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“Think like a marketer! View your job seeker as the consumer and you will be on the journey to attracting the right talent!”

These are just some of the key buzz phrases that industry experts are telling us to adopt as our world becomes more and more consumer focused. All services, and recruitment is not alone are being thought about differently.

Today it’s imperative that we think like a consumer, who buys products from Amazon and Sainsbury’s and expects the same level of user experience for other services.

With the consumer expectations changing, coupled with recruiters often asking ‘Why aren’t my adverts receiving more applicants?’ we really need to reflect and look at the very basics of advertising.

‘Why aren’t my adverts receiving more applicants?’

There is no single answer, there can be numerous explanations for this, and often it’s a combination of factors including: competitive market, talent shortages, the job itself due to location, salary, hours and so forth.

With so many factors to consider when posting an advert, what we mustn’t forget is getting the basics right, and that’s down to the advert copy, but it’s a shame how often we as employers and recruiters do just that.

We are in a very competitive recruitment market, often searching in a very small pool for the same talent, so we need to think carefully about how we advertise our roles to ensure they will attract the very best talent.

To do so, recruiters need to think like a marketer, and write the advert as they would if they were selling a product or service. Once you’ve drafted your advert re- read it and ask yourself, would I buy into this? Be inspired by others and have a look at the different types of job adverts out there.

So let’s use the marketing and advertising tools to re-frame how we sell ourselves as employers and attract the very best….working from the basics first; AIDA.

AIDA is a simple four step approach which lists events that should occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement. This stands for:

A – Attention: attract the attention of the consumer.

I – Interest: generate interest by focusing on the advantages and benefits.

D – Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service.

A – Action: persuade customers towards taking action.

We can apply this to recruitment, by making the candidate the consumer you will have got the basics right. The fundamentals are simple, as an employer you are not just posting a job but advertising your company to the public for them to choose if you are the right employer for them.

Top Tips


Job Title – it must be clear, descriptive and concise. Steer well away from internal and ambiguous job titles. Consider, would Joe Blogs reading this advert know exactly what the job is from the title? Consider, what keywords would job seekers use when searching for this job? Keep it simple….after all you want the job seeker to find it.

Details – Just the key information please, the rest can stay in the JD, applicants really want to know the salary and location details first and foremost.

Layout and formatting – keep the layout clean and simple, short and concise, as a candidate I will be scanning the advert hence give me bullet points and put any key information in bold. I’ll visit your micro-site and read the JD in full if you’ve grabbed my interest.


Opening Paragraph – It needs to be exciting and compelling to encourage the candidate to read on and apply. Provide a brief overview of the company, focus on why a candidate would want to work there and what you offer as an employer. Try not to start a job advert with a lengthy generic corporate description. Glassdoor teaches us that candidates will want to know the ‘real’ personality of the company they are applying for so make sure you sell yourself at the outset.

Style – Getting the tone of the advert right is essential. Avoid buzzwords, jargon and acronyms and write in a language all applicants will understand. Use the right language to engage and excite job seekers, and active rather than passive language to really sell the job opportunity. Address the candidate directly, making the advert about them and not the company for example “You will have the opportunity to…” or “Your career here at …” will help personalise the advert. Ask questions of the candidate, make them consider what matters to them. Create a YouTube video or recent photo’s of the team they will be working with to showcase a little about your culture.

Requirements – try to only focus on the key must haves; don’t distract them with a huge list of ‘Desired’ criteria. Listing those that the business would not be willing to compromise on will help target the advert (and improve short listing).


Opportunities – From a job seeker’s perspective, a good job advert should answer one key question – what’s in it for me? As well as highlighting company benefits and perks, talk about opportunities and development. What else does the company have to offer the job seeker? Sell the opportunity, make it exciting and attractive. Describe the company culture, if the company has a Twitter page, or a LinkedIn group, be sure to mention it so the job seeker can find out more about your company.


This might sound very basic, but once you have their excitement and interest, don’t forget to encourage them to apply. Point them towards the next steps, create a sense of urgency, tell them to ‘apply now’ and explain the differing application methods available. Don’t forget to include a closing date too.

I hope the top tips help your recruiters ensure you are producing an effective advert, giving you the best opportunity to attract the very best.