5 ways your job advert isn't working

GARY TOWERS • 20 Dec 2021

You've invested time, energy, and money into developing shiny new initiatives to bring in new staff - but they don't seem to be working! Where are you going wrong? Which bases have you not been able to cover?

Here's 5 ways your job advert isn't working (and what you can do about it!)

There simply aren't enough candidates

Likely causes

  • Competition from other companies
  • Advertising in the wrong places
  • Unattractive Advert Content (like simply copying and pasting a JD)
  • Unattractive remuneration package
  • Lack of brand pull or EVP (Employer Value Proposition)
  • Negative reviews/reputation

Positive actions

  • Do your research: Where does your target candidates exist? What is the size of your target audience? Then decide where and how to advertise
  • Monitor your competitors’ activities and offering (job, training, remuneration etc). Can you match or do better?
  • Don’t just cut and paste the job description as the advert. Make it engaging and attractive - we have a guide which will help here!
  • Adverts aren’t enough though. Work on building your brand, your EVP, and your reputation
  • Monitor online reviews - such as Glassdoor - and work on addressing issues to improve your reviews and rating. Ask your colleagues to leave an honest review!

Stat 2

The candidates aren't suitable

Likely causes

  • The job role is poorly defined
  • Desirable criteria is being confused for essential criteria

Positive actions

  • Be very clear about what is essential, and what is desirable
  • Don’t use ‘’woolly’’ language or verbose business-speak. Just keep it specific points
  • Use pictures to bring the role to life to help candidates work out if it matches their desires and skillset
  • Add videos (ideally of workers in the role and talking about what it is like working in that role.) These have been shown to increase the suitability of applications.
  • Adverts without videos see three times as many candidates rejected at application stage!

There's a lack of diversity

Likely causes

  • Lack of demonstrable diversity, or policies and initiatives related to diversity with the advert
  • Not considering a wider mix of advert channels, nor geography of advertising
  • Adverts - or applications online - are not accessible

Positive actions

  • Register for schemes like Athena Swann (improving female representation in STEM subjects), or Disability Confident, and display your policies, processes, initiatives, and achievements to date, either in adverts or links from adverts to other pages
  • At least 10% of people in the UK have a visual impairment, so add accessibility tools to your website to make viewing adverts and applying easy
  • Don’t just add multi-ethnicity/sex/gender/religion pictures in your adverts then place them in the same place as usual. Use free online research such as that from the ONS to work out where your target candidates may be, and what advert channel might
  • best reach them. A radio advert in a certain part of a city, or a community centre poster might be better than a large job board campaign.
  • Consider making more roles flexible in hours and even location. Such roles when advertised garner higher numbers of applicants, but will also open up to more female mothers as well as older age groups.

JobBrain EDI (1)

Your job adverts are costing too much

Likely causes

  • Likely focusing too much on coverage rather than focusing on content
  • No research before posting
  • Lack of measurement of what works and what doesn't

Positive actions

  • Get your jobs shared through social media and LinkedIn postings
  • Utilize any free advert channels via your Applicant Tracking System
  • Promote employee referral schemes
  • Research carefully before deciding where and how to advertise
  • Don’t spend on banners and other extras and upgrades unless you know this is a channel that works well for you
  • Add source tracking tags to all links in your adverts - no matter where placed - so that your recruitment software (ATS) can report the best channels for hiring.

Your job adverts take too long to bring in candidates

Likely causes

  • You're using agencies as well, which creates competition for yourself
  • Long advertising periods cause candidate drop-offs because they're being offered a job elsewhere much faster!

Positive actions

  • Screen candidates as they apply
  • Avoid using agencies, and if you do, don't advertise as well!

Time to Hire

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