Creating a Recruitment Advert

Writing a successful recruitment advert is a challenge. You are selling the opportunity to work with your organisation. A poorly worded recruitment advert can affect your brand image as well as your response levels.

When creating an advert, there are many factors to consider. How do you make the role and your business attractive to your target audience? What core responsibilities and duties do you include? How are you going to manage the response? Does it comply with equality legislation?

This simple checklist will help you create an effective advert which avoids some of the common infringements of the Equalities Act 2010.

Job title

Include a job title that reflects the nature and responsibility of the post. If you have a quirky job titles, you will stand out but consider if the jobseeker will understand what it means?

Do not use terms that have an age or gender connotation i.e. instead of Waiter/ress ideally use terms such as ‘waiting staff’. Senior/Junior is acceptable if it relates to role responsibility but not to age.

Company description

Accurately describe your activities and the work environment. Be positive, reflect your values and highlight your organisations culture.

Avoid company/team descriptions that exclude or discourage applications from groups i.e. “Our team of young professionals” or “our energetic team” which could be interpreted as discriminatory, unless you have a genuine occupational requirement (GOR). If you do have a GOR be clear and say why.

Description of duties

Accurately describe the role as per the job description. Include essential duties and responsibilities on which performance will be measured.

Do not try to detail every possible duty! It will become a boring, endless list and you may lose many potential candidates who do not meet all of your criteria. Stick to the key role requirements and measurable objectives.

Consider the tone of the description you would be surprised how this can affect your responses. You want to appeal to the widest possible audience.

We would not recommend that you use previous adverts without reviewing the duties for each new role to ensure that they are accurate and relevant to the post today.

Experience and qualifications required

Avoid assigning years to experience. Length of service does not necessarily dictate ability and could be viewed as age discriminatory. Instead of two years business development experience you could say must have a proven track record developing new business.

Include the expected educational attainment or experience levels required. This helps the applicant to understand the specific skills required for the role and expected level of competence.

Avoid specifying general qualification standards that can exclude specific groups, i.e. must have GCSE English and Maths Grade C excludes those educated outside England Wales and Northern Ireland or educated before 1986! You could use the term ‘or equivalent standard’ to be more inclusive.

Personal Attributes and Behaviours

Detail personable attributes or behaviours that will help the applicant to better understand the challenges or expected standards. i.e. target orientated, attention to detail, team player etc. Unless there is a clear occupational requirement you should not use any criteria, which could be discriminatory e.g. ‘young’ ‘fit’. Any necessary or desirable criteria should be justified for each role.

Avoid descriptive terms which are subjective and open to interpretation. Happy, energetic, mature etc.

Describe the Application Process

Write clear instructions regarding how you expect the applicant to apply for the post and provide an indication of the timeline with a closing date for applications.

Avoid duplications within the process where possible, for example asking for a CV if you need the applicant to complete an application form. When defining the application process, consider whether it is accessible to all applicants and highlight alternative arrangements available.

Other Advertising Tips:

Where are, you advertising? Consider where you are placing your adverts; does your advertising medium attract the right audience? Does your advertising placement disadvantage any particular group from applying?

Include Equal Opportunities Employer Statement: An equal opportunities statement does not excuse discriminatory adverts but it does indicate an employer’s intent to undertake a fair recruitment process.

Inclusion of Salary or Benefits:  We recommend you are as transparent as possible.  Salaries are a key factor in the candidate’s decision making process, be aware that not including one may reduce your response level.

When including salary be clear on what a candidate can expect to achieve as a starting salary. If you decide not to publish salary, then detailing company benefits can help to attract good candidates.

Inclusion of Hours: Remember to detail your hours of operation or the contract hours of the post where possible. Do not rely on the “fulltime” catch-all. If you have shifts or unsocial hours be specific, it is better to have a lower response rate and committed candidates than a large volume of response who drop out because the hours do not suit.

For Further assistance:

Ethical Jobseeker advert copy service: If you would like us to draft an advert for you, we’d be happy to help. Please get in touch