Creating a Better Job Ad
by Ryan Kohler
Do you need more job boards or just a better job ad? Let me give you a better example of that. Have you ever seen an ad that just didn’t speak to you? That you maybe even hated? The ad really didn’t tell you about the product or didn’t engage you in a way that made you want to go out and buy that product or visit that company? Keeping that in mind, would having that advertisement show up in more places get you to go to that restaurant or that business? The answer is probably not. Simply put, if the ad is the problem with why you’re not generating enough job seeker candidates, then posting that same bad ad in more places will result in the same poor performance. So, the best place to start is to look at your ad and see if perhaps there’s some easy, simple changes you could make to your ad that will help you generate more job seekers. Once you have optimized your ad, or improved it to the point that it gets the most job seekers to apply, then you can look at posting the job to additional places.
Today we’re going to cover four basic things you can do to look at your ad and review it and then change it in order to generate more job seekers.
Question one, is your job competitive?
The job title and your job ad should be written in the words and the vocabulary of job seekers
Do you pay above market rate, around market rate, or below market rate? Now, I’m not going to tell you what I think you should pay for your job, and that’s something that you’ll have to decide as an employer, but you need to know how your job stacks up in a pay range and benefits against the competition when you post the job. If you’re paying above market rate, then you should definitely display how much your rate is on the job ad. Job seekers will see that you’re paying more than other jobs and want to apply. If you’re paying below market rate, or offering below market benefits for your job, you should withhold that information on the job ad. Now, that seems a little bit underhanded, but simply put, apparently you can survive paying below market rate because it is a good job, or you’ve got a good environment. But displaying that to a job seeker who hasn’t talked to you yet and doesn’t understand how great the job is or how great the opportunity is, may make some invalid assumptions and simply refuse to apply for the job.
Number two, is the job attractive?
When you read your job ad, do you want to work for that company? My guess is that every employer tries to have jobs that people want to work in. There are certainly some jobs that are a little bit more difficult than others and there’s certainly some mundane jobs that nobody wants to do. If the job seeker reads your ad, is it just a list of specifications and requirements, of job requirements and job duties? Or does it start out by telling the job seeker why they should want to work for your company and why they should want to do the job? This might include things like your company culture, benefits, paid time off, flexible work schedule, ability to work from home, the fact that your company is green or environmentally conscious. All of those types of things, although maybe not specifically related to one position, are the reason why job seekers apply for jobs. Ask your top performing employees why they like working for your company and why they continue to work for your company. Those answers will give you ideas to write a better ad that tells the job seeker what’s in it for them.
Ask your top performing employees why they like working for your company and why they continue to work for your company”
Number three, are you using the right words in your ad?
Because of the way that search and keyword searches choose the job board industry, more and more job boards and job seekers use a keyword search when they’re looking for a job. Although this allows a lot more flexibility for the job seeker when looking, the employer needs to be a little bit better at understanding what types of words and phrases job seekers will search for when they go to apply for a job. You can attend one of our webinars on keywords to learn about this in detail, but simply put, your job title and your job ad should be written in the words and the vocabulary of job seekers. The easiest example to use in this is for an accounting job. More job seekers, search the board accounting, yet most jobs written by employers use the word accountant in the job title and description. This is a clear difference between employer vocabulary and job seeker vocabulary. So the question is, when you look at your ad, are you using the words in the title and description that job seekers will use to search for the job?
The final step, is in using the right location.
Use the location you want to target when you post the job
Most job boards run searches based on the location of the job and most employers post their job in the city and state wherever their job is actually located. For instance, here in Utah, your company may be located in Draper or Stanton, which is a suburb of the Greater Salt Lake City area, but most job seekers won’t search for those on a job board. Your job may still appear in the results of a search for Salt Lake City, but it would appear in the list much lower on the list than a job posted in Salt Lake City itself. So the idea here is if your job is located in a suburb of a major metro area, you want to use the metro area name when posting the job, and if your job is located in a small town next to a much bigger town within commuting distance, you may just want to post the job using the city or bigger town. I like to make sure that in the description of, I still list the actual location of the job posting so as not to confuse job seekers when they actually apply for the job. So, use the location you want to target when you post the job, list the city and state of the actual job location in the description itself.
I hope that you find these four items very simple and easy step-by-step ideas to help improve the ad itself that you’re posting that have been proven to generate additional job seekers, or more job seekers without actually posting the job to additional job boards. Once this is in place and you’ve tested it and proven that it helps to generate more job seekers for your job, then you can look at posting this new, improved job ad out to more places.
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