5 Reasons Your Job Advertisements Aren’t Working

April 6, 2015
5 Reasons Your Job Advertisements Aren’t Working

Although referrals from professional and social networks can be the best method for finding candidates for an open position, a job ad can also successfully bring the right candidate to your company. When a job ad fails, it’s usually because of five common mistakes.

Keep the following reasons why some ads don’t work in mind the next time you post a job ad offline or online:

1. The Ad Is Difficult to Read

When you review an applicant’s resume, you want it to be concise and well-organized so you can quickly scan it. Job candidates have the same requirements. If your ad is verbose, disorganized or lacks bullet point lists, the perfect candidate may ignore it entirely or become so weighed down trying to read it that he or she moves on to the next ad.

The best way to grab a job seeker’s attention, and keep it, is by organizing your ad into sections with subheadings. Start each section with a brief introduction and then follow with an easy-to-digest list of details.

2. The Ad Is Not Appealing

Job seekers usually also ignore ads that contain irrelevant information, “loud” techniques to draw attention or grammar and spelling mistakes. Many job seekers have difficulty quickly scanning ads that mix text formats, such as bold, italics and underlining, or different font styles. Most also don’t like ads that contain a lot of loud punctuation, such as exclamation points.

Ask someone who knows the job well to review the ad and provide feedback to make certain that it contains only details that would interest someone looking for the specific role and to confirm that the ad is free of errors.

3. The Ad Lacks a Recognizable Title

Too many business owners, HR representatives, recruiters and consultants post unfamiliar job titles. In some cases, the position combines duties from several jobs. Sometimes the owner, or the PR or marketing department, wants to portray the company in a certain light.  Remember, your job title should reflect what potential applicants are searching for.

Use a standard job title in the header and include the internal title in the body of the ad. If you can’t determine the best standard title to use, be sure to check out Prevue’s Job Description Builder, where you can search and view 12,000+ job titles and descriptions.

4. The Ad Doesn’t Offer Enough Details

People don’t invest time applying for jobs that fail to tell them where they’re going to work. Many job advertisers don’t provide locations in their ads, even when positions involve “at-home” work, or they fail to advise applicants of related requirements like partial telecommuting or travel. Yet, these details are what members of your target audience are looking for when making decisions.

Additionally, many companies fail to list other types of work requirements that job seekers require. If you need someone who can work night or weekend hours, or who is willing to be on call, then say so in your ad. Even though you may scare off a few well-qualified applicants, those losses are small compared to the time you’re likely to waste with the wrong applicants because you didn’t include enough details.

5. The Ad Fails to Outline the Application Process

A job ad should clearly outline the application process. If you want job seekers to use a specific job code when applying, or you need supporting materials like education transcripts, work referrals or a portfolio of work, make certain that you say so in a separate application instructions section.

Too many companies also fail to remember that a job ad is a sales pitch. A cold list of application instructions needs some sort of call to action statement. Outright ask job seekers who have the necessary skills to apply and make it clear to them that you’re eager to meet and work with the right candidate.

You can’t control every variable during the hiring process, but you do have the ability to make the process easier on everyone involved by making a few changes to how you approach your job ads.

To help you better structure your recruitment process, cut administration and get better hires, checkout The Prevue Applicant Processing System PrevueAPS.

This article was authored by Ashley Salvador at Prevue HR