Creating job ads is a necessary part of running any business. Yet this is an responsibility some owners and managers find tricky. Knowing how to summarize your position and attract the right talent can be a challenge.
I’ve dug deep into how to create a rock-solid job ad, and put together a guide to walk you through the process. The guide shows you how to create an outstanding job advertisement that inspires the best candidates to apply.
The Easy Parts of Creating a Job Ad
At first, creating a job ad might seem like a very steep mountain to climb. Not only must you focus on the critical parts of the position, but also compete for top talent in an increasingly competitive job market.
Where do you even begin?
The good news is that creating a job ad doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with the basics and go from there. Step one is considering where you will post your job ad.
There are so many ways to reach potential candidates these days. Using sites like LinkedIn and Indeed helps you reach a vast pool of talent. And while posting your job ad on each platform is one way to do it, there are other ways to streamline your outreach.
Dedicated recruiting software is one solution. Recruiting software is an up-to-date and easy way to hire top-level talent. The software helps you post open positions across multiple job boards with the single click of a button.
These tools also help you schedule interviews, and automate other parts of the recruiting and hiring process.
Whether you’re a small team filling a single role or a large company hiring a lot of new staff each month, recruiting software can help streamline your efforts. Some of the best software, such as Breezy HR, offers unlimited job listings.
Pricing for Breezy HR starts at $143 per month and goes up to $399 per month on the highest plan. Annual pricing includes two months for free.
But Breezy HR is just one solution. I reviewed the eight best recruiting software, which you can check out to discover other excellent HR software options that might better suit your needs.
The Difficult Parts of Creating a Job Ad
Deciding where to post your job ad is the easy part. The harder part is creating the actual ad.
What to write, which areas to focus on, and how to sell it to applicants are all critical components of creating a job ad that attracts the best candidates.
It’s worth noting that the more work you put in to create a job ad, the better. The process should ideally be one of refinement as things progress. Maybe you need to tweak the ad a few days later to include some more enticing details, for example.
How hard it is to fill a role depends on the nature of the position, too. Some roles require a job ad that has to work hard to engage people. Other positions might be naturally popular.
Most of your time will be spent ensuring your job ad attracts the best possible candidates.
Step 1: Introduce Your Company & The Job
One of the primary goals of a good job ad is introducing your company and the position in a compelling way. This starts with a clear and accurate job title and a summary of your company’s story.
While the job position is important, the company story is crucial. We’re talking about anything from the company’s achievements to the culture and ethos.
You want candidates to understand your message and vision because it helps build a desire to be part of your company. After all, most people want to believe in the place they work.
Here is more on those two vital elements:
Use the Right Job Title
For the position you’re advertising, you need to ensure you have a job title that actually explains the job.
You should not be making up bizarre or unusual titles. A common mistake of job titles and positions is how far removed from reality they can be.
A good example is the job position: “Ambient Replenishment Controller,” meaning store shelf stackers. Or “Technical Horticultural Maintenance Officers.” Otherwise known as gardeners. Stay away from “Rockstar” or “Sales Mogul” or anything trying too hard to be unique.
Instead, aim for a job title that is realistic and concise. Include the name of the position, and then make sure to highlight the top three things that make the job attractive.
Recruitment software can speed up the process.
With Breezy HR’s software, you can start creating your job ad under where it says Positions/Pools as shown here:
The title you use is automatically used by all the job boards you post on, so be sure to get it right.
From there, create a passionate and exciting introduction that will make people want to continue reading.
Tell Your Company’s Story
You need to nail your company’s story.
In other words, give the information about your company that candidates want to know. Things like how long employees stay working there, how many years you’ve been in business, your vision, and why this position is important to the company as a whole.
Mention large projects you’ve achieved, clients of note, and your work culture.
What does the company represent? What type of person will like working there? Answering questions like this will help the applicant know whether or not they would be a good fit.
In an ideal world, both the employer and applicant will benefit from this, resulting in a shared and productive working relationship.
Step 2: Write the Job Description
I’ve covered the job title and company story elements, but the other critical component is the job description itself.
Many advertisements include too-long lists that detail every job requirement but don’t mention things like educational opportunities and benefits—things candidates want to know and affect decision-making.
A good job description will succinctly detail requirements, of course, but will also describe other areas of interest.
One fantastic benefit of using recruiting software like Breezy HR is that it comes with job description templates to have a starting point and even use some of the pre-filled information or completely change the copy to fit your needs.
Here are some areas to focus on in your job description:
If your offices are in a unique location, let potential candidates know about it.
You can give them details about local schools, things to do, crime rates, and more—mention commute times and transport connections, too.
Alternatively, is it a remote job with flexible working arrangements? Make sure to include that and mention how that feeds into the company culture. Working remotely is a big draw and opens you up to a much larger talent pool.
Detail the Application Process
No one wants to be in the dark during the application process. Use your job description to detail the hiring process and the stages involved.
What is the interview process like? Is it one interview, and that’s it? Or are there four steps to get hired? Also, mention if there is a specific timeframe that you’re looking for someone to start.
Keep them informed.
