Tips for Success:
A well written job ad can have a strong impact in the competition to attract top talent to your organisation. Lots of organisations can be intimidated by the recruitment process, often going to recruitment agencies or worried about competing against organisations with stronger brand recognition, but a clear and well-constructed ad can be just as effective and save your organisation time and money.
According to the research from Seek, most jobseekers spend less then a minute reading a job ad so the information needs to be easy to read, get to the key points about the role and organisation, and have a clear call to action so once a candidate is interested they take the next steps and apply.
A job ad should be clearly different from a position description and a position description should never be used to advertise a role (unless it is done as a link for further information or to address key selection criteria).
The job ad needs to begin with a clear title, describing the role and matching similar titles to what is being listed in a job market. Ambiguous titles or titles positioned either higher or lower than the role is within your organisation will attract the wrong kind of applicants. A good title will also appear in more candidate searches and therefore attract more candidates.
On job boards such as Seek, LinkedIn and Ethical Jobs there is a summary section to highlight the key important details of the role. This is the section where you describe the best parts of the job, asking yourself the question why would the candidate want to work for us? This could include interest and variety in the type of work they do, flexibility or stability in hours, location of organisational culture. Most organisation do not need Google-style set ups to attract candidate just a genuine description of the highlights.
The sub-headings in job ads can get quite complicated, but the most effective method is to make sure you cover information about the organisation, the role, the skills and experience required, the benefits and a clear call to action. See this Seek article for examples.
Headings, spacing and dot points all help for a potential candidate to read the ad clearly and quickly, decide their suitability and prepare to submit an application. When you discuss skills and experience make sure that you do not focus on qualities and attributes as that can often come down to personal opinion compared to demonstrated experience and understanding.
Call to action
In your call to action, be clear to the candidate on whether you want them to also address the selection criteria or any other requirements that need to be attached to their application. Be careful of just asking for a cover letter as candidates often use the same template for different roles and it doesn’t necessarily strengthen your decision on whether to proceed further with their application. Asking them to address a key selection criteria helps you to make a more informed decision. Lastly if you do ask for referees in your application process, make sure they are either supervisors or managers from a previous role (including volunteer roles if it is a first role) so you are able to confirm the details in the application and ensure you have the full picture of the candidate before you proceed to employment.