Recruiting new staff is a great way to grow your team and build a stronger business, but what’s the best way to find the people you need? How do you avoid the pitfalls of making expensive recruitment mistakes that you might later regret?
The first mistake that many people make when starting a recruitment process is not putting enough time and effort into compiling a job advert. When you’re doing this, you should look at the advert from the perspective of potential employees. Whether they are searching online or looking at printed job adverts, people looking for a job typically start with two elements in a job search: job title and location.
Job Title – the title of a job advert could be the only information that a potential employee reads about your vacancy. This means that you need to use multiple words in the title of the job posting, so that there are more opportunities for candidates to find the advert when searching online job sites. If you’re using printed adverts, you should still make the job title as long and descriptive as you can.
Location – you need to show the country, region, county and city or town of the location of the position you’re looking to fill. Many people looking for a new job look within a 30-minute commute of where they live, whether they’re searching online or looking at printed adverts.
Once you’ve written a clear job title and location, here are the next elements of the advert to consider:
Summary of the job – the first paragraph of the advert should encourage people to apply for the job. Make it compelling and interesting rather than just a list of tasks.
Job description – this should set out the responsibilities of the job, along with the qualifications and competencies required for the role. It should outline the essential and the desirable skills and the competencies, as bulleted lists. This will make it easier for suitable applicants to recognise the match between their own attributes and the requirements for the role.
Job specifics – you need to include important information about whether or not the vacancy is full or part time, the provisional start date, the salary range, company benefits, the formats in which you will accept CVs and the application deadline.
Contact information – it is good practice to include as many contact details as possible. Include your company website, email address (with a real contact name, rather than info@) and the direct phone number and postal address for a member of the recruitment team.
Unique job code – every job advert, whether online or in print media, should have a unique reference number to allow you to track the activity generated by it and see which advertising is most effective.
A Word on Layout for Job Adverts
The content of any job advert should flow in a logical order and contain line breaks to help people to find the relevant information quickly and easily. You should place general information about the company at the end of the advert to avoid confusing the search engines (for online adverts) and so that the critical content for which candidates are looking can be found easily and quickly.
Where Should You Advertise?
- Printed Recruitment Adverts
The growth of online commercial job boards led to predictions about the demise of job advertising in traditional print media, such as national and local newspapers, trade journals and the specialist press. Many national newspapers have either launched their own online job listings or purchased a job board, while local print media often advertise vacancies on aggregated advertising provider sites. The job-board sector has taken over a significant proportion of recruitment advertising revenue and print media no longer dominates as most recruiters’ preferred job advertising channel.
However, depending on the role you are looking to fill, advertising your vacancies in traditional print media has some advantages over online job advertising:
- A printed job advert has the potential for a longer shelf-life than an online one as it can remain visible to a prospective applicant for as long as they keep the publication. For specialist magazines, this can be weeks or months.
- Print advertising offers scope for you to be more creative with your campaigns in comparison with most online advertising, which often consists of little more than blocks of text with logos or limited use of images.
- A positive perception of newspaper job advertising remains, with potential applicants believing that a company that uses print media is serious about recruiting for the role.
- A recruitment campaign in a respected publication can provide your company with a good opportunity to promote and build your employer brand.
- For certain types of recruitment, such as a graduate recruitment campaign, a printed brochure with colourful imagery and great content can help to promote your brand above and beyond the immediate recruitment campaign.
The main disadvantage of relying on print media for recruitment is the cost. Print media is significantly more expensive than online channels and is based on the advertising space acquired. There could be extra costs for design, graphics and copywriting. Think carefully about where is best for you to promote your job vacancies, based on where your ideal candidates will look. You need to put your adverts where the highest number of the right sort of people will see them.
- Using Your Company Website
Many jobseekers research potential employers by visiting their company website to find background information on your operations, products, services, financial performance, locations, press coverage and job opportunities. Ideally, your company should have a dedicated job section within its website.
- Online Job Boards
Promoting vacancies on commercial job boards has several advantages compared to advertising in other places, including:
- You can update the content of the job advert immediately yourself
- Job board adverts are visible online around the clock and from any location
- They can bring you a large, diverse audience across multiple generations and socio-economic sectors
- They cost much less than traditional print advertising. A typical job board advert costs from £50 to £300 for 30 days’ advertising (at the time of writing)
- Online adverts can deliver quick responses from applicants, speeding up the recruitment process.
There are some disadvantages associated with job board advertising. A job board posting may generate a high response rate from potential candidates and it could take substantial time and resources for you to process candidate responses. Make sure you have staff ready and able to handle all the applications.
- Social Media
Social media recruitment involves you using social and professional digital platforms to promote vacancies and enhance your recruitment process. Typically, social media recruitment supplements, rather than replaces, other ways of attracting candidates.
The most common way for companies to use social media is to promote themselves as an employer, either by driving applicants to their company or careers website, or by developing the company’s page on a social media platform such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
Direct job advertising is another popular way in which you can use social media when hiring staff. The most common approach is to use paid-for, as opposed to free, job advertising. The ability that social media provides for companies to make lasting connections with successful and unsuccessful candidates makes it a good tool for attracting candidates and recruitment in the long term.
There are many ways in which you can search for the best candidates for your job vacancies. Take the time to plan your recruitment campaign and write the best advert that you can, so that you can place it where the best candidates will see it and you will have the best chance of finding the people you are looking for.
For more specific advice on finding the best people for your own team, click here to email me or call me 0118 940 3032.