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4 Hidden Mistakes Why Your Job Ad Isn’t Working

Job ad not attracting the right candidates?

Composing the perfect job advert can be tricky. Some adverts can be; vague, poorly written, brief or so lengthy it can make even the most qualified candidates hesitant to apply. And this isn’t even without tackling the use of bias or discrimination mentioned in some job ads. But fortunately, we’d like to think that now, employers use job ads to proactively promote diversity. However, there are more subtle and hidden reasons why a job advert isn’t working. Which are not as obvious as previous mistakes but could still be affecting an overall hiring strategy in acquiring top talent.

Age-related language

“We’re looking for a person who is outgoing, lively and ready to bring new energy to the team.”

The type of language in a job ad can imply the type of person you want to employ. Asking for a candidate to be outgoing and lively isn’t necessarily a job requirement but rather more of a personality trait. Which in some cases, can be perceived as age-related language. People tend to stereotype young people as being lively and energetic, so by mentioning these desired characteristics in your job ad you may be unintentionally discouraging older applicants.

Desirable skills

Yes, it’s completely fine to ask for one or two desired skills in your advert, however, asking for any more than this can complicate the hiring process. After all isn’t it just a ‘desired’ skill, not a required one?

It can also distract the potential candidate from the true experience and skills they need to be successful. Causing those who are perfectly qualified for the role feel inadequate and look elsewhere for different opportunities.

Technical jargon overload

Jargon is fine and sometimes necessary in certain job descriptions, depending on the role. However, the excess use of technical jargon particularly in entry level-roles has its limitations. It’s unlikely you’ll attract a greater number of applicants by including lots of different business acronyms that aren’t particularly relevant to the position.

A recent study by Business in the Community and the City Guilds Group showed that out of a group of 16-24-year-olds, confusing and overcomplicating job descriptions created a major barrier and ultimately put young candidates off from applying.

Gender decoding

Gender bias, whilst it may not be as obvious as it once was, is still occurring within hiring. So much so, some employers and recruiters may not even realise they are doing it. Studies have shown that the use of adjectives and verbs can have masculine or feminine associations. Determining such words as, ‘leader’ and ‘competitor’ to have a generally more masculine appeal, whilst ‘support’ and ‘responsible’ are regarded as feminine-coded words.

Take this so-called gender bias out of your job ad and instead include gender-neutral terms. Or if you want to describe traits from your ideal candidate be sure to utilise both masculine and feminine associated words.

If you’re struggling to determine what words have which association you can use a gender decoder to analyse your job ad.

We want to hear your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs

Read more:

3 ways your job advert may be more biased than you think

Why your job advert isn’t attracting candidates

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