Job advertisement

Is Your Job Ad Lowering the Bar for Your Candidates?

May 22, 2018 By: Dave Rietsema
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The goal of recruitment is always to bring in top talent that will perfectly fit into the roles in your company that need filling, bringing new skills, energy, and ideas into the mix. What if your job ad is driving those very candidates away, however? A poorly conceived job ad could attract unqualified candidates, while scaring away those savvy workers that you’re trying to draw.

A job advertisement is a potential candidate’s first sneak peek at your company, a window into the world that they may live in if they decide to apply and accept a job. As such, job advertisements should be well thought out. Before going live with your job ad, make sure that you’re not making the following mistakes.

Description Too Broad…or Too Narrow

If your company is small, your employees may be called upon to fill a variety of roles on a daily basis. It can be tempting to leave the description a bit open, but this can make it that much more difficult for a candidate to visualize themselves in the role. Try to come up with a thorough description of potential daily tasks, making it clear that flexibility is a desirable trait, as this will appeal to the right candidate.

Conversely, avoid writing a job description that pigeonholes a specific candidate into the role to the exclusion of anyone with slightly different talents and preferences. Your job advertisement should describe the tasks and qualifications desired, but should leave a bit of leeway for personality and experience. Crafting too narrow of a description could discourage talented candidates from applying.

Cutesy Job Title

It can be tempting to make a job title sound attractive and fun. However, getting too creative may make it difficult for the right candidate to find your post. If a search engine won’t recognize your wording, your ideal candidate may never even know you’re hiring.

Poorly Formatted Job Ad

The way that your job ad is formatted (ideally) gives a glimpse into your company culture while also helping candidates to easily read it and navigate to the application page. A poorly formatted job ad can leave candidates bored or confused. Formatting should be simple and should enhance your job ad.

Aggressive or Negative Wording

Employers and hiring managers sometimes carry a grudge against the last employee that didn’t work out. Unfortunately, this grudge sometimes shines through in a job ad in phrases like “lazy workers need not apply!” Potential candidates can sense the aggression in statements like this and may be intimidated, prompting them to slide right on to the next job ad.

While it’s important to be clear in your expectations, keeping things positive can help you to attract the right candidate. Describing what will lead to success in a role will often be more effective than describing what will lead to failure in a role.

A job advertisement can have a big impact on potential candidates, so make sure that impact is a strong, positive one. Avoid pitfalls that may lower the bar for your applicants.


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