5 Tips to Write Powerful Job Ads that Work!
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Imagine a world with no internet. For many people still alive today, they don’t have to imagine it – they lived it. Prior to the invention of the internet, jobs were first advertised by sticking a notice outside an employer’s window or by newspaper. An employer would call a paper, buy ad space and wait for inbound enquiries to pour in. This provided great revenue for the papers, but often there was no guarantee of how many enquiries they’d get and if they were even right for the vacancy at all.


Newspaper with Magnifying Glass Searching for Jobs


Flashforward to the age of the internet, and many companies still have the same problem.

How do you attract the candidates you want, and give yourself the best possible chance of a successful hire?

Though there’s different ways to advertise a job, (which vary industry to industry) there are a few proven methods that you can incorporate into your recruitment process, to give yourself the best chance of hiring the right candidate in a competitive job market. Below are 5 helpful tips that you can use for your future hiring:


1. Recognisable Job Titles

Creating a job title that reflects the position you’re looking to hire is probably one of the most important tips you can incorporate into your hiring process. A job title that doesn’t reflect the role could prevent potential applicants from applying, or a misleading title that conveys too much seniority, or not enough, again, can put off eligible candidates that would otherwise apply. Not only is the job title one of the first thing applicants see, but the title is one of the first things applicants’ search. As such, your job title must include relevant keywords. So, if you’re looking to hire a ‘Video Editor’, be clear and specify the keyword ‘Video’. If you simply list your vacancy as ‘Editor’ or ‘Final Cut Pro Genius’, you’re risking your job post not being seen and responded to. It’s also important then to remember here, that you should stay away from using internal job titles, and stick to universally known titles, e.g., Website Manager instead of ‘Digital Overlord’. If ever you’re unsure, it’s always advisable to research the job market and pay attention to how competitors are wording their ads, as well as testing what gets the more relevant responses before making any final decisions.


2. Show Me the Money!

Posting the salary helps eliminate any doubt or hesitation a potential applicant may have about applying. They may not wish to put in considerable time and effort to apply for something that is unsustainable for them, and they may not wish to enquire before applying out of embarrassment or for fear of being ostracised for mentioning salary before even applying. By posting the salary, you eliminate doubt and any back-and-forth hassle that might put off potential applicants. Alongside that, salary can help determine seniority level if a Job Title is slightly different to what a candidate is expecting or is unclear (see point above) as well as being one of the first things candidates look at when they see a vacancy. Jobs with salaries posted get twice the number of applications and salary is cited as a reason to move job for 81.6% of candidates according to CV library. If you’re looking to get a larger quantity of candidates apply, there’s no reason not to be posting that salary.


Tom Cruise Shouting "Show Me the Money" from Jerry Maguire


3. Internal Job Descriptions – You Need One

Even if it’s only for internal use, the importance of having a clear and concise job description cannot be overlooked. Not only does it outline the position and the responsibilities of the role and how they’ll fit into the team, but it also means the company is fully aware of clearly defined tasks and responsibilities that the new role will incorporate, and as such, it creates better defined progression opportunities as well as measuring the new employee’s performance. Without the job description, this is much harder to do. It will also help in drawing up the employee’s contract and assigning who they’ll be responsible to and who they may be responsible for.


4. Sell Yourselves…and Your Company

This is where the previous step will come in handy. Now you’re armed with a detailed job description for your own internal benefit, you can focus on converting that information into what’s called a Job Posting, and advertising it to candidates on multiple job boards. This is where you give the candidate a taste of your company brand, perks and benefits of working for you or your company, what’s exciting about the role, progression, and what’s in it for them. It’s important here to be as snappy and concise as possible. On average, candidates browse job posts for less than a minute, with a study by ladders showing that the majority of applicants pay closer attention to the top of the job post, and only skim the bottom, so you only have a short window to hook and interest them in your job post before they keep scrolling. Let that inform your formatting on how and what you choose to convey.


5. Optimise and Post Wisely

Given the fact most candidates don’t scroll past the first page, you’re going to want to get your ad on the first page of any job board. In order to do that, you need optimise it with relevant keywords that are likely to be searched by the candidate. Along with the keyword relayed in your title, you should look to incorporate related or similar terms and make sure that these are relayed throughout the post, as this increases the chances of your job post appearing in the first page of a candidate’s search. It’s important to note here that in a post pandemic world, work from home jobs increased by 300%. Even if that might not be an option, it’s important to note if it’s remote, hybrid, or fully on site, in which case a location is important. With that in mind, you should then begin to think about what boards you would want to post to. You can of course test and research platforms individually, or start by using two or three, but another option would be to use a candidate sourcing software platform that has access to multiple job boards at a discounted rate.


Though there are many other methods of increasing your job post success, the above tips will be a helpful starting point for any business looking to start posting more effectively. At SmartRecruitOnline, we’re experts at helping customers’ make the most of their hiring and we’ve been doing so for over a decade, with proven track success for many of our clients. If you haven’t already, check out our FREE checklist for writing Job Ads that get noticed here.

If you’re interested in seeing how we can help you with your Job Posts, click here, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for all our latest content.

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

The 8 Biggest Recruitment Challenges for 2022
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


When you’re looking to hire the best talent for your business, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into a few recruitment challenges along the way. Here we discuss what some of these biggest challenges are, and some useful tips that help solve them. 


1. Market Fragmentation

One of the biggest recruitment challenges is understanding the different tools are services out there, and which are most effective for improving the recruitment process. This can be a daunting task, with hundreds of potential solutions out there that claim they can get your job filled, making it hard to distinguish which are best for your recruitment needs.


From job boards and aggregators, to social media, sponsored advertising, agencies and RPOs, it can be hard to know where to start, as amongst the very good solutions, there are some very poor ones too. Each job will need a different set of solutions, so finding the ideal combination of advertising media, technology and processes is the best way to get your job filled efficiently and cost-effectively.



Luckily, there are now recruitment services available that let you centralise all your recruitment activities. Many of these services have integrated 3rd party tools so you can get several recruitment solutions in one, giving you better value for money.


A key tip to establish which is the best service for you is to first list your company objectives, then you can think about the tools you need to achieve them. For example, if you want to reduce recruitment costs, selecting tools that reduce your dependency on agencies could be the best option.


2. Efficiency During The Recruitment Process

Inefficient administration processes and duplication of effort are what soak up the vast majority of a recruiter’s time. For example, sourcing potential applicants and reviewing CVs and profiles can take hours, if not days.


When lots of time is spent inefficiently on recruitment admin, it can actually create a substantial cost to your business. Yet, when calculating the cost-per-hire metric, many businesses don’t factor in the time and resources spent on these kinds of tasks.


