So you’ve already set up your job distribution strategy and sending your job ads to the recruiting channels (job boards, social networks, email) that work the best for you according to the recruitment metrics you collect.  You’re doing everything right except you are still not getting the number of qualified candidates that you want out of your recruiting strategy.


What are you doing wrong?


Well, one of the first things you may want to check out is your view and apply click metrics.  Checking these metrics will let you know if your Job Ad messaging is doing its job or not.  Basically, are candidates reading your Job Ad and applying for the job?


I see more and more companies focusing on the processes at the top which is great and needed but few really focus on the actual messaging for the job ad itself.  It’s a crucial part of selling a qualified candidate on working for a company, however, some organizations still go with the generic “blah” job ad.


Make sure your job ad doesn’t turn candidates away and increase the conversion between views and apply clicks within your recruitment marketing funnel.  Here are a few things that you can do to increase your conversion with your job ad messaging.


  • Don’t Be Boring -Depending on the organization you work for this might be hard but try to make your job ad exciting.  Use descriptive language and really focus on the tone you want to convey. 


  • Focus on Benefits - Some of the best job ads I’ve read focused less on the day to day activities an employee would do in the position and focused more on why the company and position was a place that the candidate would want to work.

Take a look at why you like working for your company and make sure to highlight all the best “perks”.  Take it as an opportunity to sell the candidate as opposed to making it just a qualifications statement.


  • Bullet Points – Let’s face it.  We’re a culture that suffers from information overload and love any way to quickly read through information.  Bullet Points enable candidates to quickly understand the job and the benefits of working for your company.  It is much more effective than a block of text.


  • Interactive Content - Link video or blog content from your Career Site to your job ad.  Any way you can get qualified candidates to see current employees loving working at your company is a great way to get them excited about the job position.


Distributing your job position to a bunch of job boards, your social network profiles, sending email & mobile recruitment campaigns and any other recruiting channels you use is the second step in a successful recruiting campaign.  The first step is making sure the job ad content you are distributing is compelling enough to entice qualified candidates to apply for your job posting.

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Comment by Valentino Martinez on March 5, 2011 at 4:18am


 All good points, particularly for recruiters who are new to the recruitment field. 

 The problem of ineffectual recruitment advertisements can amount to a combination of things--the examples you mentioned, plus poor ad placement where exposure to a targeted professional discipline is missed; or a confused or misleading message, wherein applicants simply cannot connect to something as simple as the right place to apply to be considered.  The worst being to delegate the job posting to a person who has no ownership for the entire process.  For example, the chore goes to an admin. staff member who types-up a job description, faxes that job description, sometimes with misspelled words, bad grammar, incorrect contact information, etc.

And know this--often the receiving entity will place such an ad exactly as they receive it, with mistakes and all, because it’s not their job to even read your ad much less correct it.  There job is to post it…and they do that effectively.  I see this happen all the time where the recruitment ad is boring, poorly written, and is an embarrassment to the company represented in the ad.  It is no wonder why few highly qualified candidates will apply to pursue a career opportunity with an employer represented in such ads.

My advice it to benchmark what your impressive competitors do and emulate them.  More importantly, if you realize you cannot effectively do your own creative recruitment advertisement and want results--get a pro.

Years ago, I was fortunate to receive an award for overall recruitment performance from the Employment Management Association (EMA-now part of SHRM).  It was at their annual national conference, for taking a lead role in a significant recruitment effort that resulted in hiring 5421professionals in a 12 month period.  Our outstanding team was credited with hiring an average of 5000 technical professionals per year, for three consecutive years.  Upon receiving the EMA Pericles Award--I proudly shared credit for our success with Bernard Hodes Advertising (the top recruitment advertising company in the country, in my view).  Hodes's creative people and account managers helped us launch a variable and supremely effective ad campaign, in the midst of intense competition from at least seven other aggressively recruiting aerospace companies, in the early '80s.  A good, creative and attentive recruitment ad agency is worth its weight in gold.

Comment by Chris Brablc on March 5, 2011 at 11:27am

Great point, Valentino!  If your organization doesn't have the time or energy to write great job ads, you may want to look to recruitment pros for help.


In addition, part of the problem is also one of having a consistent process.  If you have 15 different people writing job ads and no one to go over each one and make sure the messaging is consistent, you are probably doing yourself a dis-service in terms of providing good compelling content for job seekers.


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