Breezy HR uses automated stage actions which trigger when a candidate moves to a new stage. You can configure these yourself under Configured Stage Actions like so:
Provide applicants with a roadmap so that they know the length of the hiring process. Transparency helps to build trust, and you should be open about the process from the beginning.
Tell Them Why They Should Apply
Toward the end of the job description, write out a quick recap of the key reasons a candidate should apply to the position.
A bullet-point list of around five things will suffice.
Ideally, you want this to be one of the last things they look at before hitting the apply button at the bottom of the page.
Make sure to include any specific application requirements, such as writing samples, a resume in PDF format, a portfolio, or anything you want to see to make a decision.
Step 3: Refine Your Message
You’ve written out the perfect job ad. Now you need to make sure it includes everything you want.
You also must ensure it reads well, doesn’t feature unnecessary jargon, and isn’t so dry that candidates disengage.
It’s not just a case of writing out the job ad and posting it. Instead, you should edit and improve it.
Some basic things you can do here are to share the ad with others, read through it multiple times, and improve your email responses.
Share the Ad Internally
Share your ad with others in the company once it’s finished. Pick a few people from different levels in the company, including management and non-managers, to get thorough feedback from multiple perspectives.
Multiple people reading your ad will allow you to get some honest feedback on what works and what needs clarification or elaboration.
It’s also a great way to get the whole team involved in the hiring process. After all, they’ll likely be the ones working with the new hire.
Some employers will write out their job ad and post it in isolation. This can mean key elements or useful information gets left out.
Check Your Email Responses
You need to check and improve your email responses at every stage of the hiring process—this is part of the message you send out and represents your company.
Few things turn off candidates more than an email response that’s unclear and detached. The last thing you want is for a promising applicant to quit during the first stage after applying for your job.
Recruiting software is helpful here and can assist in keeping track of emails sent at every stage.
For instance, Recruiterflow, which made my list of top picks, allows you to sync your emails with an activity log. It starts at $69 per user per month.
You can even send emails directly from the software just by clicking Send Email:
In other words, you can record all the messages and actions taken for each candidate in one place, almost like a CRM.
Step 4: Post Your Job Ad
You may have a clear idea of where to post your job ad, but it pays to do some research here anyway.
There’s a variety of places you can do so: online job boards such as Indeed or Monster.com, your company’s website, or even Craigslist.
Here are some suggestions.
Advertise Within the Company
Advertising within your company may not sound like the typical place, but it can lead to strong applicants.
You can try posting your job ad on intra-company boards, allowing employees to recruit friends and qualified associates interested in the company. It also opens the position up to internal applicants looking to move forward in their careers.
Advertising this way provides you with a free method of reaching new applicants, and the return can be better than you might imagine.
Of course, this won’t be perfect for every business. If you’re a small team with only a handful of employees, your inner reach may be more minimal, but it’s worth keeping in mind as an option and can lead to great employee referrals from already trusted sources.
Post to an Online Job Board
Posting to online job boards is a very popular, and therefore, highly competitive option. Nevertheless, they remain a top choice for all businesses of any size.
Online job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, and more are valuable sites that can reach top talent if your ad hits the right notes.
The best recruitment software can simplify this process. Recruiterflow automatically posts your job ad on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job boards for free.
Sites like Craigslist are an option, too, but be aware it can attract unqualified candidates in some scenarios, as well as spam.
Step 5: Promote Your Job Post
Creating and posting your job ad is only part of the process.
It’s good practice to promote your ad as broadly as possible. Every extra bit of attention your ad gets, the better it is for you. More candidates applying equals a greater variety of talent.
What’s more, it’s easier than you think for your ad to get buried under countless other ones from competitors.
Getting it out there is the aim of the day.
Here are some places you can use to promote your job ad:
Share It On Social Media
If your business has a decent following on social media, whether on Twitter or Facebook, don’t be afraid to use it.
Tell your followers you are hiring! It’s best practice to make the social media post quirky and fun:
If the post does well enough, thousands of potential candidates could see it.
You can also sponsor posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for an extra boost.
Whatever your industry, having experienced candidates apply can save a lot of time. These applicants understand the specific quirks of the industry already.
Posting your new job ad on an industry-specific blog can mean attracting the type of applicants you’re looking for with the right experience and knowledge.
You can negotiate the price with the blog owner for running the ad or offer an affiliate link. Most will be more than happy to have another revenue stream. Another way is to do a guest post on industry-specific blogs where you can discuss your company and the role in a short-form blog format instead of just the ad itself.
Reach Out To Previous Candidates
It often happens that past candidates who made it through most of the hiring process fell at the last hurdle and are never contacted again. This is wasteful.
If a candidate has potential, keep their details on record. You liked them well enough to push them through most of the hiring process, and maybe they weren’t the right fit for that particular position–but they could be for the next one.
You should reach out and let them know a new position is available that might work for them and share a link to your new job ad.
Not only will they be thankful, but you’ll also potentially have a great candidate whom you already know is a close match for your company.
Writing a solid job ad is a crucial part of hiring the best talent. While it isn’t a simple process, it is an essential one.
While you can do everything manually, recruiting software automates much of the legwork and streamlines the entire process.
No matter how your business chooses to recruit new employees, mastering the basics of creating a compelling job ad is always the place to start.