Creating Job Ads That Attract Top Talent: Advice From HR Experts
Growing organizations across the board all understand that expanding their teams means more than just posting a job ad and waiting for applicants. These days, modern hiring practices range from creating HR videos to having employee referral programs as well as the traditional postings on job sites.
However, you don’t want just anyone joining your staff, you want the best. So how can you ensure the ads you create and the hiring strategy you implement will attract top talent? Every element of your talent search, from what to include in your job ads to where you post them, can make a difference in the types of prospects who show interest in joining your organization.
To help you better prepare for your organization’s next hiring season, this guide will walk through the following topics:
5 essential job ad elements
How to market your job ads smartly
General hiring best practices
Expanding your team is always exciting and opens up the opportunity for new growth and innovative changes. Make sure you start on the right foot with the perfect job advertisement! Ready to learn more? Let’s begin.
Ensure That You Have These 5 Elements in Your Job Ad
As you scroll down various job listing websites, you’ll see a wide range of different job ads. Some of them are only two sentences long whereas others might take up multiple pages. It can be difficult to determine what the standard is and the types of components you actually need to include in your own posting.
Here are the 5 job ad elements that we deem essential:
Company overview. First and foremost, create a brief company overview. Once this is completed, you can use it in future job ads for various roles. Make sure to include your core mission or service, the size of the organization, and team values. If someone prefers to work in a small setting or in a particular sector, they can learn all of this information from the job ad. Keep this around 2 to 3 sentences long.
Position summary. Now, it’s time to dig deep into the exact role you’re hiring for. In a couple of sentences, describe how long this role has been established, who this role reports to, and what the goals of this role in the next year look like. You might also include salary estimates, as well, especially if they are required by local law. To get a better sense of how much you’d pay for this role, think about conducting a compensation survey. Astron Solutions’ dedicated guide will be very helpful in determining fair compensation.
Organization culture characteristics. While multiple organizations may be looking to fill the same types of positions, their personality, characteristics and values may differ. This is the place to showcase your company’s culture and establish the key traits that you specifically value in other successful team members.
List of responsibilities. This is where it’s helpful to get as specific as possible. You want applicants to understand exactly what they’ll be doing and what is expected of them. The more details, the better! Keep this section in list form, and consider what the role might do on a day-to-day basis, who they’ll interact with, and more.
Minimum job requirements. It’s best practice to be as specific as possible here as well. Requirements like the minimum required previous experience, certifications, training, and familiarity with specific equipment or software are common items to list. Keeping this in a list format will make it easy for prospects to look at and quickly determine if they are suitable for the role.
Don’t skimp on information for convenience. Taking the time now to design the best job ad will save you from answering future questions from applicants, says Chester Nilsson, Head of Communications at Essay Writer Pro. Further, a detailed posting can help you weed out those who are unqualified. With a vague job ad you’ll have a lot of people interested but probably only a small set of valuable prospects.
Remember also to include a clear way to contact someone at your organization. This is necessary if the applicant has any pertinent questions regarding the job ad.
Now that you have created your job ad with all the essential information, it’s time to start marketing it. Your first thought might be to post this on general job listing websites like Indeed.com or Jobs.com. While this is a great way to get the job ad out there, it might not gain as much exposure as you expect. That’s because thousands of employers are doing the same thing. You can try and pay extra to sponsor the job ad to put it at the top of search results, but this might not be cost-effective if you don’t end up generating enough high-value responses.
Our first piece of advice is to conduct market research. Where are your peers posting their job listings? What are the types of individuals they’re trying to attract for similar roles? For instance, you might see that other organizations are recruiting straight from college campuses with the hope of attracting recent graduates. This might prove to be more effective and help you gain the attention from those who are most likely to apply.
Here are some other marketing tips to consider:
Use keywords within the job ad. Sometimes hiring managers will title job listings with fun role names like “Sales Super Star” as a way to rise above the other ads. However, this isn’t a great tactic for organic searches that high-quality talent may be conducting. Make sure to optimize your job title and the rest of your ad for keywords that prospects will actually be searching for.
Post it on your website. Consider having a dedicated page on your website for those who are interested in joining your team. This way if someone is researching your company, they have easy access to open positions and can scroll through the different job ads for the one that fits their qualifications best.
Ask employees to share it. If your current employees are performing well and bringing their all to their roles, their peers might have the same characteristics. Consider asking your team members to share your job listing on their own. You might even compensate them in some way, like a referral bonus, if you do decide to hire a referral and they succeed in the new role for a set period of time.
Take advantage of social networking sites. While you might not think that social media is a valid way to post job ads, these platforms are popular ways to market open positions to those who are genuinely interested. They also promote shareability, so even if a follower doesn’t apply, they might share it with their own network of peers. LinkedIn is the perfect social platform for this, as it’s for professionals looking to network.
Create a video format for each position. While your job ad will likely be in text format, you should also market the role using different types of media, specifically video. Video marketing has risen in popularity and is a unique way to grab the attention of potential hires. Make sure to have a strategy for your HR video, include links to the actual job ad as well as ways to contact your organization’s point of contact.Source: Promo.com
As you’re experimenting with marketing strategies and different approaches, make sure to track their progress. This way, you can determine which outlets work better and start focusing on marketing channels that garner genuine results for your business’s job ads through the data you’ve collected.
Smart marketing is always data-driven—as Accudata states, “The main benefit of data marketing is the specificity the strategy offers, improving your ROI and the overall success.”
Follow These General Hiring Best Practices
Attracting the top talent starts with the job ads you create and continues with the marketing strategies that you implement. However, the main goal isn’t to just recruit qualified candidates, but to also retain them. Retention is driven in large part by relationships and first impressions matter. From the very beginning of the hiring process, try your best to lay the groundwork for long-term value for both them and your business.
Consider these general hiring practices that will help you establish a positive and beneficial relationship with prospects off the bat:
Follow a structured hiring process. As soon as someone applies for a job, make sure that you have a set hiring process in place. Determine what the exact next steps are, like screening the application to see if they meet requirements and determining how many interviews you want to conduct. Having multiple rounds of interviews is helpful if you’re a larger organization and need different managers to meet the prospect. You also might have hiring assessments the recruit needs to accomplish. Establishing these guidelines beforehand ensures that each person follows the same fair and organized process.
Don’t leave interviewees hanging. If you deem someone unfit after the interview, make sure to always follow up. Otherwise, the interviewee is left hanging and unsure of their status with your organization. If you feel like this is inconvenient due to how many individuals you interview, make sure to clearly establish that if they do not receive an email within a time frame that they have not moved through to the next round.
Consider investing in talent management tools. If you want to keep your hiring process organized, using talent management tools is your best bet. For instance, some solutions will help you create, edit, and keep job descriptions up-to-date so that your job ads are accurate. Top platforms can even explore the job implications through Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) classifications to ensure that your organization complies accordingly.
As the first point of engagement with your organization, how you attract new hires and the process you lead them through can influence the prospect’s success and happiness when working for you. Additionally, bad hiring experiences can mar your reputation within the larger industry. It’s always worth it to start on the right foot, so use these tips to do so.
Hiring top talent and refining your hiring approach is an ongoing process, especially as your organization continues to grow. Make sure your job ads have all the necessary components and market them to the right audience. Keep up with the most recent digital marketing trends to ensure that you’re attracting the right candidates and ensure that the hiring process is an enjoyable and seamless experience for both you and the prospect. Good luck!
Jennifer C. Loftus is a founding partner and national director for Astron Solutions, a compensation consulting firm. Jennifer has 23 years of experience and an MBA in Human Resource Management from Pace University.