Creating an efficient recruitment process is essential for getting high-quality applicants into your shortlist, as quickly as possible. It’s also important for managing efficient ways to reject unsuitable applicants quickly, while protecting the corporate brand.


Three efficiency graphs



A good recruitment management system is essential for improving your recruitment efficiency. Recruitment management systems let you coordinate all your processes from one single platform, where you can easily identify what tasks are the most time-consuming, along with many other tools that automate and simplify the recruitment process.


This will dramatically reduce time spent on manual admin tasks, and save on long-term costs to your business. For example, you may notice screening applicants is taking far longer than necessary, so you could benefit from implementing tools like behavioural assessments, video profiling and technical assessments.


3. The Candidate Experience and Protecting the Company Brand

Company brand is all about reputation, and this can be significantly affected by the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. This can be seen in research that found 80% of candidates who have a bad recruitment experience will openly tell others about it, with many proactively doing so.


A poor candidate experience can damage your brand image, impacting how both candidates and customers may see you in the future. Yet understanding how to execute a positive candidate experience seems to be one of the biggest recruitment challenges.



Improving the way you communicate with candidates is one of the best things you can do to improve their experience and protect your brand. This can easily be done with personalised automated email and SMS responses at each stage of the application process, acknowledging applications and providing additional information about your job opportunity to keep them engaged.


This is important even for candidates who aren’t suitable for your roles. According to a PwC survey, 61% of candidates have experienced recruiters withdrawing from all communication suddenly and without explanation, even after they have had an interview. This can leave candidates feeling negatively towards your brand, increasing the chance of negative word-of-mouth.


Download banner for eBook on ways to improve the candidate experience


4. Avoiding Bad Hires

The person doing the recruitment may be under pressure to get the job filled quickly above anything else. This can lead to unsuitable candidates being selected, and bad hires being made. Bad hires can cost your business almost a third of the employee’s first-year earnings, and affect your team’s overall performance and productivity, so naturally this is something you want to avoid.



Applying due diligence even in the earliest stages of recruitment is key for avoiding bad hires. This can be done in the form of sophisticated candidate screening tools, such as CV parsing, behavioural assessments, and video profiling. Tools like this will help closely match candidate experience, behaviour, and cultural fit to your role and business.


5. Direct Applicant Quality

Every recruiter is looking for the secret sauce to this recruitment challenge. Attracting quality candidates is important, but something many businesses struggle with. This isn’t helped by the fact that the typical drop-off rate during the application process is 80%, and this tends to be the strongest applicants passively searching for a new role.


Speech bubble with the words 'we are hiring'


Poorly optimised job adverts that don’t include appropriate keywords are often the centre of this problem, as the right candidates aren’t discovering the role. Many job adverts are also poorly written to convert, creating the challenge of turning a view into an actual application.



There are short and long-term solutions to this challenge. A short-term strategy would be to ensure your advert will be displayed by search engines like Google by using the most effective job title and relevant keywords that your ideal candidate will be searching for. Make sure to include these keywords in your ad copy, page title and meta description.


Once candidates find your job ad, making it engaging and well-written will help improve conversions more than a simple job spec.


More long-term strategies that will help improve direct applicant quality are to improve your company brand and reputation using the tactics mentioned for improving the candidate experience.


We also recommend building your talent pool and establishing relationships with quality candidates ahead of trying to recruit them, for example those that have previously applied at your company, follow you on social media or have joined groups you manage on LinkedIn.


6. Improving Time to Hire

With 81% of candidates expecting the hiring process to take 2 weeks at most, improving time-to-hire is a recruitment challenge increasing in importance. This is because candidates are far more likely to drop-off the application process if it is taking too long, or get snapped up by another company.



Instead of measuring your time-to-hire, use the time-to-offer metric instead. This is much more sensible to assess your performance on, as things like candidate notice period are beyond the recruiter’s control.


If you find that your time-to-offer is still too long, then you need to start looking for ways to speed up your recruitment process so you don’t miss out on talented candidates.


Some ways to do this include posting your jobs to a wide enough network, writing optimised ad copy, communicating with the best applicants continuously, and automating manual processes through technology like CV parsing, to name a few.


Woman shaking hands with a man at an interview


7. Measuring Performance and Results

What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t improve. Tracking data like application completion rates, drop-off rates, and declined offers is important for identifying areas where you might need to improve your recruitment process. It’s also useful for spotting what campaigns perform well, so you can replicate these in future and save on the cost of weak recruitment.


Recruiters need to generate simple, accurate reports that give this kind of information, and the recruitment challenges lies with what tools are most effective for doing this.



A good recruitment management system is once again an easy solution to this challenge. These systems provide you with detailed reports across all your recruitment activities that you can then analyse for performance and pinpoint areas for improvement.


8. Reducing Recruitment Costs

Perhaps the most prominent recruitment challenge concerns reducing your recruitment spend. Many companies look to cut back on agency costs, which is unsurprising given standard fees range between 15 – 20% of the candidate’s first annual salary. Hiring directly in-house is one of the most effective ways to reduce these costs, but hiring the right candidate is what will repay that cost several times over.



Having the right tools, systems, and processes in place is critical to improving your in-house recruitment process, and reducing overall recruitment costs. Our Guide to Reducing Recruitment Costs covers this in more depth, and will give you all the tips you need to do this.


Many fixed price solutions are able to offer extremely good value for money when it comes to your media advertising, and some come with outstanding management systems that can help you to address many of the other challenges that recruiters face.


Gif of woman saying 'I'm not paying that much'


Ready to solve your recruitment challenges?

You may have noted that many of the biggest recruitment challenges can be solved using recruitment technology and services.


Smart Recruit Online offer free online demonstrations of our talent acquisition platform. Our platform comes fully equipped to solve the challenges we’ve spoken about here, with recruitment management software, candidate communication tools, screening tools, job advert optimisation tools and so much more available on one, easy-to-use platform. So, why not book a demo with us today?


Pink book a demo button

Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years. His key focuses are how recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science can be used to optimise recruitment performance. He is a serial entrepreneur, previous winner of the prestigious Chambers of Commerce 'Innovation in Business' award, and founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd (Corpwell).

The True Cost of a Bad Hire
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Some say that good help is hard to find, but when it comes to hiring new employees, finding bad help is even worse. Here we discuss the true cost of a bad hire.


Bad employees are just a way of life, and hiring at least one into your organisation is inevitable.


Even with the best intentions, managers and human resources representatives can accidentally hire bad workers. Candidates can easily lie on their applications, make up stories during their interviews, and some employees can turn into completely different people in group environments.


Whatever the case, it is essential to watch the signs and catch bad hires before it is too late. Not only could they tarnish the reputation of your business, but the monetary cost of a bad hire can be exponential.


How A Bad Hire Can Hurt Your Business

While hiring a bad worker wastes valuable company funds, there are other additional ways that a subpar employee or an individual with bad intentions can tarnish your business and reputation.


