Learning how to advertise a job, including how to write job ads effectively, can be a more complicated process than many might think.

With so many industries being candidate-short and skills-short, and massive competition to recruit the best talent, understanding this can be crucial to staying ahead of the recruitment pack. Here, we walk you through the best way to approach advertising a job in this market. 

What is a job advertisement? 

A job advertisement is usually a written summary of a vacant job that an employer is actively recruiting for, including information such as job title, required education and experience, responsibilities, time and location commitments (for example, whether it is full or part-time or involves remote working), salary, perks and holiday entitlement. Information about the hiring company or organisation should also feature.

Job advertisements appear on job search websites, social media (especially career-focused platforms such as LinkedIn), companies’ websites, jobs-related email newsletters and other online services, and in physical media such as newspaper advertisement sections. They are also displayed in job centres and in-person events such as job fairs, and virtual job fairs. Basically: anywhere a jobseeker may be looking for information about new jobs.

Most job advertisements are written, and appear online, but some companies use other media formats such as video to create or support job applications. Video formats are particularly useful when seeking to hire from pools of young candidates, especially if the job in question is itself focused on video.

How to write a job ad

First and foremost, when advertising a job, it’s vital to be clear, concise and accurate in your copy. The main text of a job advertisement should include a job description, which in turn should feature the information mentioned above.

Other information that could feature in a job advert includes where the role fits into a company’s structure (including line manager information) and details about the post-application process (such as the number of interview rounds). The job application deadline, the contact details of the hiring company, and the preferred methods for application should also be listed.

Expanding on information about where an advertised role sits in its department and wider company will help accurately convey the job’s level of responsibility and seniority. For example, in a small company an assistant manager may be a second in command, whereas in a larger company an assistant manager may be one of many people with the same, more junior, role and job title.

Include a detailed but concise job specification in your job advertisement. A job specification outlines the education, experience and skills required for the role, plus other certifications and abilities needed.

When writing a job advertisement, it is important to give an indication about potential career progression. Is the company looking to hire someone to quickly move up in the company to a more senior position? This could be a big plus point for a candidate.

Similarly, anticipating potential misunderstandings with regard to responsibilities can help save time later down the process. For example, an advertisement for an editorial website administration job may state that the role is not an editorial crossover role, so those keen to move into editing and writing should be wary of applying with an expectation to move closer to editorial.

Beyond job boards: Where to place a job advert

There are many options in terms of where to place job advertisements, from paid-for mainstream job search websites to social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, to specialist job sites focusing on particular industries and skill sets.

What the best options for job advertisement placing are will vary hugely depending on the hiring company’s size and sector, the role, and which talent pools the recruiter is aiming to hire from.

They will also depend on how candidate-rich a sector is. For example, in a field such as journalism in the UK, in which full-time roles are highly sought-after, high-profile employers will know that candidates will be actively searching for roles with them.

In more candidate-led fields, such as import and export-related jobs in the UK, where there is a skills shortage, recruiting companies will need to cast their hiring net wide but also in focused ways, to home in on the best talent

Advertising a job most effectively

With so many sectors being candidate-short and affected by skills shortages, many companies need to go the extra mile to hire and retain top talent ahead of rivals.

HR managers can be effective in spreading the word about their well-honed job advertisements via a plethora of suitable outlets, but increasingly companies are seeking expert help in recruitment to make sure they are hiring in the most effective ways.

PageGroup’s advertising packages include services such as social network advertisement planning and execution, and both generalist and industry-specific job board targeting. We also include job adverts on our website: as one of the UK’s largest recruitment companies, we will give your job advert excellent visibility. 

At PageGroup, we provide highly effective options in an increasingly candidate-led recruitment environment. To start advertising your roles to top professionals today, get in touch with one of our specialists

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