In a recent blog post, “How to Attract Talent with a PD
” we outlined six items that should be included in a position description (PD) and eight tips on wording. After you have invested time in creating a PD to attract talent, it is important to leverage that time to place recruitment ads.
As mentioned in the previous post, in today’s competitive environment, job seekers can be more selective in the opportunities they explore. A position description needs to stand out, and it is even more critical that an ad does.
Here are five suggestions for developing and placing a recruitment ad:
1. Align the ad with the position description (PD).
Ideally, the same author will write the position description and any ads. If that is not possible, a good editor can ensure that the tone of the writing is similar. An ad should always have fewer words than a PD but still contain several key points. Facts, statistics, and quantitative information about the role need to be consistent in both. Thoughtful candidates will notice if something varies.
2. Summarize the opportunity in the headline.
An ad's opening line is important because you only have a few seconds to capture a candidate’s interest. Do not keep the reader in suspense. Deliver the details up front in a way that encourages candidates to read more. In addition to being appealing, a headline should be concise and accurate.
One example: This is a terrific opportunity for a talented financial executive to oversee investment and operations decisions at ABC Construction Company, which is growing in three new markets.
3. Be selective about what to include.
Include a summary of the role. Highlight the benefits and advantages the organization offers to employees. List the minimum qualifications in bullet point format and mention that there are additional preferred qualifications in the position description. If possible, provide a link to the entire PD posted on a company website or career portal. Specify the primary location of the organization and if the role is in person full time, fully remote, or hybrid with some remote workdays.
4. Explain how to apply.
What may seem like common sense can be often overlooked. Should candidates apply through your website or career portal? Would you prefer they apply through a job board, such as LinkedIn or Indeed? Or is email to an individual or general mailbox the preferred method? Also provide direction on what should be included such as a cover letter or references in addition to a resume. Finally, it is considerate to share with potential candidates the expected timing for hiring and the next communication steps.
5. Aim to reach more audiences.
While LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, it is not the only place qualified candidates look, and it can be difficult for your job posting to be noticed among the 15 million-plus others. There are other mainstream job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter as well as many professional organizations that have a job posting section on their website. You can advertise based on the identity of the hiring organization (i.e., healthcare) or based on the type of role (i.e., marketing).
Remember to select applicable skills from a provided list if the posting allows it. This will help match your ad with candidates—and typically in a timelier way than traditional postings.
It is also important that advertising reach a diverse array of candidates. Contact national, regional, and local affinity networks to market your opportunity to qualified candidates who are members of historically underrepresented groups. Post a link to your ad on your organization’s social media sites as many people share them with friends, relatives, or colleagues. Often, the best candidates come from referrals.
In addition to the above suggestions, you can always ask a Helbling search consultant
for feedback on your recruitment ad.