Customer Service

The most obvious damage can occur if the employee works in a customer-facing department of the business such as customer service. If the employee hates their job and doesn’t want to be there, they are probably not going to be nice to the customers.


When customers feel mistreated, they write bad reviews, and in this day and age, when customers can single-handedly bring down a business with one review, the damage can be catastrophic.


Office Culture

three colleagues looking at a laptop together A bad worker can also negatively impact the office culture. If they are loud, disruptive, or refuse to work, they could negatively impact other employees. If left unchecked, this behaviour could spread like a virus, making its way through the organisation and killing the productivity of your office.


Safety Concerns

Then there are the safety concerns associated with a bad hire. Some of the most common workplace accidents include equipment-related injuries, chemical exposure, and slips and falls. A bad hire who does not take their training seriously could accidentally drive a large piece of machinery into another employee or damage your products.


If employees don’t care about leaving a spill behind or don’t understand the danger of certain chemicals, the harm caused can result in serious lawsuits, in addition to injured employees.


What Is The Actual Cost Of A Bad Hire?

If any of the scenarios discussed above come to fruition, then you could be looking at major costs to repair your business or reputation.


However, even if their job performance doesn’t cause a financial impact, the cost to repeatedly fire employees, place a job ad, recruit, interview employees, and onboard them can be too much for many businesses to take.


cost of a bad hire statistic that the cost to replace them is between £3,000 and £30,000


Different numbers are discussed when it comes to the price of a bad hire, but in general, many experts say that the cost to replace bad hires is between 3,000 and 30,000 pounds. The reason for the range is because the cost will often depend on the type of employee you are replacing, with an entry-level position being on the bottom half and a high-ranking executive being on the upper end of the spectrum.


The monetary cost can be downright stifling, so if your company cannot afford such a loss, then it is time to make an immediate change.


Signs Of A Bad Hire

If you suspect that you have a bad hire among your ranks, then time is of the essence. While it will still cost money to replace them, the longer they stay with your organization, the more it may cost in damage control. So, HR needs to advise managers of the signs.


For starters, you should get an immediate red flag from employees who call out of work frequently or show up tardy. This type of attendance proves that the employee simply does not care for the job or respect their coworkers.


If an employee does show up to work but they are not productive or they spend a lot of time talking to others, then HR needs to meet with them. If they are not responsive or the bad behaviour continues after that chat, then you may have to take more serious actions.


six people working in an office space


You may also have an employee who appears to be busy all day, but their work is lacking. If you are constantly telling a worker that they need to apologise to a customer or they are constantly required to redo their work even after receiving several coachings, then you may have a situation on your hands. Keep an eye out for these signs so your business can thrive and your customers won’t complain.


How To Avoid Bad Hires

While catching these employees is a good start, the best way to avoid falling victim to a bad hire is to catch the signs during the recruitment and interview stages so the individual does not begin work at your company in the first place.


Interview Skills

To start, HR representatives need to brush up on their interview skills. Ask questions that require detailed examples.


Something like, “Name an area of improvement that your manager asked you to fix during an annual review. What did you do to change that behaviour and how did the manager score this same situation on the next annual review?” That way, the candidate can’t just say that they worked on something and improved, and instead, they have to give a detailed answer about how this behaviour was changed.


You should also mix in some tough questions that candidates don’t often hear and cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Questions like:


  • What do you expect from a boss?
  • Would you be willing to take a salary cut?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?


The answers to these questions can be very telling into the work ethic of this candidate. If their responses don’t mesh well with your company culture, then you may want to thank them for their time and move on to the next candidate.


Screening Tasks

To gauge if candidates have the skills listed on their resume, you can also introduce an assessment into the recruitment process.


Person holding a question mark in front of their face


There are many resources available online or you can create your own test that could include typing skills, math equations, and real-world scenarios where the candidate must write down how they would respond. Combine these assessments with the answers to the interview questions and you can use that information to hire the next person for the job.


There are also various candidate screening software and tools available now that automate the candidate screening process, saving you precious admin time and resources.


Talent Attraction

Attracting the right talent in the first place is another effective tactic for avoiding the cost of a bad hire. High-quality candidates should stick out, and you can increase the chance of finding them by following some basic tactics.


Write effective job adverts

How you write your job adverts is an integral part of talent attraction. Don’t just write the role requirements and leave it at that – instead, write in a way that engages and excites a prospective candidate. This is your chance to really sell the role and opportunity to them.


Advertise in the right places

Getting your role in front of the right candidate means selecting the right media channels that they will be searching on. You also want your advert to be shown across a large enough number of these channels.


A simple Google Search of the job title and location you’re advertising should reveal the top results candidates are likely to be searching on.


What can you do now?

If you are an HR representative or manager who is guilty of bringing a bad hire into the organisation, and want to avoid the cost of a bad hire in future, don’t fret. Nearly everyone in the HR field has experienced the same thing and coped with the costs as a result. The key is to learn from that situation and protect the interests of your organisation with the best people.


If you still need help, you can easily find it online. Luckily, Smart Recruit Online’s platform can help you during every step of the recruitment process and keep you on the right track. Book a demo here to find out more.


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Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. When he isn't writing you can find him travelling, hiking, or gaming.

9 Essential Questions to Ask About an Applicant Tracking System
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Are you looking to switch your ATS system but aren’t sure what software is best for your business? Or perhaps you’ve never used one before, and don’t know where to start? Here are 9 essential questions to ask about an applicant tracking system before you take the plunge.


One of the best ways to figure out if an ATS system is right for your business is to book a demo to be shown the ropes. While useful, this can feel overwhelming if you’re not completely confident in what you’re looking for, or what questions to ask.


The ATS expert on the other line is there to help you, but only your recruitment team knows what you truly need to focus on. This list of questions to ask about an applicant tracking system is a good starting point for the key basics to decide if a system is right for you.


1. Does it come with CV parsing software?

woman holding magnifying glassIt’s no secret that automating parts of the initial candidate screening process is growing in popularity. This of course comes with the benefit of freeing up recruiter time and fast-tracking you to the best candidates. There is now plenty of technology available to help with this, and CV parsing software is incredibly effective.


CV parsing technology automatically scans CVs that enter your pipeline, pulling out important information on candidate skills and experience. This helps identify how suitable they are for your role, in a way that avoids human bias and error. It also avoids the need to send applicants additional questionnaires on their experience, which can often lead to a higher drop-off rate.


2. Does it come with a credible multi-poster included?

Posting your job adverts in the right places is essential for increasing your brand visibility and recruiting the best talent into your business. This is because the best candidates are more likely to see your opportunity if it appears more frequently, and on the right kind of job boards.


