5 Ways Your Job Ad Can Attract More Candidates

A 2012 study by TheLadders revealed that Recruiters spend 6 seconds reviewing a resume. If it takes that little time to review qualifications, how much time are you putting into your job ads?

Or have you considered how long candidates take to scan your ad?

To help you with both scenarios, I listed some points to consider when writing your job ad. While some of these considerations may take time and research, they may help you reach more qualified candidates, save you time on interviewing, and make your talent search easier.

1. Relevant Title

TheLadders' study showed that Recruiters spent most of their time reviewing a candidate's name, job titles, companies, start and end dates, and education. If you are looking to match candidate titles to your open req, consider the most commonly used titles. Including a title that's frequently used by other companies will broaden your candidate supply. When searching for the occupation Web Developer, we noticed that Java Developer is a title that is commonly used by other employers. Chances are that candidates will refer to themselves by this title. If you happen to be looking for a Web Developer with Java skills, then consider using this title in your job ad to attract the ideal candidate. Below are the other most frequently advertised Web Developer job titles, which seem to vary depending on the essential skill requirement.

Most Commonly Advertised Web Developer Job Titles

Source: WANTED Analytics

2. Brief Bio 

If you take 6 seconds on a resume, candidates may not be investing much more time looking at your ad. Consider a short bio rather than a lengthy one. Let job seekers know about your company, while including selling points. Rather than including a company history, instead highlight what would be of interest to candidates. For instance, if your company values personal time and allows its employees to have a flexible work schedule, that may be something worth mentioning in a brief description about the business. Think about what matters to your ideal candidate and cater the message to them. Millennials are considered socially conscientious. If you donate to charities, help causes, or make the world a better place, include that in your bio.

3. "Must Have" Requirements

Do your ads scare candidates away? Don't intimidate candidates with a laundry list of requirements. Each "must have" requirement may make jobs harder-to-fill. For example, Accountants score a 43 on WANTED Analytics' Hiring Scale. The Hiring Scale ranges form 1 to 99, with 99 indicating hardest-to-fill. By adding Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) skills and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification to your requirements, the Hiring Scale score increases to 47. This is not a drastic change, but it demonstrates how "must have" qualifications could increase hiring difficulty. Consider which skills in your job ad must be known, which are "nice to have," and which are teachable. Include just the essential skills in your ad and look for other abilities in the interview, such as adaptability and whether they're teachable. Teaching candidates skills or technologies on the job will expand your candidate supply and address a skills gap.

Hiring Scale Score for Accountants with SOX Skills and a CPA

Source: WANTED Analytics

4. Salary

Is the salary for the position a selling point? Include a salary if it's worthwhile. Perhaps someone located in a different region that pays less will be interested in a longer commute or relocating if you can offer more than they currently earn. For example, the national median salary for Mechanical Engineers is $79,750. The median advertised salary represents the pre-negotiated amount that employers advertise to attract candidates. This may not necessarily reflect the compensation that is agree upon between employer and employee. In Detroit, the advertised median salary is lower than the national average, $70,400. In New York, the advertised median salary is $88,100, or $17,000 more than the median in Detroit. Recruiters in the NY metro area can advertise in Detroit and list the offered salary in an effort to attract candidates to a position that will pay more. If you aren't getting responses or applicants, perhaps you're not advertising the going rate. If you're recruiting in NY and paying less than the median salary in that area, you should consider increasing the salary to be competitive in the market.

Median Advertised Salary for Mechanical Engineers in the US and in the NY Metro Area

Source: WANTED Analytics

5. Benefits

Are your benefits an attractor? If so, include the ones that really matter. If not, your company may consider offering more attractive incentives. Compare your benefits to your competition. Are you losing candidates to them? What are they offering that you're not? Think about what matters to your ideal candidate and make sure your job ad refers to those benefits.

What other things do you include in job ads to help attract the right candidates? Let me know in the comments below.

Views: 203

Comment by Matt Charney on August 8, 2014 at 12:40pm

Great article, Ashley, as always. Timely, too. I'd encourage any member interested in learning more about how to stop writing crappy job ads (or turn their online recruiting from good to great) by attending our exclusive RecruitingBlogs webinar on Tuesday on how to stop sucking at JDs: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/410364487489728770

Bonus hint: Don't advertise false or misleading salary information, but naturally that's not going to be on The Ladders study, since their business model is kind of predicated on that sort of chicanery.

Comment by Ashley Zito Rowe on August 11, 2014 at 9:50am

Thanks, Matt. Glad we're on the same wavelength! I'm sure there will be a lot of great insight in RecruitingBlogs upcoming webinar!


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