Are candidates seeing your job ad? Make these changes
A great job ad should be a magnet for great talent. If you’re advertising roles now, there are simple steps you can take to enhance your job ad so it can attract the ideal candidate.

Each part of a job ad should draw candidates in, and with good reason—there’s tough competition for talent, and people weigh a lot of different factors before they decide to apply for a role.

Here are ways to boost your ad to help you attract the best candidates.

Use an effective job title 

Being accurate when you label a role is critical to attracting the right candidates.  

SEEK’s search algorithms are based on relevancy, which means that your job title needs to be aligned with the market and accurately represent the role description. SEEK Senior Manager of Customer Success, Marissa Mouat, says that’s why it’s important to keep job titles clear and simple. 

“Don’t confuse the search algorithm by adding in unnecessary text or buzz words,” Mouat says. 

You should think like a candidate when writing your role title and use the terms they are likely to search for. The most effective job titles avoid unnecessary text, buzzwords and jargon, or internal role titles. “Think ‘marketing specialist’ versus ‘marketing guru’ or ‘maintenance manager’ versus ‘jack of all trades’,” says Mouat. 

Spend time on the summary

The search results are often the crucial first point of contact between a candidate and your job ad, so how your ad appears here is important. That’s why your job summary is key to catching a candidate’s eye, because it appears in search results.

Mouat explains that hiring managers and recruiters often spend more time on the detail in the job ad and see the summary as an afterthought. But the summary is something candidates really care about. “Candidates spend roughly 80% of their time on the search summary results page,” she says.

What’s more, candidates are also spending more time searching on mobile now, so making sure your summary is well-structured, easy-to-read and concise can help capture their attention.

So, spend time writing the summary so it includes relevant and specific information. Mouat says to pinpoint elements that are important to your ideal candidates. “Rather than blanket, over-used statements like ‘great work-life balance’ or ‘fantastic culture’, which are subjective, speak to the specifics that make up work-life balance,” she says.

This may mean including benefits such as working from home a certain portion of the week, or highlighting monthly team lunches or social time on Friday afternoons to show a great work culture. “Candidates want to make well-informed decisions fast, so they can take action,” Mouat says. “Give them this information upfront and you are much more likely to have them click into your job ad!”

Appeal to your ideal candidates

Understanding what attracts candidates on various levels will help you craft an engaging job ad. SEEK’s Laws of Attraction can give you insight into what specifically attracts candidates from your industry, and how their seniority, location or gender can impact what they want in a role.

Getting this insight can help you decide what to emphasise in the job ad summary and detail. “For example, the most important aspect of work-life balance for female candidates in the IT industry is the option of flexible working hours, whereas for male IT candidates it’s compensation for overtime,” Mouat says.

Show them the money

One key job ad element that’s often overlooked or ignored is the salary or salary range, but the data shows this is something that’s incredibly important to candidates. In fact, job ads on SEEK that display salary receive on average 47% more applications than job ads that don’t. 

“Candidates tell us they want transparency,” Mouat says. “Showing a salary or a salary range upfront can save both parties a lot of time.”

If you’re worried your salary isn’t competitive, be sure to mention benefits other than just the salary, such as on-site car parking, flexible work policies, staff discounts or a gym membership. “These can help candidates take the full picture into consideration,” says Mouat.

Choose the correct classification

It might sound obvious, but it’s important to make sure your job ad is classified right. If you’re not sure of the classification and sub-classification, you can find out: “Run a keyword search on SEEK for the same job you want to advertise and see what classification and sub-classification the majority of hirers are posting it under,” Mouat says.

It’s also worth looking at some at ads for similar roles to double check you’re using a job title that’s well known in the market. “That’s important for our search relevance algorithms to surface your ad to the most relevant candidates,” say Mouat.

5 easy ways to supercharge your job ad

  1. A clear, concise and market-relevant job title
    Remember, the most effective job titles avoid unnecessary text, buzzwords and jargon, or internal role titles. 
  2. Use the summary wisely
    Include relevant role information (what the candidate will actually do), location, and benefits (salary, company, career development/progression).
  3. Include salary
    Job ads on SEEK that display salary receive on average 47% more applications than job ads that don’t.
  4. Use small paragraphs with bolded headings
    “Close to 70% of SEEK’s audience will be reading your content on a mobile device so make it easy to scan,” Mouat says.
  5. Use SEEK’s Laws of Attraction portal
    “The harder the role is to fill, the more important this is as you’ll have much more competition for quality candidates,” Mouat says.

How one company boosted engagement and applications

After implementing these simple techniques, Aimee Tink, the director of Tink Recruitment says she was thrilled with the results. “We got more engagement and the conversion rate went up in terms of how many people started an application and actually completed it,” she says.

Tink adapted her job ads to ensure the short job description was customised to attract potential candidates and increased the use of action words.

  • Before Tink implemented these tips, an example of a short job description read like:
    Situated in the Northern Beaches, our client is seeking an experienced property manager to join their team!
  • After using more action words and customising the description, the new ad read like this:
    Use your Certificate of Registration and prior property management experience to manage a residential portfolio of 170 properties in the Newcastle area.

“I now use a lot more action words and have cut out a lot of long sentences that weren’t necessary,” Tink says. “This means the ads are more readable for mobile phones as most of our candidates are using their mobiles.”

Tink also used SEEK’s Laws of Attraction portal with great results. “I changed the three bullet points in our job ads to draw on the ‘top drivers of attraction’ in our industry,” she says.

Tink Recruitment is a service specialising in recruitment throughout real estate, property and development and the top three points important to candidates in that industry are: salary/compensation, work-life balance and career/development opportunities.

Since implementing these easy ways to supercharge a job ad, Tink’s conversions (from a candidate starting a job application to submitting it) went from 79.5% to 92%. “Adding in those ‘top drivers of attraction’ helped the job ads a lot,” she says.

While it can feel daunting to think about changing the way you write job ads, Tink’s experience shows that simple tweaks can make a big difference.

If you’re advertising for roles now, try some of these simple adjustments to optimise your ad. A job ad plays a crucial part in in finding the right person for a role, and ensuring your job ad is as appealing as possible will make it an even more effective tool for attracting talent.

SEEK ANZ job ad data, Jun-Dec 2023 

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