Why should you advertise?
Advertising is one of the main means of attracting potential applicants. The aim of advertising is to make people aware of a vacancy and persuade suitable people to apply for it. It’s also a means of distributing accurate and favourable information about your organisation to the general public.
What steps should you take before writing?
Before you write your advertisement you need to consider the following matters.
Identify your target market
Your target market for a suitable candidate will usually belong in one of the following categories:
managerial and professional staff
skilled and trades workers
Select the best medium for your advertisement
You need to choose the medium that will be seen by the greatest number of potential candidates, ie the places they are likely to look for work. The type of advertisement you choose will be determined by the:
applicant you want
the costs of using a particular medium.
Typical places to advertise are:
national and metropolitan daily papers (largest readership) – advertisements may be placed in the employment sections or, for professional and senior positions, the editorial pages
local suburban press – a successful medium for advertising unskilled and clerical vacancies
trade journals – useful when special skills or types of work experience are required and the potential labour market is small or restricted
the internet – advertisements can be placed on your website (if you have one), on a recruitment site (for a fee), on a news group or on-line forum (for free) by:
– classifying the job by using appropriate key words, or by type of job, location and other parameters (where there are synonyms for a job title such as “journalist”, “editor”, “writer” and “publishing”, all should be included if possible)
– providing links to further information about the job if appropriate (eg a link to an area on your website)
– ensuring applicants can respond to a job vacancy by electronic mail
– monitoring the advertisement and removing it once a vacancy is filled
business and technical colleges
notices on company property (eg in a window or on a gate)
internal advertising (on noticeboards and intranets).
Consider supporting internet advertising with print advertising because new and inexperienced internet users may encounter difficulties accessing your advertisement.
Decide on the content of your advertisement
Advertisements generally contain the following information:
brief job description
reporting relationship of job (ie position in the organisation’s hierarchy)
brief description of organisation, such as size, growth, nationality and brand names
minimum experience, knowledge, qualifications and experience required
any unusual features of the job, such as travel, prospects, danger, responsibility or physical requirements
clear instructions on how and where to apply, and a closing date for applications
salary range or basis of remuneration.
While the personal qualities required of a candidate should be mentioned, it’s better to concentrate on objective information such as job content.
Elements of a successful advertisement
Successful advertising does not mean receiving a large number of applications; it means attracting applications from suitable candidates only. Include the relevant information that will entice such applicants. To be successful, an advertisement should meet the following requirements:
it should attract the applicant’s interest and present a favourable image of the organisation
the applicant should recognise what the job is, its basic functions and how it fits into the organisation structure
it should be clear and distinct, so that unsuitable or unqualified people are deterred from applying
it should be written from the viewpoint of applicants and what they are likely to gain from taking the job, rather than from the viewpoint of the organisation and what it wants.
Position and logo
The text of the advertisement may be excellent but it will be of no use if no one reads it. The advertisement should attract the attention of readers by means of:
a special logo (or symbol)
an arresting lead
its size (eg double column) and
“emphasis” framing – see sample advertisements below.
Once the reader’s attention has been captured it must be followed up with the relevant facts presented in logical order. Construct the advertisement around the job’s key point of appeal, eg salary, enhanced status, location, working conditions or fringe benefits. Consider what information candidates may want to know, for instance:
salary, conditions and fringe benefits
the position’s overall purpose within the organisation
what the organisation is looking for
how to apply – If a standard application is essential then detail in the advertisement how it and further information can be accessed.
|TipInclude specific salary information if your organisation is competitive and the job is very similar to the same job in another organisation. If the role is more specialised then salary may not be a key requirement.|
Note that nominating a salary range in the advertisement where appropriate may prevent a lot of phone calls from people who perceive themselves to be well below or above that bracket.
Include a telephone number and contact name for interested people to contact. People who are attracted by the advertisement could already be in jobs and may be reluctant to act if a letter is required. However, if they are given the chance to telephone as soon as their interest is aroused, they can often be encouraged to make a written application. The contact person should be a key person in the recruitment process and be able to provide further information to applicants.
Provide realistic information
In wishing to attract a large number of applications with an advertisement, an organisation may present itself in a more favourable light than the facts justify. This can be costly in terms of employee turnover. Giving employees realistic job information before engagement, either in the advertisement or at the interview, tends to produce greater job stability in those who are eventually selected. They’re more aware of what goes on in the organisation and in tune with the organisation’s values.
Most people want to contribute – clearly describe how they can make a difference and be recognised. Lead in with active, strong words so that the applicant can see opportunities with your organisation, eg lead, focus, achieve, strive.
Be clear on the benefits that your organisation provides. Consider the market position of your organisation, prospects for career movement, variation of work, challenges that are developing in the future.
Be specific about why your organisation should be their employer of choice. You may refer to challenging work, collaboration and teamwork opportunities, work culture, opportunities for shared gains, your organisation’s concern for people, technology uses, training and development options.
If you wish to attract a specific type of applicant not normally considered to be appropriate for the type of job, encourage potential applicants to apply, eg “This would be an ideal position for someone entering the workforce.”
Paint a clear picture of the job – based on the position description.
Describe a vision of what you are looking for – use key words and concepts that let the organisation’s personality come through
Clearly indicate contact details.
|ExampleBanner title – this should grab the attention of leaders/managers eg “LEAD THE TEAM – MAKE A DIFFERENCE”.|
Brief statement about the organisation – describe what the organisation contributes to the market and how this position will assist it to improve, eg: “PPP computers is an international company seeking to increase its market share. Due to our success in the corporate market we now need a dynamic and future-focused National Sales Director to lead our sales team to further success.”
Contribution of new employee – show how the employee will contribute, eg “Bring your broad national sales management experience to this challenging leadership role where you will be responsible for increasing market share, targeting and developing business relationships with corporate clients, managing state branch managers, and enabling your team to achieve agreed target earnings”.
|Example – Sample advertisements[Insert logo]|
“Sanfords – the Stress Busters”
|Example – Sample advertisements[Insert company logo]|
Consider a change.Join a winning team
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Operating in a Smoke-free Environment
“There’s Magic in our Mushrooms”
|TipRelevant people in the organisation should be told that the advertisement has been placed so that they can prepare for the response. Key people include switchboard operators, mail room staff and anyone else who will be involved in processing the applications.|
All written applications should be acknowledged either by letter or by a card. This will help create a good impression of your organisation.
Plan some form of cost/benefit analysis of the results of your advertisement. Over time you’ll know which medium attracts the most suitable applicants.
Complying with the law
When job advertisements are placed in any medium employers must comply with anti-discrimination laws. Do not require, specify or suggest that any of the following characteristics are preferred or not desired:
particular age or age bracket, except for advertising junior rates of pay, which are specifically exempted from the requirements of federal legislation (which prohibits age discrimination in awards and agreements).
particular race or nationality
type of political opinion or membership
a personal handicap or disability
education at a particular institution
a specified medical history
While not all these characteristics are not found in each state’s anti-discrimination legislation, it’s prudent to adopt a policy that does not breach any of these laws as job advertisements are often distributed Australia-wide.
Note that there are exceptions to the above where a characteristic is an “inherent requirement” of the job.
Note also that the same care should be exercised with job advertisements placed internally in an organisation.