of the process. Do mention any factors which are unusual, such as a significant amount of travel.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria should be ‘tightened’ or ‘loosened’ depending on the response you expect. If demand exceeds supply, cast a wider net. Avoid including any specific qualifications or professional body membership that are not mandatory requirements – some people have a tendency to rule themselves out too quickly.

The Rewards

In the current economic climate, salaries for many positions are rising, so unless you are sure you are offering a competitive salary by current market standards, or unless you are required to do so, don’t mention the salary levels in the advertisement. You can always say that the salary is negotiable. It’s better to get good response and discover that you haven’t pitched the salary at the right level, than to publish a salary and get no response at all.

Do mention any other benefits and attractions such as training, personal development and opportunities for career progression. If it is available, mention relocation allowance for applicants from interstate and/or overseas.

Application Instructions And Contact Details

Make it easy to apply – avoid making applicants ‘jump through hoops’ to access more information about the job or submit an application. Make sure there is a contact name on the advertisement and if at all possible so they can address their cover letter to this person in particular if they choose to do so. The new Gladstone Regional Jobs platform streamlines the application process so candidates simply click “Apply for Job”, add their resume and its done. You are instantly notified of all applications via email with resume’s attached while you can also log into and manage applicants through our new applicant tracking system.

Good caliber, experienced candidates will be reluctant to submit their CV to adds with limited information about your business, the role, requirements or even a well known organisation which offers no means of following up on their application.

If you point applicants to your web site, make sure the link works and the job/position description is easily found on your web site and like Gladstone Regional Jobs, a simple click to apply.

Other Tips

Promote your job by emphasizing the positive attributes of your organisation as an employer and your geographical location. Be sure to highlight any benefits which might differentiate you from other competing employers. Mention career advancement prospects if they exist. Unless you genuinely expect your advertisement to generate a huge response, be careful not to over qualify the advertisement.

Choose your language carefully. If you’re are hoping to attract intelligent, tertiary qualified professionals, poor grammar and spelling mistakes are unforgivable! Whenever possible get a colleague to proof read your advert, preferably someone with a critical eye.

Important Tip: Make yourself aware of the law. Discrimination is unpopular and it’s illegal. Don’t refer to age, sex, nationality or anything else which may land you in hot water or encourage negative feedback and/or exposure to your business.

The Final Test

Put yourself in the prospective candidate’s shoes – you’re a busy professional – would you read this ad and would you respond to it?