May 6, 2014

Top 5 Reasons Your Job Adverts Are Drawing a Blank

Undecided Woman Holding Blank CardThere’s nothing more frustrating as a hiring manager or corporate recruiter when you post a job advert and draw a complete blank or at best have a very limp response in terms of job applicants. What makes things doubly worse is that the more pressed you are for resources and the more time pressurized you are the more likely your ad is to fail, which is just when you need it to work. Why? Because when rushed, you are less likely to give your job advert the due care and attention that it requires. And so if you are faced with a failing job advert, and are wondering why, below you can find the top five reasons that your job adverts may be failing and drawing a blank.

1. Coy on salary. Do you give an indication of salary in your jobs adverts or do you exclude salary details from the job advert? If you are excluding salary details you can be sure that this is reducing the amount of applicants for your role. For example, a study by Smart Recruit Online has found that job adverts that included salary details had 30 percent more applicants than similar jobs without salary details included. You are simply cutting yourself off to a large part of the job market if you are failing to include salary details.

2. Excessive educational requirements. Studies show that more and more employers are requiring candidates to have degrees for jobs which haven’t needed degrees in the past. For example, in 1973, 28 percent of jobs required some form of post-secondary education but this figure will have risen to 47 percent by 2020. Now, some of these enhanced education requirements are surely justifiable, but some may not be, and may be as a result of jumping on the bandwagon. So, look carefully; are you asking for educational requirements that are not necessary to do the job and at the same time shutting out a large part of the job market? Are you creating your own talent shortage? Excessive educational requirements or a purple squirrel hunt, as it is known, may be the reason you are drawing a blank from your job adverts.

3. Not offering telecommuting options. Let’s face it, the average person looks for a job within a reasonable commuting distance of his or her home and the person will quickly discount jobs that fall outside his or her commuting limits. In a tight market, there may not be enough talent in the proximity of your office, which is why you may be drawing a blank; yet, there may be people outside the local area who may be prepared to work for you if they can telecommute for at least three days a week. So, if you are drawing a blank, widen the net by opening the role up to telecommuters.

4. Has an esoteric job title. You may have developed quite unique and unusual job titles to accurately describe the roles and functions of internal staff. For example, internally you may have a: Procurement and Planning officer role but the duties may be more akin to an office manager role. However, if you post that role as a Procurement and Planning officer it’s very unlikely that potential office managers, who will be searching for “office manager” roles, will find your role. Make sure you always use industry standard job title terms when listing your roles externally.

5. Ad contains too much jargon and overuse on internal jargon. Many of the words that you use internally within your business may make no sense in the real world. If you fail to strip out the internal business terminology from your job adverts, job seekers may be confused by the contents. In fact, a 2012 study of 2,000 job seekers showed that 57 percent of them would be deterred from applying for a role with a lot of jargon. Ensure you job adverts are concise and precise and in plain English.

Good luck with your next job advert!

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Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.