Writing great job ads to attract the best staff

Attracting the right staff starts with a great job ad

How to write a job ad to get the best employee

Attracting the best staff can be difficult; employ the wrong person and it’s a huge cost to your business. Sometimes when you advertise a job you will be inundated with applications, and sometimes you can advertise for weeks and not get a bite. Writing a great job ad can make all the difference in the candidates you’ll get applying and the staff member you finally employ. Here are our tips for writing the best possible ad:

Be clear and concise

Your job ad is the first impression your company will make on potential employees and will determine whether they apply, so you need it to be professional, enticing, clear and concise. Remember this is an ad, not a job description, so keep it brief. Your ad should include:

  1. a short introduction
  2. the role’s responsibilities, required skills, qualifications and attributes
  3. information on your company
  4. the rewards the candidate can expect, and
  5. the next steps to applying.

Use subheadings and make sure the ad is easy to read and laid out well.

Sell yourself

Make sure you emphasize not only what your company does, but also its values, culture and goals. Justin Williamson, Training Coordinator at Black’s Tire and Auto Service in North Carolina and South Carolina, says this is one of the most important aspects of creating a great ad to attract the right candidates.

“We do a good job in talking up the company, the culture and our vision in our jobs ads,” he said.

“We have a real family atmosphere and we definitely want people who are like-minded. One of the most important attributes we look at is attitude and how they will fit in.”

Streamline your processes

Do you have an effective system for processing applications? If not, you’re wasting time and money and possibly missing out on good future employees who’ve applied to work with you in the past.

Williamson recommends using recruitment software like Workable, which enables a company to log applicants every time they apply for a job, recording their location, skills and other information. Approved people within the company can share the information, ensure the applications reach the right location or department and make notes about the candidates.

“We revised our process as far as how we collect our applications; we streamlined it and now do it online (using recruitment software) for the most part,” Williamson said.

“It’s by far the best thing we’ve done; people can share information and we’ve got better inventory of who’s applying. We can go back through and call applicants that maybe didn’t make it through the first time.”

Know how and where to place an ad

It’s not enough just to place your ad on the biggest online job board you can find. They might attract millions of visitors but may not reach the ones you want. There are plenty of niche options available too. Look at specific sites that target your future employee’s industry, such as trade associations and membership bodies and think outside the box: out-placement organizations help find jobs for people who have been laid off, while the armed forces have transition programs to help vets find work.

“Sometimes — believe it or not — we’ll do Craigslist, which is an inexpensive option,” Williamson said. “We also go by word-of-mouth, advertise in our stores and use job and message boards for mechanics.

“We have 367 retail locations and four distribution locations, so we’re always looking for good people. We try to advertise in areas where we know we are going to get some activity.”

Williamson said it is important for employers to also recognize that people from outside the tire industry have a lot to offer.

“We try not to be limited and put blinders on. Outside experience can bring something new to the table, and we’re always looking to be better,” he said.

“We have several people in our organization that were not from the tire industry prior to coming on board but have made significant contributions.”

Check it over

It’s tempting to post a freshly written job ad as soon as it’s done but don’t forget to have someone (or several people) check it over for sense, clarity and spelling mistakes before it goes live.

Let us know your top tips for writing a great job ad in the comments below.

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