A good ATS system will ideally have access to a wide enough network of job boards to get your role noticed, and asking if it includes a job multi-poster is a good way to ascertain this.


Multi-posters will post your role across numerous job boards, often at a reduced cost compared to posting on each board individually. This may include a range of boards, from those free to charge to premium and niche channels.


3. How long does the ATS system take to go live?

ATS system implementations can take anywhere from 2 hours to over 3 months. This is because configuring, testing, and training can take up a lot of time, depending on the software you choose.


Gif of woman saying 'go live'


This is why it’s a good idea to ask this question during your ATS demo, particularly if you have a desired timeframe in mind. The software provider may be able to suggest ways you can make the implementation smoother, so that you can meet this timeframe (if it’s realistic!). This may include things like simplifying your hiring process, and being specific on any customisations you’d want ahead of time.


4. How easy is it to use?

Using an applicant tracking system is supposed to make things easier in your recruitment process, so asking how easy it is to use is essential. Hopefully this should lead to a demonstration of an easy-to-use interface so you can see for yourself how easy it is to navigate.


Ideally, you want to be able to seamlessly find out where each candidate is in your recruitment process, any tasks set and completed, and other insights into how well your campaigns are running. Additionally, if the ATS has job posting capabilities, how simple this is to do.


After all, if these processes are lengthy and complicated, the whole reason behind considering an applicant tracking system is negated.


5. How is the system priced?

The cost of the ATS system is of course an important question when considering a provider. In a time when many recruitment specialists are looking to cut recruitment spend, it’s a good idea to compare this question among providers to fit in with your budget.


Applicant tracking systems can come with different pricing models. The most common tend to be the cost per user, cost per number of employees, cost per hire, and cost per feature. Alternatively, some providers may offer their system on a flat fee basis, charging monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Simply decide what is best for your business, and go from there.


Person using a calculator and holding a phone


6. Can you request customisations and 3rd party integrations?

Every business runs differently, and because of this it’s a little unlikely that an applicant tracking system will match your needs exactly. This is why it’s very useful to ask if you can request customisations and 3rd party integrations as part of the system.


Maybe you want to include more company branding, a custom reporting function, or display information in a different way. To ensure the best fit for your business as possible, and even speed up the time it takes to integrate, it’s worth introducing this question early.


7. Does it come pre-integrated with screening features? E.g. AI grading, video profiling, form building, behavioural assessments, background checkers?

Appropriate screening is now a huge part of finding and hiring quality candidates into your business. The most impactful applicant tracking systems come with pre-integrated screening features included as part of the software.


View of coding on faded background


Whether it’s automatic candidate grading, video profile requests, or behavioural assessments, it’s worth asking if candidate screening functions can easily be requested and stored in an accessible location for each candidate.


8. Will you receive proactive support for the system?

Using a new applicant tracking system can feel overwhelming, particularly if people on your team have never used one before.


Asking if your team will receive proactive support from your system provider is a must, whether that’s during the initial system training, writing and monitoring your job adverts, or configuring and customising the system.


You will know best the level of support your team will need, but typically the more open your provider is to helping you along the way, the better.


9. Is the ATS regularly upgraded with new features?

With the recruitment space ever-evolving, it’s natural for applicant tracking systems to follow suit. Asking if the system is regularly upgraded is a good way of finding out if your provider stays up to date with current recruitment trends.


This question ties in nicely with whether you will receive ongoing support from your provider, as it would be good for your team to be made aware of such updates, and have the opportunity to talk through them.


How can we help?

So, there you have it, 9 essential questions to ask about an applicant tracking system. Why not get started now?


The Smart Recruit Online applicant tracking system gives your team everything they need to run successful recruitment campaigns. From creating and advertising jobs, attracting talent, screening candidates, and making the perfect hire.


With our platform, you can do all of that in one place in a quicker amount of time and at a lower cost. Simply book a demo to get started!


Book a demo red button

Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

How to Advertise a Job Effectively in 8 Steps
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Here is our simple 8 step guide on how to advertise a job effectively, and attract and retain talented candidates for your roles. 


The mere thought of recruiting a new member of staff and creating a new job advert may fill you with excitement or even trepidation. Regular recruiters will tell you that there is something very satisfying in running a successful recruitment campaign, but most will share with you far more horror stories about how it can go wrong.


It is not so much an art as it is about making the right decisions and following the right processes, but if no one ever showed you, that might be why it goes wrong.


1. Create A Job Description

The first thing you need to do is create a job description/specification for the role you need to recruit for.


This document should be comprehensive and should include the details of all the responsibilities for this role. This includes areas like where they’ll fit into your existing team, along with details of the key skills and education you’d like them to have.


Creating a job description at the beginning of the process like this can really help you to figure out this new employee’s role within your business and will come in handy later down the line when you have to draw up the employee’s contract.


It’s also useful for your HR department, who can use the job description later on measure employee performance, and whether they are fulfilling their role duties after hire.


2. Research The Market

The next thing you need to consider with how to advertise a job, is researching the market. This means looking into what your competitors are doing, and what candidates seem to be looking for in a role.


2.1 The job title

word cloud on how to advertise a job with different job titles Researching what the most appropriate job title is, and what other job titles candidates might be using, is a huge part of the job advertising process. The title you choose can ultimately have a dramatic impact on the number of prospective applicants you attract and apply to your role.


You should try and avoid using internal job titles that are unique to you, as candidates may not be using these same search terms. You can even ask the job boards or your recruitment partners to help you choose an appropriate job title based on evidence they have seen.


2.2 The job salary

A Glassdoor study found salary was the top factor jobseekers look for in adverts, so it’s worth noting this in your advert. You may benefit from looking at what a similar job in your region might be offering salary-wise. This is because you want to make your role attractive to potential candidates, and offering an attractive and competitive salary does just this.


3. Create The Job Advertisement

Once you’ve chosen your job title and salary, it’s now time to design your job advertisement.


Let’s be clear; your job advertisement should be very different to your job description – and yes, you do need both! While your job description is extremely detailed in regards to what you are looking for, it is more used for internal purposes. Your job advert should be shorter and focus on selling the opportunity to potential applicants.


Your advert can be much less formal and can convey your business’ personality and values.

eBook Download Banner on how to write a job advert


4. Optimise your advert for keywords

Candidates search for jobs using job titles and keywords, so it is essential that you factor this into your job advert writing. Candidates generally use a combination of the most generic job title and location as the key components in their search string, but technology jobs may also include a technical keyword too.


Ensuring you include your main keywords throughout your advert increases the chances of your ad being displayed higher up in the search results of your chosen job boards, as their algorithm will pick up on keyword use. Considering 75% of internet users never scroll page the first page of results online, this is essential.


