Last year, 83 percent of respondents in MRINetwork’s “Recruiter Sentiment Study” said the job market was predominately candidate-driven. As a result of this candidate domination, organizations have to compete harder and harder with one another to attract top talent.

And that, in turn, means traditional job ads aren’t going to cut it. You have to find new ways to capture top talent’s attention.

Some companies like to get cheeky and try out some new (read: gimmicky) ways of creating job postings. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. But if you want consistent results, stick to the tried and true methods of making your job ad stand out.

Here are a few of those methods:

1. Keep Titles Generic

You might think you’ve got a leg up on the competition by hiring for a “software ninja” instead of a “senior software engineer,” but you’re actually doing your company a disservice when your job titles are too creative.

When they’re on the hunt for new jobs, candidates use certain keywords to search for more generic job titles. If you advertise for an “HTML5 wizard,” the vast majority of people won’t find your job ad – because the vast majority of people aren’t looking to be employed as “wizards.”

Don’t go crazy with job titles. Keep it simple. Keep it generic.

2. Be Quick and to the Point

When it comes to advertisements, you want to stick to the point.

phoneI’ve seen too many job ads that dive too deeply into the philosophy of the company, the accomplishments the job will provide, and other bits of info better left for the interview. These things are certainly important, but job seekers spend an average of 77 seconds looking at your job ad. You’re better off telling them what they want to know before you lose them.

Keep your description short, appeal to the candidate instead of talking about your company, and make sure you’re focused about real benefits.

3. Sell, Sell, Sell, (Your Job Ad)

You’ve written the standard-bearer for all job ads to come. That’s great, but if you’re letting your job ad languish on your career site, then it doesn’t matter how perfect the ad is.

Look beyond job boards — you need to post your wonderful job ad everywhere a candidate might look. This includes social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Writing a job advertisement is the easy part, compared to promoting it – but promotion will ultimately lead to the biggest payoff. Don’t be afraid to post your job ad in as many places as possible.

4. Track Your Applicants

Many job board and applicant tracking software packages give you insight into what kinds of job seekers look at your postings. More importantly, these platforms can tell you more about who isn’t looking at your job ads.

Did you know 90 percent of candidates will use their phones for some part of the application process in the next 12 months? Without metrics, you may not know what percentage of your job seekers are on mobile or how many of them give up on the position because the ad isn’t optimized for mobile.

Track your metrics. Odds are, you’ll learn something you really need to know.

5. Tell a Friend

You want as many qualified job seekers to see your job ad as possible, so there’s no shame in looking around your internal network to see if any of your connections have a friend who might be a great fit for the job.

BusinessmanRight now, employee referrals make up around 40 percent of company hires, even though they only account for 7 percent of the applicants.

If you do hire via employee referral, that doesn’t mean your job ad goes to waste. After all, even if a referred candidate is interested, they may still turn away from your job ad if it’s poorly formatted, too long, or doesn’t actually describe the benefits of the job.

So go ahead, ask around — you may already know your next hire.

In a candidate-driven market, employers need more than catchy descriptions to stand out. They need to do the real leg work of chasing leads, tracking applicants, and getting as many eyes on their job ads as possible.

It’s not easy, but that’s why being a recruiter is so rewarding.

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