You may have written the best, most compelling job advert ever.
It could be just the right balance of quirk, originality and information to attract the perfect candidates… but that won’t make a blind bit of difference if nobody sees it!
So how can you make more people see it?
First, get into the mind frame of the jobseeker. What do you do?
- Input your sought-after job title into the search bar (in Google or the job boards).
- Scan the list of jobs that appear, briefly glancing at the summaries.
- Open the job adverts that seem appealing based on those summaries.
- Apply (if relevant).
So, let’s start with a couple of SEO tactics, to make sure that your job is actually being found in the first place.
1. Use a common job title.
Keep it simple, stupid.
You may think that your job advert looks more impressive under the title ‘Executive Information Architectural Supervisor’ but if potential candidates are searching ‘IT jobs” in google or “IT Manager” on the job boards, your advert won’t even appear.
Your intelligence will be wasted and you certainly won’t get many applications.
Take a moment to think about your ideal candidate instead, what would they search?
If you’re not sure, check out your competitors’ and/or other similar, big brands’ ads to see what job titles they use.
Recruiter Pro Tip
I know, in a competitive recruiting climate, you want to stand out.
It’s OK to go creative with your advert and it doesn’t mean you have to forgo your normal, common job title.
For example, you could still advertise for a ‘superhero copywriter who can write kickass copy, faster than a speeding bullet.’
Making a job advert easily searchable is the key to success.
2. Include a location in the title.
Let’s step back into those job-seeker shoes again.
What are they likely to type in the search bar?
Just “copywriter” or something a little more specific like “copywriter in Birmingham?”
By simply adding a location into the title of your job advert, it can make it more visible – because it becomes more relevant.
It’ll also help you cull inappropriate candidates quicker. You don’t want to receive applications from people who are unable to travel to your area.
3. Use relevant keywords.
Similarly, it’s important to include relevant keywords within your job advert.
This will improve your SEO and you’ll reach more people.
If you’re not sure then again, find similar jobs online, look out for keyword combinations and trends, critical skills and the phrases that come up time and time again.
Recruiter Pro Tip
If you want to go the extra mile, you can find out how many times people search for a certain phrase on Google.
I’ve set up ‘Communication Skills’ as an example on Google Trends, here – feel free to have a play around.
Now that you know which words and phrases are popular (for your kind of job advert) you should try to include them so you’ll get picked up by job boards too.
You could also add a picture to your job advert to attract attention and cheekily shoehorn keywords into the file name, title and alt text – making it more easily-searchable.
Always remember that you’re optimising the ad for search engines, but a human has to read it and respond. So don’t be tempted to turn it into a nonsensical mess.
4. Find the right job boards.
Once you’ve followed the optimising tips above, it’s important to find the right places to advertise your job advert – IE the place your ideal candidates actually do go to, to search your jobs.
There are over 2,000 UK job boards out there, and they all have their own USP. Knowing where to post your advert, then, is a potential minefield.
You could go for a generic site like Monster, CV Library and Total Jobs; they’re certainly popular and we’ve always gotten pretty good results from them.
The problem: you’ll probably get a LOT more irrelevant applications too.
If you have the time to sift through heaps and heaps of applications, then that’s fine. If you don’t, you might want to head for the more specialised, niche job boards.
Of course, the less job boards you sign up to, the fewer candidates that will see your advert and the fewer applications you will receive – it’s all about striking a balance.
Recruiter Pro Tip
I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you that the cost of signing up to all these different job boards does add up (if you want to cover all of your bases).
Some cost up to £400 per vacancy for a four-week listing and there’s really no guarantee how long it will take to find your ideal candidate.
To limit costs, you have a couple of options:
- Trial a variety of job boards over time and find out which ones work best for you (see section 8 for some details on the metrics you should be measuring).
- You could use an online (managed advertising) recruitment service. They’ll already have a range of contracts set up with the job boards.
- You could hire the help of a recruitment agency who will also already have contracts set up with most job boards, but who will also offer a great deal of support and expertise throughout the entire process.
You’ve just got to work out what will work best for your company (and ultimately, what you can actually afford!)
Don’t trust agencies? Click here to find out why you should (we’re not all cowboys).
5. Don’t forget about social media.
Job boards and CV databases are great and they will help you to track down people who are actively looking for a new role, but there is a whole pool of people out there that you could end up missing out on – passive candidates.
Oh, and let’s not forget all those people you may have missed out on because you picked niche job boards and they only sign up for general ones (or vice versa).
Pretty much everybody is on some form of social media these days. (Click here for more info on social media recruiting).
And I don’t just mean LinkedIn. To truly maximise your reach you should consider a variety of platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
Simply share your job advert across your company’s social media profiles at regular intervals (one post isn’t going to do it) – it’s certainly worth a try.
You can be as creative as you like with your posts; click here for some ideas!
If it works – it’s definitely cheaper than the job boards.
Ever considered getting creative with Pinterest? Instagram? Or even Snapchat?
- Pinterest for Business: Everything You Need to Know
- Instagram: Every Brand Has a Point of View
- Snapchat Marketing: What Businesses Need to Know
To learn more, click on the article links, above.
6. Ask your staff.
Staff referrals are a great way to reach more people with your job advert but with the following added bonuses…
- You’ll save money.
- You’ll attract likeminded staff.
- You’ll (probably) attract better candidates.
- Your staff could persuade their friends more easily.
- It increases employee engagement.
Of course, offering a prize or reward per successful new recruit will certainly incentivise staff to bring great people to the table.
If you’d like some more tips, click here to check out the 11 pros and cons of staff referrals.
7. Ask other people.
Why stop there? You’re an expert; chances are you already have a huge network of professionals who are related to your industry, from clients to suppliers.
And don’t forget all of your friends and family; they’re bound to know someone, or someone who knows someone (etc.) who’s looking for a job.
If you feel comfortable doing so, why not use your own connections?
Fair enough, you may not feel that you can simply call someone and ask the upfront “cheeky” question, but you could post it on your private social media profiles and you could just casually drop it into conversation.
Most people won’t recommend anyone unless they’re absolutely sure they’ll be a hard worker/ fit in ok – they don’t want it to bite them on the bum.
8. Always track your results!
As you can see, recruitment really isn’t as easy as simply posting a job advert online, then waiting for suitable candidates to pour through your door; it just doesn’t work like that.
Top recruiters will always track the success (or failure) of a job advert, constantly testing, adapting and amending it to improve upon results.
Recruiter Pro Tip
Record the results of each job advert, including:
- The number of views.
- The number of applications.
- The relevancy of the applications.
- The number of interviews.
- The cost per applicant
- The cost per hire.
- Staff retention.
Our previous blog 4 Recruitment Metrics to Measure goes into more detail.
Of course, tracking results is much easier with the help of an applicant tracking system (similar to a CRM system, but used solely for recruitment).
A lot to think about…
As you can see, there is a lot more to posting a job advert online than meets the eye – and let’s be honest, this post is still only a small part of the story.
There are many techniques (incl. but not limited to SEO, social media and referrals) you could adopt to create a strong, comprehensive recruitment (and employer branding) strategy – many of which, we’ve discussed in our candidate attraction blog.
The eight tips above are merely a starting point; a sort of minimum requirement.
If you’d like to receive a weekly update with the latest HR and recruitment trends, advice and news, click here to subscribe to this blog!- Mark Wilkinson