5. Choose Your advertising channels

There are obviously lots of job boards and other advertising channels to choose from. Some are generic, others are niche, and others are geographically orientated. Prices can vary from £0 up to £900 per advert, so choosing the right option for you will ultimately depend on your budget, level of difficulty or importance, and the sector.


Over 70% of all candidates that search for a job start in Google, so this is a good place to start looking. Try running a few searches as if you were the candidate and see what channels come out on top. We recommend that you select at least 2 or 3 channels to get maximum coverage, especially for senior, hard to fill, and critical positions.


The best solution for getting maximum value for money might be to select a multi-posting job advertising and management service, where you pay a single fee and enjoy maximum exposure across multiple advertising channels.


6. Manage The Applications effectively

The options here tend to be:


  • Use a 3rd party or a recruitment agency to manage all your applications
  • Have them sent to your inbox by email
  • Use an Applicant Tracking service
  • Use a free Online Campaign Management tool


It is important to remember that a well-written advert distributed across the right advertising channels is likely to attract a reasonable number of good quality candidates who are currently in work and only tentatively looking. Therefore, it is critical that you manage the recruitment campaign efficiently if you do not want to lose good candidates throughout the process. This is both annoying and unnecessary, especially when there are free recruiting platforms out there to help you.


The other important aspect of managing the recruitment campaign effectively is all about protecting your corporate brand. A poorly managed campaign can lead to delays in the recruitment process, which can negatively affect your candidate experience.


According to a CareerArc survey, 72% of candidates who have a negative experience will tell others about it, so ensuring you provide the best experience is vital to protect your employer brand. 

Gif of woman saying 'protect at all costs'


7. Establish your Screening process

Most of us working in the recruitment industry are familiar with the statistic that over 80% of people that leave a job in the first year, do so for behavioural reasons, and not because they couldn’t do the job.


When you consider the real cost of making a bad hire is likely to be £30 – £60k after you factor in initial recruiting costs and time, induction and training, salary, impact on the business and other staff members, you start to realise the importance of performing proper due diligence and behavioural and cultural assessments.


This might sound scary, but in fact, can be relatively straight forward and not too costly either.


8. Measure and record

Last but not least, always record and measure how you did on each recruitment campaign! Keep a record of each job advert, where you advertised it, the amount of responses you had, the number of interviews and the time that it took you to get to offer. This will help you to pinpoint where your process could be improved, and replicate campaigns that perform well in future.


Over 98% of all business owners believe that the recruitment of new staff is by far the single most important part of effective company growth. Get it wrong and it can kill an organisation, but get it right and you can enjoy the rewards of your endeavours.


Want to get started?

The points we’ve covered here are just some of the ways on how to advertise a job effectively. If you’re looking for extra tips that are proven to work, and attract talent to your roles, download our eBook on this topic!

eBook Download Banner on how to write a job advert


Don’t feel like doing it yourself? A talent acquisition platform like Smart Recruit Online can help you effectively advertise your roles, with built-in multi-poster technology across thousands of job boards and channels, optimised job advert generators, and many other features that help move your candidates all the way from attraction to onboarding.


Interested? Book a demo with us and we’ll show you how we work.


Book demo button in pink

Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years. His key focuses are how recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science can be used to optimise recruitment performance. He is a serial entrepreneur, previous winner of the prestigious Chambers of Commerce 'Innovation in Business' award, and founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd (Corpwell).

What is the Best Job Board in the UK?
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


We wanted to give our readers some useful insights into what exactly the best job board in the UK is, and the UK’s leading online advertising channels. This was discovered using our latest research and data analysis. 


You may have noticed that job board advertising is everywhere across TV, press, radio, and pretty much everywhere you look. Many of these job boards claim to be the best on the market, and quote impressive statistics to support their claims. We wanted to take a deeper look into these claims, and find out who the best job board in the UK is, and make some recommendations to help you make a decision on where you should buy your advertising media and post your jobs.



Here at Smart Recruit Online, we post jobs across thousands of job advertising channels for all types of jobs. This includes the 30 largest national job boards, including the likes of Indeed, Reed, CV-Library, Totaljobs, LinkedIn, and Monster. This covers multiple industry sectors across all levels of seniority, so we are in a good position to research and advise on which job board is the best in the UK. So we decided to look at the data, and see what it told us.


Where are candidates searching for jobs?

First let’s start with one of the most important questions you need to improve your online advertising strategy, where exactly are candidates going to look for jobs?


Statistic that candidates will visit an average of 7.6 job sites during their search According to a Glassdoor report, candidates will visit an average of 7.6 job sites during their job search. The reality is that search engines drive the largest share of traffic to specific job boards, and most people agree that the sweet spot for maximising your recruitment results is being present across the top 4 or 5 natural search results. By this we mean those top results that appear on Google when you search for a job role.


But be cautious here. Every time a candidate searches for a different job title or location, the results will change. In fact, the exact same job search 2 months apart can generate an entirely different set of results. This means committing to just one job advertising channel for your recruitment is not a good strategy at all, no matter how tempting this might be.


If you decide on a job board purely based on which one appears in the top 5 natural search results consistently, then most businesses would likely plump for Indeed. But despite Indeed’s impressive number of monthly visitors, they also claim the undisputed title of attracting the wrong type of candidates than any other UK job board, driving up recruitment costs with one of the highest cost per application rates (on their sponsored ads), and one of the lowest fulfillment rates on niche and hard-to-fill roles. They are still a major player worth considering, but it’s well worth doing research into other channels.


The data

We used Google to search for 100 of the most generic job titles across 10 different locations in the UK. This was a total of approximately 500 different searches. From this we found that 7 different job boards were at the top of the search engine results on more than 10 occasions. There are other job boards that randomly appeared at the top of the search results for just one, two, or three job titles too.


After this, we used our own data on successful placements through the Smart Recruit Online service to map out which channels made the most placements against the 100 job titles selected for this research. This data included over 1000 filled jobs in total.


The results

The top-performing job board filled 14% of all jobs we reviewed, and the top three performing boards were each responsible for between 11- 14% of all placements.


The next three job boards all filled either 9 or 8% of placements, and the worst-performing board of the top 7 filled just 5% of all the jobs.


This resulted in 69% of successful placements coming from just 7 channels, and the remaining 31% coming from a mix of agencies, referrals, free advertising channels, social media, publications, and random job boards.


Key stats:

  • There is not one dominant job board in the UK
  • There were equal levels of success across several different job boards for many of the job titles
  • Less than 10% of the job titles showed any signs of dominance by a single channel
  • No one job board was responsible for more than 30% of the applications received in more than 95% of cases
  • Over 30% of successful placements came from outside of the top 7 performing national and generic job boards
  • National job boards were competitive, and often outperformed many of the leading niche channels for many job titles



With not one dominant job board being the best in the UK, using a media buying service like fixed price job posting or multi-posters is well worth considering. These kinds of services give you visibility across multiple types of job boards and media channels (branded or non-branded), as well as many other additional services.


