Advertising for new staff

 6 January 2014

When it's time to take on new staff, how do you make sure your advert reaches the right candidates? Amy Edwards, from digital jobs board Bubble Jobs, shared advice for employers on targeting the right people.

Picture the scene: you write a great job advert, put it on a jobs board and wait for the perfect application to come through.

Unfortunately, nine times out of ten it doesn’t work like that, so in addition to a couple of good applications, you also end up with countless irrelevant, inappropriate and downright random applications. 

The more detail you leave out, the more the role is open to interpretation.

Many applications seem to have come from candidates who you’re not even sure actually read the ad before applying.

Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. So, what do you do?

No matter how carefully you word your advert, there’s a strong chance you’ll always end up with a couple of random applications from candidates who just apply for any (and every!) job out there – but there are a few things you can do to try and target the candidates you really want.

1. Be as specific as possible

The more detail you can provide regarding the key points of the position, the more likely you are to receive appropriate applications.

Start with the following:

  • Location
  • Job role
  • Person specification
  • Salary.

Remember, the more detail you leave out, the more the role and its qualities are open to interpretation. In this scenario, the more information you can provide the better.

2. Select the right job title

If you’re looking for a senior graphic designer but you’re only advertising for a 'graphic designer', it’s little wonder you’re receiving applications from candidates who just don’t have enough experience.

The job title is the shop window for your job ad, so make sure it’s clear.

The job title is the first thing a candidate sees. It acts a bit like a shop window for your job ad, so you need to make sure it’s accurate, clear and encourages people to click through.

Similarly, while it can be tempting to choose a 'quirky' job title, there’s a chance this could backfire. You could end up with even quirkier applications as a result, so beware!

3. Carefully consider your perfect candidate

When it comes to writing a job advert, it can be easy to just throw something together.

However, if you want to attract the best candidates, you need to give it some time and consideration.

Think seriously about what qualities, experience and qualifications you want the candidate to have.

Be sure to make it clear that you’ll only consider candidates that tick all of these boxes.

4. Choose the right advertising platform

When it comes to finding the best candidates for your vacancy, the platform you choose to advertise on makes a big difference.

Don't just throw something together. Think seriously about what qualities, experience and qualifications you're looking for.

While generic boards and websites that advertise every job under the sun can be effective, when it comes to specialist creative roles, websites which specialise in advertising particular kinds of jobs might be a better option.

These websites already have a niche audience in place, many of whom will be the candidates you’re looking for.

Your advert is therefore less likely to be seen by candidates who aren’t involved in your particular industry sector. If they don’t see it, they won’t be able to apply!

Meanwhile, your advert will be found by people with the right skills, making shortlisting an easier process. 

Amy Edwards works for Bubble Jobs – an online jobs board that specialises in advertising the latest creative vacancies and digital jobs.

You can also 
advertise creative job listings for free on Creative Choices. Visit our Jobs and Opportunities section to find out more.