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Job Adverts: How To Attract The Perfect Candidate (And Repel The Random Ones!)

By Amy @BubbleJobs

If you’re on the look-out for new employees at the moment, it goes without saying that when it comes to applications, you’re going to be looking for quality over quantity.

Don’t agree? Well, let’s think about it for a second. Yes, lots of job applications would be nice because then you’ve got plenty of choice… but what about if none of them are really relevant? Do you really want to go for a ‘catch-all’ advert and then receive and sort through hundreds of applications – only to find yourself back at square one when none of them really hit the mark? I didn’t think so.

Now we’ve got that cleared up, it’s time to look at how you actually attract those quality applications to your vacancy and company in general… and as you’ve probably guessed by now, it all comes down to the job advert.

OK, so we’ve covered job adverts more than a couple of times on this blog, namely the mistakes to avoid, how to make your company stand out from the crowd and the top tips for writing great job adverts – but we’ve never actually talked about how you can tailor your ad to attract only the most relevant candidates from the off… until today.

So without further ado, let’s look at the top five things you can do to your job advert to attract the perfect candidate… and repel the random ones!

1. Include As Much Detail As Possible

If you’re looking for someone very, very specific to fill your role, you need to make sure the advert reflects this. Be sure to include as much detail as possible regarding the actual job role, the responsibilities involved and the type of experience you’re looking for in the candidate. The more vague you leave things, the more room there is for interpretation from the candidate and the more likely you’ll receive applications which don’t fit the bill.

Also, don’t be afraid to say you only want to hear from candidates that can hit the mark on 80-100% of the requirements. OK, so the candidates that apply for any and every job going might still ignore this (just as they ignore all screening questions) – but there’s a chance that those that are sitting on the fence won’t ignore it and will be put off applying – so you could end up with 90% relevant and 10% random applications – not a bad ratio huh?

2. Show Some Personality

If you’re a brand with a big personality and a clear voice, you need to make sure you show it. If you can create a job advert which has a clear brand voice and which accurately reflects your company and its values, the more likely you are to attract candidates that are right for your company. Think about it – there are going to candidates out there that ‘get you’ and your brand, and there are going to be others that just don’t and just wouldn’t fit in.

The sooner you can communicate your brand and your voice, the sooner you can find the right candidates!

3. Clarify The Location/Salary

If you’re based in the middle of nowhere, off the beaten track and away from any form of public transport, you need to say this – and clarify that unless they want to shell out half their wages on taxis each month, the candidates will need their own form of transport to join your team.

Similarly, I know that you might not want to include salary specifics on the job advert itself because you don’t want to deter potential candidates – but I’d really urge you to reconsider. You see, if the salary is an issue for a candidate, it’s going to be an issue whether they see it on the job advert itself or they end up discussing it with you two interviews in. Wouldn’t you rather save yourself time and effort by weeding out candidates who want more money from the off, rather than two steps into the recruitment process?

Remember, the more detail you can provide, the more successful your job advert should be in attracting the perfect candidates.

4. Choose A Relevant Job Title

Remember when I said you need to inject some personality into your job ads? I didn’t actually mean the job title. The job title is easily one of the most important parts of the job ad itself because it acts as the hook that draws candidates in so you need to make sure you get it right. As I mentioned in a previous blog, it can be tempting to use quirky, ‘out there’ job titles, particularly in the digital sector, but I’d urge you against it. Why? To put it bluntly, it can look cheesy, naff and just a bit cringe-worthy.

With your job title, you need to think about the actual role itself, what the successful candidate will be doing and what experience they’ll need. Hint: if you’re looking for an SEO candidate with a lot of knowledge and hands-on experience, don’t call the role an ‘SEO Executive’ because you’ll just end up attracting candidates who have nowhere near enough experience. The title should accurately reflect the salary and the seniority level of the position.

5. Place The Advert On The Best Platform For The Role

If you’re looking for a very specific candidate with a very specific set of skills and experience, you need to carefully consider the recruitment advertising platform you’re going to use. Yes, sites like Monster and Total Jobs advertise all kinds of jobs so attract job seekers from all industries – but do you really want to attract job seekers from all industries?

Here at Bubble we’ve already expressed our opinion on niche boards versus more general job boards on numerous occasions – but we think we’ve got a point. General job boards like the ones I mentioned above definitely have their place in the market – but like I said, if you’re looking for a specialist candidate for a niche position, you’re going to have to consider more niche boards for that sector. Remember, you want to attract the most relevant candidates – and thanks to their existing audience, niche boards definitely have a better reputation for delivering quality candidates when it comes to niche roles. Definitely something to consider…

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