A woman sat cross legged on a laptop


Look out for media buyers that offer additional services that will help with your overall talent acquisition strategy beyond simply attracting candidates – if you can get more for your money then why not? This might include services like job advert writing, candidate screening tools, and a range of other technologies that can help your selection process and improve your recruitment efficiency.


The cost of purchasing this kind of service can vary between £200-£999 depending on your needs and other factors.



The results of this research show that there is not a single dominant channel out there when it comes to advertising your jobs online. The truth is that spreading your job adverts across leading media channels and job boards is the best way to get a positive outcome.


Even when advertising jobs in vertical markets, national job boards and generic channels are meeting and exceeding the results of the specialist channels for the majority of common job titles. This leads us to conclude that purchasing your advertising media through a multi-posting, fixed price service that includes the leading job advertising channels gives the best value for money if you want to fill roles through direct applications.


These results may not seem very surprising, but the vast majority of companies tend to restrict their advertising to just one or two channels. It is clear that these companies would achieve a lot more visibility and improve the quantity and quality of applicants received if they were to change this behaviour.


How can we help?

Smart Recruit Online is an award-winning talent acquisition platform that offers many of the services mentioned throughout this article, all integrated on one, easy-to-use dashboard. This includes multi-posting, job advert writing, advanced candidate screening and plenty of other tools and services that will help you transform your recruitment strategy so you can start quickly finding and hiring the best talent online for less. 


Interested? Book a demo with us and we’ll show you how we work.


Banner to book a demo with SRO




You will note that we have not specified which results are linked to each job board. This is because we have important relations with each of them that we do not wish to compromise. We strongly believe that these results would vary each time if we were to run this exercise again varying the job titles, locations or time of the year. While the sample size is quite small to draw too many proven conclusions from, it outlined key factors that we are confident would be repeated every time we ran this exercise.

Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years. His key focuses are how recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science can be used to optimise recruitment performance. He is a serial entrepreneur, previous winner of the prestigious Chambers of Commerce 'Innovation in Business' award, and founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd (Corpwell).

How To Reduce Recruitment Costs: The Complete Guide
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

So, you want to cut your hiring spend? This guide teaches you how to reduce recruitment costs without compromising your performance. 


It’s hard to know where to start when reducing recruitment costs. If you still have questions after reading this guide, book a free demo with us and we’ll show you exactly how to do it in more detail.

Understanding recruitment costs

If you want to know how to reduce recruitment costs, understanding what makes up these costs is key. Here we summarise all the factors you should consider.


Time and resources

Time is money, and with the average time-to-offer taking 27.5 days in the UK, the costs of this can be significant. You may be familiar with the time-to-hire metric (sometimes used synonymously with time-to-fill), but we strongly recommend you use the time-to-offer metric, as you usually don’t have any control over candidate notice periods.


An average time-to-offer will typically take 2-3 days of man-hours, at an average cost of £200 per day.


A clock and coins on a scale representing how time leads to recruitment costs


Advertising media

Using online media channels to advertise roles is frankly the easiest recruitment cost to calculate. It’s also the figure most (wrongly) quoted by businesses when presenting their ‘average cost-per-hire’ and should be defined as ‘media cost-per-hire’.


Paid media channels like job boards, local media, specialist publications and paid social media get your roles in front of a much bigger pool of applicants, so they are a great tactic to use.


You should always keep track of your media spend, as a record of this will also be useful for estimating ‘media costs’ for future roles.


Agency fees

Agency fees are usually seen as a necessary evil, particularly when internal team capacity is low or for harder-to-fill positions. While the cost of an agency can vary, standard fees range between 15 – 20% of the candidate’s first annual salary, even going up to 30% for harder-to-fill positions.


When your direct hiring strategy is not effective, these 3rd party fees can seriously escalate, driving up your business’s average cost-per-hire.


Standard fees of an agency range between 15 to 20% of the candidate's first annual salary


Onboarding & training

You can’t really hire someone without onboarding and training them, so there is a powerful argument that this should be included in the cost-per-hire calculation.


This cost definitely needs to be included when there is attrition in the first year of employment, and a replacement employee duplicates this onboarding and training. This is usually the result of making a bad hire, which comes with its own high cost.


Making a bad hire

Hiring the wrong candidate can cost your business at least 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings, and can go up to as much as double this. When you add the resources spent onboarding and training this bad hire, and the time it takes to source a replacement when they eventually leave, this is no laughing matter for any sized business.


The damaging potential of a bad hire should be the driver for every recruiter to perform due diligence and minimise the risk of it happening.


A boss reprimanding his employee


There are two types of bad hires that can create a financial loss:


  1. Poor cultural fit

    A recent Deloitte survey found 86% of CEOs and HR leaders see workplace culture as increasingly important to businesses. This is unsurprising, as an effective culture is said to create a 50% difference in performance between businesses in the same sector.


    A discontented employee can become distracting and affect your whole team’s performance. Psychologists call this emotional contagion, where one employee’s poor attitude can lead to conflict and less cooperative decision-making in the workplace.


  2. Underperformers

    An employee who simply doesn’t have the skills or experience to perform well can also impact your costs. This person may enjoy their role, but continually struggle to meet the expected standard.


    While providing support and training for employees is important, underperforming employees can cost £39,500 a year on average. Even larger companies can’t afford this kind of bad hire, with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh estimating they had cost the company “well over a million”.


Year 1 attrition

Beyond the obvious financial impact, a high attrition rate can also affect your business’ morale, as remaining employees may start questioning if they should leave too, or leave to get away from the bad hire.


Measuring cost-per-hire

Cost-per-hire is an important but widely misunderstood metric. Calculating this accurately is important for managing your strategy and learning how to reduce recruitment costs.


To avoid miscalculating your recruitment spend, we recommend you use the following cost-per-hire formula:


Cost per hire formula step by step breakdown


It’s important to remember that other hard-to-measure factors we’ve discussed are not included in this number. For example, the consequences of making a bad hire can greatly impact your bottom line, and should be factored into your recruitment budget.


In-house recruitment vs outsourcing

One of the biggest questions businesses have is ‘do I recruit in-house or outsource?’. Outsourcing recruitment can become one of the biggest costs to your business, yet recruiting in-house also comes with its own costs to time and resources.


So, which is the best option? The answer lies in optimising your in-house recruitment.


Optimising in-house recruitment

Recruiting in-house doesn’t have to be time-consuming and expensive. There are plenty of tools and processes available now that help automate time-consuming tasks, attract the right talent to your roles, and avoid candidate drop-off, all while reducing agency spend.


