How to create strong job advertisements
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In today’s tight labour market, it is more important than ever to create job ads that attract attention. We’ve broken down the job ad crafting process into 3 easy-to-follow steps to help you create eye-catching and application-inspiring ads.
Your ad is the way to set your business apart from the competition and help you attract the best talent. To create a successful ad, it’s essential to consider the expectations of the job, the tone of your ad, and compensation of the role before you start writing.
Step 1: Set expectations
Your job ad sets expectations of the position and the business. If those expectations are not met during the interview or after hiring, then it’s likely the employee will start looking elsewhere and you will be back on the hiring merry-go-round. Use the job description to form the basis of your job ad, but don’t just include it verbatim. Think about what responsibilities and skills are your non-negotiables and prioritize those in the ad.
Think about your vacant position as a product you are selling. What is special about working for your business, industry, location, or any other segment in which you compete?
In other words, what is your competitive edge?
- Great group of employees
- Near transit, free parking, or close to where people live
- Wonderful community, housing options, family friendly and/or single friendly environment
- Training and learning from other employees on your team or the courses you make available
- Great work/life balance
- Family-friendly flexibility
- New products, processes
- Steady work through business-cycle ups and downs
- Excellent safety record, perhaps in an industry not usually noted for it
- Great wages and/or benefits
Step 2: Set the tone
The tone of your job ad should reflect the environment of your business. This includes internal factors (employees, resources, processes, etc.) and external factors (customers, suppliers, markets, etc.) – all elements that impact how a business operates.
Your job ad should also reflect your workplace: if you have a fun, team-oriented workplace that fosters creativity, let that be reflected in your ad. It’s ok to use a pun or fun imagery to attract candidates' attention and make your company memorable providing all the essential information is in the job ad.
Don’t just think about what you want to say – think about how you want to say it. The language you use will say a lot about your business and will influence potential candidates.
Avoid excessive jargon, slang and terms that are specific to your business that may be off-putting to some candidates. Take time to consider whether your ad is approachable and attractive to under-represented worker populations such as a disabled person, minorities, immigrants, young workers, and older workers.
Consider the kind of candidates you are trying to attract:
- Established or entry-level?
- Skilled trades; professional designation; technical qualification?
- Good at teamwork or good at working independently?
- Local or global?
Remember: for many candidates the job ad will be their introduction to your company – so be sure to make a great first impression!
Step 3: Think creatively about compensation
Although pay is important, according to Ipsos nearly 4 in 10 workers say they would take a job that pays less if it offered flexible work arrangements – which may include a less-stringent schedule, or remote work opportunities. Furthermore, Statistics Canada found that roughly 32% of employees who work from home reported accomplishing more work per hour than they did in their previous workplace.
When talking to applicants about compensation, include everything – not just their base salary. Want to learn more? Read our article on employee compensation.
Consider some of these ideas:
- Health and wellness benefits
- Stock options or equity
- Professional development
- Continuing education program (CFIB members can sign their employees up for VuBiz for free)
- Yearly contributions toward their children’s education fund
- In-house childcare
- Paid days off to volunteer
- Extra paid day off on their Birthday
- Employee discounts
- Recognition and rewards
- Use job titles that reflect the work being done and the level of responsibility held by the employee.
Make your workplace worth bragging about. Your imagination is the only limitation!
The job description is a great basis for the job ad as it can help you distil the main responsibilities of the position. Download our job description template and our job advertisement template (both available in the Member Portal) to help get you started!
Brought to you by CFIB’s Employee Management Central – a wealth of help, information, and resources.