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Extraordinary people won’t take ordinary jobs

Debbie McCordall

The Christmas festivities are over and the New Year has just begun. For many of us, this means a fresh start, a new diet or the giving up of a bad habit. However, for one in five of us, the New Year also signals a new job, as January is officially the nation’s favourite time to look for new opportunities.

So, what can you do if you find your company suddenly experiences a mass exodus of talent? Here, Debbie McCordall, owner of North East HR firm, Accentuate HR, shares her 25 years’ experience in the HR industry and provides her top tips on how to write an effective job advertisement, in order to help simplify the recruitment process and attract the crème de la crème of potential new recruits.

1. Address your candidates

Improving the quality of your applications starts by having a well-written advertisement, as this is what sells your organisation and is what will draw in the right candidates. When writing your job advert, you need to understand who your ideal candidate is. Address them in the language they understand and offer them what they want, also be aware of jargon as your job advert needs to speak directly to them.

2. Know the difference between specifications

Do you have a job description and a person specification? A job description describes the role the person needs to do. A person specification is a description of the qualifications, skills, experience, knowledge and other attributes which a candidate must possess to perform the job duties. The person specification should be derived from the job description and forms the foundation for the recruitment process.

3. Competitive salary

Do some external benchmarking and see what your competitors are offering. To attract good quality candidates, don’t be afraid to put a salary range in the advert with an “up to” salary.

4. Work perks and benefits

Are there any employee benefits you can add into your advert? I.e. a nice office environment/equipment, flexible working, free car parking, access to a medical scheme, corporate memberships to gyms, cycle to work scheme etc. Remember an advert is a two-way process. As much as you are looking for that perfect candidate, they are looking for an employer of choice.

5. Be clear

Firstly, think about a job title that will translate outside of your organisation, that will be eye catching to the applicant. Then, outline a brief description of the role – who it reports to, what hours they need to work and where the role is based. Finally, Distinguish ‘must-haves’ from ‘nice-to-haves’. Be clear in what skills candidates must have to fulfil the role, and what skills are desirable.

6. The company

Provide a brief overview of your Company. What key selling points does your company have? What gives you that competitive edge?

7. Diary dates

Ensure the advertisement stipulates a deadline to apply. Why not also be open about your first and second stage interview dates? This way the candidate knows what dates they need to keep free, if they are shortlisted.

8. Look within

Always consider if you have any potential applicants internally first, you can always state on your internal advert that the role is also being advertised externally.

9. Location, location, location

Think carefully about where to advertise. Was your last advert successful? Did it bring in the right sort of candidates? Do you need to consider other options?

10. Get the professionals in

A qualified HR consultant can work together with businesses and hiring managers to develop effective job specifications in order to attract the best possible candidates for the role.

If you would like further advice and guidance on recruitment then please visit the Accentuate HR website.