One of the biggest troubles for all recruiters is how to best advertise vacancies in order to get the most relevant and qualified applicants with the least active sourcing efforts. “Job ad” is short for “job advertisement”, and not without a reason. How you will advertise the role will have a direct impact on the quantity and quality of applications you’ll get.

Of course, different job ad styles and formats will cater to different people. We’re all attracted to things that resonate with us, especially when deciding on our next career step. For example, if one is looking for a flexible, remote start-up job, it’s only normal to expect a chill, friendly description that showcases personality and wit, as opposed to a boring corporate list of requirements.

So, how do you prepare job ads to attract relevant candidates and put your company ahead of competitors?

Competitive applicants are looking for exciting milestones

If you’re seeking a very experienced professional, your target candidate group is passive. Even if they’re casually browsing through job boards, more likely than not they’re just staying updated on the job market. If you want to grab these people’s attention, you should resist the temptation to create a huge list of requirements.

Experienced specialists know what they need to succeed, and you can bet they’re already working on it. To capture your target group’s interest, you should explain what your company can offer, in terms of professional development and growth opportunities. BBuild your job ad around future company expansion plans, challenges that need to be solved and how the future employee will be involved.

They might be in it for the challenge, but let’s be real: we all have bills to pay

Even though experienced professionals aren’t just looking for a bigger paycheck (if they are, they’re not in your target group!) – it’s still important. Many companies aren’t transparent about the compensation and incentives of their employees.

Of course, there are certain things to consider before you decide on full disclosure, but remember: transparency is always highly appreciated and puts you one step ahead of other employers. Especially in regions and cultures where people tend to be skeptical and pessimistic. Being transparent about salary ranges and social benefits will have a positive impact not only on your hiring results but also on company culture and morale. So make the extra step and include that information in your job ads.

Companies that don’t put personal agenda on hold are more likeable

We live in the era of individualists. Even though team spirit is important and teamwork is what leads to results and scaling, your job ad should have the person in mind, the individual reader. Show people that you care about their personal agenda, their own professional progress, their work/life balance and family., essentially – make them feel important. If your company is people-driven, by all matters always showcase that! It will do nothing but earn you extra points.

Applicants despise empty words

Be specific when you’re describing the job requirements, the company and what you offer. Don’t count on empty words – they fill the blank spaces but they say nothing to the reader. Avoid phrases like “strong attention to detail”, “leading company in its field”, “competitive remuneration package” and other typical bla-bla phrases. It’s better to use specific examples and/or numbers.

If your company really is the leader in a certain industry – explain why. Is it because of its size, revenue or market share? If you need attention to detail – explain why. Is it because the new employee will have to deal with numbers, real-time changing data or executive reports? If you offer competitive incentives – what are they?

Style always matters

Copywriting and graphic design are probably the last words that come to mind when you create job ads. But in today’s era where every brand strives to capture people’s attention, you need to invest time and effort in storytelling and beautiful visuals. Either you do it, or your outreach gets lost in the information stream and outperformed by better sounding and better looking content.

Just like you specify your tone of voice and your visual branding for potential customers, you should do the same for potential job applicants. Recruitment materials are part of your overall branding. Tone and style can make or break a job ad. Vague example: if you’re a funky start-up but your job ads are corporate and sterile, you’ll make the wrong impression and you’ll attract enterprise-minded applicants. Long story short, sell your vacancies the same way you sell your products: define your value proposition, define your target audience, address their “pain” and watch results go up.

Recruitment advertising is a broad topic that deserves a lot more than one blog article. It’s a major part of employer branding and companies are definitely starting to pay more attention to it, as the job market becomes ever more competitive for quality talent. At PFG, we have a history of helping our clients define and execute a winning sourcing strategy, including proper advertising of their business among other employers. We can help you too – make sure to reach out!