The rest of this guide explains ways to optimise your in-house recruitment, so you can start making more direct hires, and stop allocating so much budget to agencies.


Three candidates waiting


Optimising recruitment budgets

Optimising your recruitment budget is all about spending money more wisely and optimising your recruitment performance. There are a few ways you can achieve both of these.


Evidence-based media selection

Spending budget on the wrong advertising media channels is a very common recruiting mistake.


Take an evidence-based approach to media selection, and research which channels are likely to work best for your business while reaching a large enough number of potential applicants.


We cover how to do this in the evidence-based decision-making section of this guide.


Person using a calculator with a book in the background


Media buying

Buy job advertising media from a broker, rather than directly from the media channel. This will give you far more exposure for the same or less cost.


Some media brokers specialise in advertising optimisation techniques too, so you get more visibility AND convert more prospects into applications.


Fixed-price recruitment

Fixed-price recruitment means you pay a one-off fee for a service, without the risk of an increased fee. This is a cost-effective approach that will typically cost 1/10 of a traditional recruitment agency, and provide even better value for money when you make multiple hires for the same fee.


Build a talent pool

Building a talent pool can help you hire without any up-front recruitment costs. Simply create a database of candidates who have previously applied for your roles and contact them when a relevant role is available.


A great tactic to re-engage these candidates is a video message that invites them to reconsider your latest vacancy.


Job advert optimisation

Online job adverts are still one of the most popular ways candidates discover opportunities, and a well-optimised advert can generate 3 times more prospective candidate views.


Ensure your advert will be found and displayed by search engines by using the most effective job title and relevant keywords that your ideal candidate will be searching for in the advertising copy, page title, meta description, and URL.


Once candidates find your advert, ensuring it is engaging and well-written typically converts 2-3 times more applicants than a simple job specification.


eBook Download Banner on how to write a job advert


CV parsing software

It can be tempting to outline all the role requirements in your job advert to screen applicants out, but this can create uninspiring job adverts that put off talented candidates.


Using a CV parsing software that automatically screens and validates applications for ‘relevance’ will significantly speed up the recruitment process, while avoiding human error and unconscious bias. You’ll also avoid losing out on any applications by redirecting them to a careers or application page.


Evidence-based decision making    

There are many ways to determine where your ideal applicants are going to look for jobs. An evidence-based approach will save you the recruitment cost of purchasing the wrong media, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.


Search engines

Search engines like Google and Bing are the cheapest, fastest way to gain insights into where relevant applicant traffic is actually going. Simply search for roles in your sector, identify which job sites are ranking highest on the results page, and ensure that you advertise on those.


Logos of the different search engines


Check job boards

Checking job boards for the level of competition can help you determine whether to advertise there. High levels of competition indicate you might be in the right place, and whether you need to apply advanced job advert optimisation techniques.


It’s also a simple way to establish what the competition is offering to attract the best talent.


Seasonal trends

Consider seasonal trends when advertising your roles. Although job search activity dramatically increases in January, competition for the best talent also drives up costs.


If you are looking for top talent, and you advertise a role in December, you can typically pay £5k less for the same hire than if you advertised for it in January.


Recruitment technology 

The recruitment technology you use can greatly impact your bottom line. Good use of tech can save you time and resources, create better candidate communication, fewer drop-offs, and ultimately lead to better hires.


Going beyond standard ATS

Applicant Tracking Systems are used as standard to help recruiters collect and process applications. But with 48% of the best applicants dropping off due to a poor ATS experience, recruiters are turning to systems with additional talent attraction technology to overcome this issue.


This means going beyond simply storing and tracking applications, creating a fully-rounded hiring process.


Over 90% of ATS don't offer talent attraction elements


CV parsing

CV parsing software automatically populates your ATS with each application received, through an efficient 1 click application process. This speeds up the process for candidates, as it avoids the need to fill out any lengthy application forms or complete pre-screening questions.



Multi-poster technology lets you post your job adverts onto multiple job boards simultaneously. This is much less time consuming than posting individually on each platform, and many multi-posters also offer free posting across free-to-advertise websites.


They can also populate your careers page and post your roles onto social media and local media channels.


AI applicant ranking

Grading and ranking applicants is an essential yet laborious part of the recruitment selection process. But advances in AI technology mean this can now be done automatically.


Tools can screen applications for keywords, and match the best candidates to your roles while avoiding human error and unconscious bias. This alone can reduce around 80% of administration time spent screening out unsuitable applicants.


Drawing of a graph representing applicant ranking


Automated messaging

Poor communication is damaging to the company brand, candidate experience, and one of the biggest causes of candidate drop-off.


Automated messaging technology makes communication easier, through email and SMS responses acknowledging applications, thanking candidates, and providing them with information throughout the application process. This helps keep interest in your opportunity, and avoid the cost of talent drop-offs.


Reporting tools

What gets measured gets improved, and tools that report on job advert and recruitment performance are a great way to ensure you’re getting value for money, and identifying where you can make improvements.


These tools report on conversion rates and indicate how well your adverts are working. They will also inform you where drop-offs are happening and where you need to up your game. You can then replicate well-performing adverts in future campaigns, and avoid the cost of poor advert performance.


Avoiding applicant drop-off

Typically between 60-80% of candidates drop out of the recruitment process. When this happens, your recruitment spend through time and resources is high.


The strongest applicants who are only passively viewing roles also tend to be the most likely to drop out of the process. This then increases the risk of making a bad hire, and the long-term costs associated with this.


Avoid platform redirects

Redirecting applicants from a job advertising channel to a careers or pre-screening page substantially increases the risk of drop-off. This was shown in research by The Recruiting Unblog, where 45% of candidates searching for jobs on Facebook dropped-off immediately when they were taken off the platform onto any kind of registration page.


Avoid lengthy pre-screening

60% of candidates quit a job application in the middle because it is too long or complex. Your pre-screening process should be as quick and simple as possible to avoid this.


Using CV parsing software will automatically screen applications so you don’t need to ask lengthy questions. AI candidate ranking can then help you identify and get in touch with talent quicker. The golden rule is to capture applicants first and ask questions afterwards.


Strategically nurture candidates

Around 58% of job seekers consider good communication the top reason for a positive candidate experience, and ultimately accepting a job offer. Failing to strategically communicate with passive candidates and nurture their excitement about your opportunity can lead to a loss of interest and drop-offs.


Using automated messaging at vital stages of the application process with well-crafted messages can easily counter this. Company video follow-ups are also a great form of engaging media, with a CareerBuilder survey finding roles with videos had a 34% greater application rate. What applicant wouldn’t want to ‘meet the hiring manager’ in a follow-up video?


Downward view of someone on a laptop


You should try to nurture unsuccessful candidates too. This is important because candidates share their negative experiences, which can damage your reputation and cost you talent in future. 78% of these candidates just want an explanation, so providing this professionally and courteously is vital.


