Here is our simple 8 step guide how to advertise a job effectively, and attract and retain talented candidates to 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.
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.
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.
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.
It is also worth 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.
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.
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.
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.
The options here tend to be:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You may have noted that many of the biggest recruitment challenges can be solved using recruitment technology and services. Luckily, many businesses that provide these kind of services offer a free trial, so you can decide if they are suited to your needs.
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. If you like what you see, you can sign up for a 12-week trial completely free of charge.
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.