We all know how important first impressions can be, and job advertisements are essentially the first impression you make on potential employees. You are given a very limited amount of space to communicate critical messages about the specific position you are seeking to fill, as well as give a positive impression of what your company is all about. You may have the most amazing enterprise in the world but if you fail to reflect that in your job ad, no one will give a second thought to the opportunity you are offering. If you really want to optimize your employee recruitment process and decrease turnover rates, you need to pay close attention to how you design and use job advertisements. Creating an effective job ad doesn't have to be a long, tortuous process. The following steps should give you a rough idea of how to tackle job ad design and implementation.
1. Laying it All Out
Many people make the mistake of diving right into the actual writing of their job advertisement. By doing so, they've already set themselves up for ruin by neglecting the necessary first stepâ€”forming a plan.
Do you recall your days in high school English when you were taught to always pre-write and utilize brainstorming exercises before completing the first draft? The same idea applies to job ads. Take the time to perform job analysis and write out a thorough job profile. After listing absolutely everything there is to know about the position, you can begin to eliminate redundant or obvious chunks of information. For instance, if you are creating a job ad for a graphic designer position, don't waste precious space explaining what a graphic designer does â€”they clearly should already know that. Instead, focus on information that will illuminate whether the position you are advertising will suit an applicant based on their skills, preferences, and work goals.
2. Eye-Catching Title
The title is the first thing a person sees when scanning your ad which makes it very important. The title should be clear and engaging. Many employers elect to use the position (such as Librarian) as the title and provide more interesting details in a headline statement directly below. Headline statements allow you additional room for flexing your creative muscle.
3. A Word on Culture
If you have a catchy, creative headline statement, you'll already communicate a bit about your company's culture. However, you should expand on that throughout the body of your advertisement. Tell job hunters what they have to gain from joining your company. Provide them with a real sense of your company culture so they can make an informed decision about whether they would fit nicely into your work scene.
4. Think Outside the Box
There's no getting around it, in order to make a standout ad that is both unique and memorable, you're going to have to get creative. A plain black and white text ad may contain all the pertinent information, but will it really be intriguing enough to recruit applicants? Probably not. Some of the most successful job advertisements utilize innovative designs and take on unexpected forms.
For example, Jobgrams, which were created by a New Zealand based company called Engage Innovations, allows you to create attention-grabbing infographics which display all of the information about the vacant position. They are designed to be used with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Or you could take advantage of the fact that many job boards allow you to embed videos in your advertisement. Why not create a fun and informative "day in the life" video to really show applicants what it's like to work for your company.
5. Vagueness Never Wins Employees
Feel free to stretch the limits of your imagination in your job ad design, but don't forget to also include a few basic informational elements somewhere in the advertisement. Things that employees really want to know about a position include: what the company does, what they will be required to do, how much experience/education is required, how much they will earn, if there are other incentives, and if there is potential for advancement.
When job seekers are on the prowl, your company will only be as attractive as its job advertisements. To draw in the cream of the crop, your job ads need to be clear, creative, and comprehensive.
Eric Foutch is a regular contributor at Recruiterbox.com, a provider of recruiting software. He writes about building teams and the impact of different corporate cultures on long term outcomes.