If your declined applicants are also potential customers (think retail, hospitality, travel, events, etc), why not use the opportunity to turn them into paying customers by offering some sort of exclusive offer as a thank you for applying?

Talent attraction vs talent acquisition

We’ve discussed the importance of talent attraction in this guide, but it’s just one part of what should be an overarching talent acquisition strategy that nurtures talented candidates, and reduces overall recruitment spend.


Talent attraction

Talent attraction is all about processes that attract prospective candidates into your pipeline, such as job advert optimisation and advertising channel selection. The goal is to get your roles in front of appropriate candidates and improve the initial application process.


You can’t leave it there though. Effective talent attraction means an increase in ‘passive’ or ‘social’ applications that need nurturing to avoid drop-off. This is where a talent acquisition strategy becomes important.


Talent acquisition

Talent acquisition is everything that happens in the recruitment timeline, from talent attraction to offer and onboarding. It helps reduce recruitment costs by nurturing talent, avoiding drop-offs, and bringing talent into your business.


It can be daunting to know where to start with talent acquisition. Luckily, a talent acquisition platform like Smart Recruit Online can do the work for you.


The platform comes integrated with key talent attraction and acquisition tools that help you make more direct hires, all from one, cost-effective system.



Fixed-price recruitment

Using fixed-price recruitment services is an easy way to create a cost-effective recruitment strategy, as there is no risk of an increased fee. Below are some of the key fixed-price services we recommend to get you started.


  • Strategic Media buying (the right channels at the right price)
  • Multi-poster technology
  • Job advert writing and optimisation
  • CV Parsing and AI ranking
  • Video Screening
  • Behavioural Assessments
  • Interview management tools
  • Outsourced managed services to assist with screening


Get started

Optimising your in-house recruitment so you can make more direct hires is one of the most effective ways to reduce your recruitment costs. Using the tools and processes in this guide will help you do this.


It’s important to also consider the long-term impact of things like making a bad hire too, and adopting an overarching talent acquisition strategy ensures you attract and hire the best talent to avoid this.


So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to reduce your recruitment spend, and Smart Recruit Online can help. Simply book a demo of our platform, and one of our specialists will be in touch.

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Smart Recruit Online

We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign. We use extensive research and an understanding of human behaviour to keep our business and technology at the cutting edge.

The Ultimate Recruitment Campaign Checklist
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019


If your application numbers are dwindling and you can’t work out why, use this checklist before you run your next recruitment campaign. 


It’s no longer an employer’s market, and the application process needs to be clear, positive and simple.  If you want to attract the passive candidate that may not be actively looking, but just “seeing what’s out there”, you need to design your advertising and application process accordingly.


1. Select the Right Advertising Channels

Are you advertising in the right places? Do some research on the many job boards, social media channels and other advertising options available. Look back over previous campaigns and find out which channels worked best.


Where does your ideal candidate look for job roles, what websites do they visit, do they use social media? Compile a list of channels and assess which ones would be most effective for your recruitment campaign.  Type the job title you are recruiting for into Google and see what comes up. Take note of the advertising channels that appear on the first page.


Try social media to support your advertising, although this will only work if the candidates you’re looking for use this platform regularly, so do some research. It is a cost-effective approach but may take longer unless promoted with a paid-for campaign.


Woman sat on a desk with advertising art behind her representing a successful recruitment campaign


2. Create the Perfect Advert

This is key to candidate attraction; the first few lines even more so. If the advert you use to attract the perfect candidate doesn’t portray the role or organisation clearly, you won’t get many applications.


Keep it simple, be positive about what your organisation can offer the candidate and be clear on what the job involves.


The job advert shouldn’t be a duplication of the job description, but instead an advert for the company and the role itself.  Give the candidate reasons to want to apply.


Ensure you include salary banding, benefits and features of the role. Exude exclusivity and persuasive language to create a sense of urgency to apply.


eBook Download Banner on how to write a job advert


3. Avoid Long Application Forms

Most candidates will leave the application process if you ask them to fill out a long-drawn-out application form. They’ve given you their CV, so in their eyes, you have all the information you need.


If you must include application forms as part of the process, keep them short and simple to fill out and not just a repeat of what’s already on their CV.


You’ve gone a long way to create a compelling job advert; don’t lose your best candidates at this stage in the process.


4. Be Clear on Salary

Gif of multiple pound signs

Be clear on salary.  Some candidates won’t even consider applying for roles with no salary listed unless it’s for a sought-after brand-name organisation. On some job boards, there is even a search field to exclude no salary job adverts.


It’s too risky for the applicant to go through the application process and even get to interview to find out the salary is nowhere near what they are expecting.  If you can’t put an exact salary, use a banding such as between £20,000 and £25,000 as at least this gives an indication of what it will be and it can be searched for.


Read our ten tips on how to maximise your recruitment strategy.


5. Optimise your Recruitment Campaign for Mobile

If your employer site or page is not optimised for viewing on a mobile platform, you can say goodbye to all those potential applicants sitting on the train searching for a new job.


Those already in a job will use the commute home as a prime opportunity to search for a new role.  If your employer site or page is not easy to view, it will impact on the number of applications you receive.  Also, ensure you are able to accept CVs using Dropbox, one drive or equivalent, as uploading a CV needs to be hassle-free.


Ask your IT team or web provider for advice on this and don’t underestimate the mobile job seeker, online recruitment is here and ignoring this element within your recruitment strategy will harm your applicant quality and quantity.


Woman walking along smiling down at her phone


6. Good Communication

Don’t leave applicants waiting too long for a response.  As soon as their CV has been sent to you, send an acknowledgment. Even if you are using a job board, a personally branded email from the HR Team settles any concern over the receipt and will keep your applicant in the process.


Woman sat at a desk smiling down at her phone

Don’t leave it too long in between receipt of an application and shortlisting. If it is taking longer than expected, send an email with a quick reminder of where you are in the process.


Always notify applicants, successful or not.  It’s courteous to let everyone know they haven’t been shortlisted even if you’ve had hundreds of applications.  They may not have been suitable for this role, but if you recruit again the perfect candidate may be put off applying. Using an online recruitment platform would help to manage this aspect of the process.



We can help you make sure you tick off each of these points, with the Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform. The platform comes equipped with all the tools you need to run a successful recruitment campaign, whatever your needs. 


Interested? Book a demo with us and we’ll show you how it works.

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Mark Stephens

Mark has worked in and researched the HR & Recruitment landscape for over 20 years. His key focuses are how recruitment technology, evidence-based processes, and human behavioural science can be used to optimise recruitment performance. He is a serial entrepreneur, previous winner of the prestigious Chambers of Commerce 'Innovation in Business' award, and founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd (Corpwell).

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