Level Up Your Hiring Process: 9 Elements of Effective Job Adverts

I don’t write about hiring people very often, which is surprising because when I take a step back and really think about the most important aspects of being an effective manager, hiring is right at the top.

If you hire the right people, every single part of being an effective manager becomes 10x easier.

If you hire the wrong people, every single part of being an effective manager becomes 100x harder.

(That’s not a typo, getting it wrong really is that much worse).

I’m planning to make up for this by writing more about the hiring process in the coming weeks and months. 

For now, let’s start with something simple, yet very important and actionable – the job advert.

The objectives of an effective job advert

It’s too easy to open up Word or Google Docs and start writing a job advert. Or making a copy of another job that a colleague recently hired for and using that as a starting point. But don’t forget how important this process is to your success as a manager and bear in mind why you’re writing this advert.

Attract the right candidates

A job advert isn’t just about attracting candidates, it’s about attracting the right candidates. This not only increases your chances of hiring effectively, but it also reduces a lot of wasted time during the hiring process. If your job advert is too vague or broad, you’re going to attract candidates who are the wrong fit and probably spend too much time reviewing their application and interviewing them.

A more subtle consequence of this is that you also discourage candidates who may not be a good fit. This may sound a little harsh, but the last thing you want is to waste their time as well as yours.

Set expectations about the role

You know what’s worse than hiring the wrong person for a role?

Hiring someone who is a superstar, but when they start, the role isn’t what they expected, leading them to leave soon after starting and everyone is back to square one.

Even if you hire someone who is a superstar, if the role isn’t what you told them it would be, then they are probably going to leave sooner than expected. In fact, it’s more likely that this will happen with a superstar because they know that they can go and find another job elsewhere.

An effective job advert allows you to be very clear about what the role is, what the expectations are and who they report to. This should all map perfectly to the actual job description so that when someone gets the job and starts, there are no surprises.

Clarify the role in your own head

Finally, writing an effective job advert allows you to clarify your own thinking on important elements such as:

  • Is the role even needed?
  • Is the role part-time or full-time?
  • Could you make do with a freelancer for now?
  • What does the role entail in terms of responsibilities?

It’s very easy for us to think that the answer to a problem is to go out and hire someone. Especially when we’re really busy and / or our team is screaming out for help and support. A quick reaction may be to go and hire someone, but this may not be the right answer.

By taking time to craft a job advert and by considering all of the elements below, it can clarify the answers to these types of questions and either confirm that yes, you do need to hire, or no, there is another answer.

The 8 factors that you need to include in an effective job advert

Right, here we go. Every single job advert that you create should include these elements. Take time to think about each one and get input from others so that you can write them accurately and fairly. 

1. The job role and responsibilities

Tell the candidate what they will be doing on a day-to-day basis and what kinds of things they will be measured on. This should include some examples of the types of projects they may be involved in, the tasks they may do, tools that they may use etc. You don’t need to list absolutely everything here, but it should be a good overview of what a typical day may look like.

2. Progression opportunities

Tell the candidate what the next steps in their career at your company could be if they got the role. This is a classic one that is often missed out by most companies. But it’s important to be clear about what someone’s future may look like if they were to be successful with their application.

3. Who their manager and team will be

Tell the candidate the job title of their manager and the name of the team that they will be part of. This not only starts to provide some familiarity for the candidate, but it also gives them some insight into the reporting structure of the company and where they fit.

4. Where they fit within the wider business

Tell the candidate the overall structure of the company and where the team they will be joining sits in relation to others. This also helps set some context on the team they are joining and the type of company they’re joining. For example, if your company focuses solely on paid media consultancy, there may only be one core team with several “sub teams” led by different managers. This is very different from a multi-service agency with lots of different services and teams.

5. What you’re looking for from candidates

Tell the candidate what experience and skills you are looking for from them and what is required vs. nice to have. This really helps qualify (and out) the right people because they can see whether they have the experience and skills that you’re looking for. They can only do this if you are super clear in the job advert, so avoid vague ideas of what you’re expecting here.

6. Details on the culture they’ll be joining

Tell the candidate about the culture of your company and what you expect from the people who join it. This is a great way to communicate the softer side of the role and to allow someone to see if they’d be the right fit. This is less about perks and benefits and more about how you work as a team. For example, if you have a culture where constant learning and development is valued, say that. If you have a culture where giving and receiving feedback, no matter how hard it is, is valued, say that. 

7. Perks and benefits

Tell the candidate what perks and benefits that you offer. This is a relatively simple one and whilst perks and benefits don’t make a culture, being clear on these is important for aligning expectations. For example, if you offer 25 days annual leave a year, but someone is currently on 35 days a year in their role, they may not want to change. Finding this out by reading the job advert as opposed to after being offered (and accepting) a role, is much better.

8. A salary range

Tell the candidate what the salary range for the role is. It baffles me how many companies don’t do this and let’s be honest, there isn’t a good reason for leaving it out. Include it, even if it’s a wide range based on experience. Just do it.

9. What to expect from the application process

Finally, tell the candidate what the application process looks like and what you expect of them, along with what they can expect from you. This is a great time to mention things such as:

  • How many interviews to expect and how long they will take.
  • Whether they need to complete any tasks during the process.
  • When you expect to start interviewing and selecting a candidate.

This is a great way of discouraging people who don’t want to commit time to the process, as well as being clear with good candidates what they need to do.

Does that sound like a lot? Well, it is but once you’ve done this once, it gets a lot quicker and easier the next time.

Plus, it’s 100% worth spending more time now than having to spend a lot more time later because you’ve got loads of candidates who aren’t suitable or worse, you hire the wrong person.

Scroll to Top