Tonnes of small businesses dust-off old job adverts, or spend time on google only to use rubbish online templates – and think that with a bit of tweaking – they’re fit for purpose and ready to go.
If that's you STOP!!
Don’t cut corners ✄ Instead, put the effort in NOW and you’ll:
- Limit the number of unsuitable applicants you get
- Shave a bit of time off the recruiting process
- Stand a better chance of keeping hold of the perfect employee for longer
BEFORE PUTTING PEN TO PAPER ✍
Have a good think about the role you need and the type of person you want to attract. If you don't know how to do this, then download my free hiring strategy workbook here. Then put yourself in their shoes. 👠 You can do this by creating an ‘employee avatar'. In other words, a character that represents your ideal applicant. By asking yourself a few questions about this character, you can make sure your job advert totally resonates with them. Questions might include: What benefits would my avatar find most attractive or where might my avatar look for jobs?
If you already have employees – don’t forget to ask them what’s great about working for you. Then you can make sure that’s reflected in your job advert too.
GET THE BASICS RIGHT
Make it really clear in your job advert what the role actually is and who it is you’re looking for. Then test it out with somebody who knows zilch about your industry.
This might sound a bit Janet and John – but there are SOOO many job adverts out there, littered with jargon, or missing the most basic information about the job.
Don’t write a humongous list of qualifying requirements, if in reality, you’re not really bothered if the applicant can only meet some of them.
Reading a Harvard Business Review article, I was reminded of a statistic that’s been around for yonks, that says: “Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.”Being super straightforward will stop you from putting attractive candidates off – and stop you getting inundated with unwanted applicants.
EXPLAIN THE ‘WHY’
Don’t just tell people ‘what’ they’ll be doing, tell them ‘why’ it’s so important.
For example, if you’re looking for a personal assistant – don’t just say they’ll be answering calls, scheduling meetings, and booking travel – say they’ll be the linchpin of the office, and without this person, everything goes pear-shaped. 🍐
BEYOND THE SALARY
Okay, so as a small business owner, you might not be able to offer the big bucks. Don’t worry, not everyone is motivated by money.
In fact, I read a really interesting study that said flexible working is now a top priority for job hunters – with one in two employees appreciating flexible working – more than holidays and benefits, job security, commute time, and even salary. And actually, since coronavirus, loads of employees expect to be able to work flexibly anyhow. But equally, it’s a two-way thing. In return for giving your employees fantastic benefits beyond their salary, you need to be clear about what you want from them in return. Quid pro quo!
TALK ABOUT CULTURE
What does it feeeeel like to work for you and your business? Is it friendly, sociable or flexible?
It’s good to get this across this in your job advert, because people will want to know if they’re going to be a cultural fit.
Again, if you already have employees, get them to help you with this.A survey found that over 77% of adults across four countries 🌍 (the United States, UK, France, Germany) would suss out a company’s culture before applying for a job there.
For example, if your company is intentionally made up of lots of cool creatives – who like to challenge the status quo – then you wouldn’t expect your job advert to look and sound a bit bog-standard.
WRITE FOR SOCIAL AND GET THOSE CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING
I was taking a peek at The Graduate Market in 2019 report by High Fliers, and it said that in 2017/18, 94% of graduate recruiters used social media to promote their vacancies.
Now, you might not be looking for a graduate, but social media is a really popular way to attract talent – in addition to using more conventional routes.The beauty of advertising through social media, is that you don’t have to stick to the normal, boring wall of words – that you may be restricted to – when you’re advertising your vacancy elsewhere.
Instead, you can let your creative juices flow and let the personality of your company shine ✨
You could post:
- A snappy video message telling people what the opportunity is
- A really eye-catching visual – like an infographic – that brings your vacancy to life. After all, some people are more motivated by pictures than words
- A candidate challenge. For example, if you’re recruiting for a graphic designer, you could ask applicants to design a logo that represents them?
- Employee testimonials to show everyone what it’s like working at your place
- Killer questions related to the job. For example: “Do website fonts get you excited too?” 😉
All of the above can be posted from your business page or personal profile on a social media platform like LinkedIn or Facebook. And nudge your online network to share it too – including your employees.
TO SUM THINGS UP THEN📝
- Taking the time to write an amazing job advert, will bear fruit long-term.
- Creating an employee avatar will help you to step into the shoes of people you really want to attract
- Get the basics right, be as clear as day, and avoid industry jargon.
- Don’t just talk about what the role is, say why it’s an important job to do.
- High salaries are not the be-all and end-all. Things like flexible working matter just as much.
- Remember to talk about the culture of your business and what it feels like to work there.
- Finally, don’t ignore the power of social media. It’ll also help your job advert to stand out from the crowd.
- Once you've hired someone amazing, make sure you give them a contract, to protect you and your business.
Feel free to book a free consultation with me if you have questions, and I can explain a bit more.
Virtual HR Director & Leadership Mentor. I create game-changing HR & Hiring Strategies for ambitious small businesses in the UK and support you to lead your team with confidence. Check out my shop to download HR Templates & Contracts designed to make life easier.