Build a Business, Not a Job

4 Tips to Write the Perfect Job Ad

Alan’s firm was growing, but growth was constrained because he needed new talent. His last two rounds of job postings on indeed.com brought a lot of inquiries, but none of them of the caliber he wanted.

He made a simple mistake of thinking all he needed to do was think like an “employer” and just post the ad. Really what he needed to do was think like a marketing, and recruit for the position.

Here are four simple suggestions to help you make your hiring efforts go smoother by attracting more and better respondents to your open job positions.

1. Know your target candidate.
Marketers think deeply about their target audience. As a recruiter of talent, you need to think deeply about specifically who you are trying to find with your opportunity.

What do they care most about? Salary and earning potential (like many sales positions)? Or longevity and stability of the company (like many operational hires)? Or do they care most about the company culture or mission?

When you know what matters most to your potential candidate, you can target your job opportunity (your marketing piece) specifically to this person with his or her hot buttons of desires, fears, hopes, and aspirations.

2. Make your ad specific for your target audience.
Give your ad a headline which grabs your target candidate’s attention with the most compelling element of the position. Think of your ad as a direct response marketing piece and you’ll create a much stronger and more compelling ad.

3. Decide how rigorously you want your job ad to screen your candidate pool for you.
Based on this decision, you can put in more detailed requirements, or hoops they must jump through, etc. For example, you can require they review a video on your website first. This will reduce your pool of applicants, but the candidate pool will have shown more interest and commitment to the role.

4. Don’t confuse your “job description” with your “job ad”.
Use the Ad to attract lots of choices for you and to begin your screen process. Use the Position Description to cull the list of prospective job candidates to know who you need and help you make the right hire. Unless you’re hiring for an administrative position (and likely even then) the ad should be there to attract the attention of the right target candidate and hook them to apply for the position.

Getting back to Alan’s firm. The job ad his team used didn’t address the likely two most compelling pain points for his target candidate – stability of the position and company, and culture of the professional services firm. The first addresses a candidate’s fear (i.e. that the job would not be long term since for this role, stability was critical desire of the right candidate). The second addresses a candidate’s desire to be in a work environment they like. His hire was a specialized legal secretary and paralegal, but the same principle holds true for any hire you make – your ad must be written to call out to your target candidate.

This small shift in how you approach your recruiting ads makes all the difference in the world.

If you enjoyed the ideas I shared, then I encourage you to download a free copy of my newest book, Build a Business, Not a Job. Click here for full details and to get your complimentary copy.