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5 Things To Do If Your Job Advert Isn’t Working

By Amy @BubbleJobs

When it comes to job or recruitment advertising, just like any other form of advertising, it can be a bit hit and miss sometimes and you don’t always get the desired result you want the first time around.

The problem you’re faced with is trying to produce an advert which will appeal to a very particular kind of candidate – and potentially one with a very niche set of skills. And while one style of job advert might prove to be a hit with a particular set of candidates for one vacancy, it can go down like a lead balloon with another set of candidates for a completely different vacancy.

So what do you do if you publish a job advert and it doesn’t quite have the desired effect you were looking for?

1. Compare The Applications With The Job Advert:

Print off the job advert you’re using and the applications you’ve had and ask yourself just what it is that isn’t matching up. Are you looking for a particular set of skills that the candidates thus far don’t have?

Have a good read through your advert and consider if you’ve made your requirements clear enough. Remember; there’s nothing wrong with stating clearly which candidates you do and don’t want to hear from eg. “We’ll only consider candidates who have worked for a fast paced FMCG brand before and who have demonstrable experience in building responsive designs”.

2. Try A Few Different Adverts:

Rather than just using the same job advert for all the job boards you’re using (including Bubble Jobs if it’s a digital vacancy of course! 😉 ), it can be a good idea to create a few different job adverts and test them out across the different sites to see which ones perform the best.

If you find one clear winner which is just outshining the rest, you can always copy this advert and replace the other adverts with this one (most job boards should allow you to do this, especially if your job advert isn’t performing adequately).

3. Consider How The Job Advert Looks:

Once you’ve come up with a job advert that you’re happy with content-wise, it’s time to consider how it looks – and whether its current visual layout could be putting candidates off applying. Job adverts are a bit like blogs and articles – if they’re not laid out in a visually pleasing way, candidates might not want to read all of them.

Remember; when it comes to online content, short and sweet is best. Limit paragraphs to two or sentences and include bullet points so it’s easy for the candidate to skim read the advert to get the information they want/need. Also, remember it’s an advert, not an essay – only include the main responsibilities and key skills in the advert and stick the rest on an extended job description which can be attached to the job advert as an add-on.

4. Consider Which Sites The Advert Is On:

If you’re not attracting the kind of candidates you’d like, it’s time to take another look at where you’ve posted the job advert. If you’re looking for a niche candidate with a very specific set of skills but you’ve only posted your job advert onto some of the huge generic job boards, that in itself could be your issue.

As we’ve said before – niche candidates tend to be attracted to niche job boards, whereas candidates with a broader set of skills also visit some of the more generic boards. If the candidates you’re receiving applications from are completely not what you’re looking for, it might be time to consider re-posting your job onto some more relevant job boards.

Worried about budget? Some job boards will offer you a reduced price if you don’t want to advertise for the full 28 days so it’s definitely worth asking!

5. Get Advice From The Job Boards. 

Last but not least, if your job advert just isn’t working it’s time to seek advice from the people who deal exclusively with job adverts every day – the people behind the job boards you’re using. These teams should have a good idea of which job adverts perform well and why and which don’t.

If you’re a paying customer, the job board team should be able (and willing!) to give you some free advice regarding what changes you can make to your advert to help its performance – in some cases it can be as simple as switching some parts of the job advert copy around – or even just posting it into different job categories.


So there you go; five things you need to do if your recruitment advertising isn’t going to plan. Have some other top tips? Remember, sharing is caring – leave a comment below 🙂

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