‘Employers…must present themselves in a way that will attract the jobseeker, and build a relationship with them so that they want to apply for a role. This can be done by creating a content-rich website that is interactive and interesting…and by making the site quick and easy to use, so that jobseekers can find the information they want within three or four clicks. Finally, the application process should be as simple and quick as possible.’
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
The importance of a great job advert
Recruitment professionals all agree that the one thing recruiters most often get wrong is the ad copy. They simply don't put in the effort to write good job adverts.
For recruitment success you have to make sure that candidates not only find your job, but want to apply for it. Cutting and pasting a job spec isn't good enough.
A good Job advert should include the following core elements:
Best practice tips for each element
Name of College
- List the full college name and institution type
- Consider using a short phrase or description to catch the candidate’s eye, such as ‘over subscribed’, ‘award winning’ or ‘forward thinking’ at the top of the advert
- Choose search engine friendly descriptions, simplify language and avoid jargon
- The job title should be to the point and searchable
- Keywords can play a major role in making your online advertising successful. Use keywords that are terms your candidates are likely to search for
- When using a drop-down menu avoid using ‘other’ as role type e.g. Director of Studies should go under ‘Senior Management’ rather than ‘other’
- Always specify the town and consider mentioning a well-known place or landmark nearby e.g. Heathrow
- Specify the salary in £s, or if you do not wish to disclose this put MPS (Main Pay Scale)
- Mention what benefits your college can offer the successful candidate e.g. full use of the college gym facilities
- Job seekers are evaluating job opportunities against a shopping basket of criteria. They are your customers – think like a job seeker!
- Don’t have a long job description; candidates only want to read the main details about the job, so try to keep your copy to under 700 words
- Don’t use humour in an advert
- Check spelling, punctuation and grammar for accuracy. Be specific – jobseekers can be sceptical about generic terms used in adverts, as they may believe that they are simply attempts by recruitment agencies to get them onto their books
- Check that your advertisement grabs attention – sell your job! Keep the sentences short and use active words.
- State that the candidate will be required to have a CRB check
- If you are looking for high quality candidates specify the kind of person you want. You can be less specific if you are looking for a greater volume of CVs
- Establish what skills are necessary to do the job, as well as those that are desirable
- Specify whether candidates can apply if they are unqualified
- Don’t just copy information from your college’s website, take the time to promote your college as well as your job. For example, if recruiting for a ‘Design and Technology Lecturer’ and your college is a specialist Design and Technology college, thenmention this.
- Emphasise what is unique about your college and always mention its achievements
- The opening paragraph must tell the reader about the type of college, where it is, current staffing levels and why the opening has occurred. A lot of information in a small amount of copy
- Mention that candidates can be seen all year round in your Talent Pool; even if they’re not right for this vacancy, they could be perfect for a position in the future
How to apply
- Be clear and specific. Avoid presenting a variety of application methods
- Online applications enable you to track applications more successfully. Use a job or vacancy code to track your job postings e.g. FEjobs/123
- Include supporting documents to make it easy for candidates to apply
- Ensure you have a Call to Action – what the candidate needs to do
- State the time as well as the date when the job application closes – it’s a legal requirement
- Include a contact name and telephone number/email address so candidates can get in touch
Aspects of safer practice
Safer practice in recruitment means thinking about and including issues to do with child protection and safeguarding, and promoting the welfare of children at every stage of the process. It starts with the process of planning the recruitment exercise and, where the post is advertised, ensuring that the advertisement makes clear the college’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. It also requires a consistent and thorough process of obtaining, collating, analysing, and evaluating information from and about applicants...Further information on safer practice recruitment.
Example of a good job advert
- There is a tracking code at the top of the advert “FEjobs/AHT” which will inform the college where their applicants have come from
- They have used a job title that is searchable for candidates and search engines, such as Google
- They have briefly explained in the bold text who they are looking for
- The main body of the text is fewer than 700 words and is specific and to the point. They have stated what skills, qualities and characteristics are essential for this position as well as stating what tasks the candidate will be responsible for
- They have attached a full job description as well as other forms and documents that the candidate can download if they wish to find out more about the college or job role.
- The college has asked candidates to apply online, which allows them to apply quickly and easily. This also makes it easier for the college to track how many applicants are interested in this position
Emphasise what is unique about your college, catch the candidates’ eye, and sell your job
Tailor your college description to the job role
Be specific about the position you are advertising and use keywords that candidates will search for
Specify the salary in £s or MPS and include what benefits go with the job
Keep the job description to fewer than 700 words
For high quality candidates specify the kind of person you want
Include supporting documents
For online applications, make sure you use a tracking
Manchester Metropolitan University
Business in Berkshire