Every company needs to advertise a job at one time or another. Finding the right person to fill a role is a minefield to be navigated with care. The costs of hiring the wrong person will climb into the thousands.
The first step in hiring a new employee is advertising the position. The advert needs to hit the right notes to entice the correct person, whether you are looking for a graduate or an experienced veteran of your industry. Your advert is the first thing an applicant is likely to see from your company so it needs to be right.
So, here we will break down the ultimate guide to advertising jobs, but first, do you even need to advertise the position in the first place? What are the legalities of filling a vacancy internally?
Read our other guides to advertising: The Advantages of Leaflet Advertising
Do job vacancies need to be advertised?
As an employer, you are not legally required to advertise a job vacancy. If you have a suitable candidate internally you do not need to advertise the job.
However, employment law specialist ACAS recommends that you should do this. They suggest that this is to avoid:
- Potential discrimination
- You may find someone better suited for the position
If you have a recruitment policy in place, you should follow it. There is no need to put your business in the position of accusations of discrimination or being unfair to other employees.
Also, you need to be careful of indirect discrimination, more on that below.
The perfect job description
Now that is cleared up and you are ready to advertise you need to write the perfect job description.
The one aspect of writing a job description you need to be careful of is indirect discrimination.
What is indirect discrimination?
Indirection discrimination is only appearing to hire based on certain protected characteristics. For example, you may not think you are excluding someone but, hiring internally when you only currently employ white males over 40 is indirect discrimination.
This is why it is best to advertise a role to the public. However, a public job advertisement can be similarly indirect discrimination if you state a certain level of experience. It is almost impossible for an 18-year-old to have 10 years of experience in a job role, therefore, age discrimination.
To ensure you cover yourself in any hiring process get applicants to fill out an Equality and Monitoring Form. As long as the person hiring does not read the completed form you can help avoid being accused of discrimination.
How to craft your job description
Every industry will have its own specific ways to craft a job description, but all should have the same three things (with two bonus points):
- Overview of the role
- List of required skills and experience
- Overview of the company
Bonus for a job description:
- Salary range
- Job perks and extras
When writing your job description you need to think of it as a sales document to draw in the best candidates. If your description appears low effort, or vague good candidates might bypass the opportunity for something more descriptive.
Overview of the role
The overview of the position available should cover exactly what the candidate should expect day-to-day if accepted for the role.
You can mention what team they would join, and the company culture and tell them they will be thrown into the deep end. Also, mention what development the successful candidate can expect. Hiring an enthusiastic, talented individual is likely to want to grow in the role.
Required skills and experience
Now we get to the meat of the job description. Here is where you explain exactly your expectations of the skills and experience applicants should have to get an interview.
It is the responsibility of the team leader or manager that this is properly checked. However, it is the responsibility of the HR or hiring manager to make sure the job appears attainable.
The biggest mistake is to create a long list of responsibilities that will be impossible to complete on any given day. Aim for five detailed responsibilities, and five detailed skills. Again, good candidates will not apply if the role appears to take 10 hours of your day to complete.
For the skills, make them realistic. How many people who see your job description will be experts in every Microsoft, Google, and Adobe tool? Candidates will not apply if they see something they have never used before or are unfamiliar with.
If you do want to list every tool your company uses, make it clear that they can be trained in its use. People who are looking for a job are usually willing to learn.
Overview of your company
At the end of the job description, it is time to sell your company. Explain who you are, what you do, and where you see the company going.
Applicants want to see that they will not join a failing business. They want reassurance and stability in their job. Everyone just wants to pay their bills!
On top of this, one-third of their lives will be working at your company, if it is a full-time role. Therefore, they want to join a company they will enjoy working at.
Bonus: Salary range
Possibly the most controversial aspect of job advertising is the salary. Do you add it, or not?
Companies do not want to put themselves in a place where they are over, or under, paying their employees. However, when a potential candidate sees ‘competitive’ or ‘depending on experience’ they could easily be turned off by this vague language and not apply.
On the other hand, including a salary range that does not accurately reflect the requirements will also ensure fewer applications.
Find the perfect balance and you will soon have applications flowing in.
The benefits, or perks of a job, can be explained in the overview of your company. There is no point in listing benefits that employees are entitled to by the law. Most applicants are not applying for the table tennis table in your break room, they want health, dental, remote, or flexible working.
In fact, now, flexible working is the most desired benefit for people moving jobs. Employees enjoyed flexible working during the lockdown and their current employers removed this perk once there were no restrictions.
How to advertise jobs for free
The first thought of most businesses when hiring is to find the right person. The second thought is how to not break the bank doing it. Luckily there are a few platforms that allow you to advertise a job to a large audience of professionals for free.
LinkedIn offers one free job listing for your company. With over 822 million users (2022) registered on the professional social network, you have a large pool of talent for your listing.
It should be noted that there is a cap on the number of applications and you are prompted to purchase their enhanced listing for £20 per day. But with all that considered, LinkedIn is the perfect place to find your future star employee!
Indeed is one of the biggest job sites in the world. You can get in touch with their 250 million users for completely free with a standard listing.
Simply sign up as an employer and fill in the required information including the salary, benefits, type of contract, schedule, and job description, then you are good to find your next employee. If you want to give your listing a boost by sponsoring your placement.
AngelList is an interesting platform that is designed for startups to find investment. Unlike other platforms, you can create a company profile and you have an unlimited number of job listings on the Starter package.
The only limitation is the number of candidates that see your listing, but you can pay to expand your search with added features for finding the perfect employee. For the most part, it is a way for candidates to almost invest in your company. As well as a salary you can offer investment stakes, so if your company is a success due to their work.
There are plenty of ways to advertise jobs, but you need the perfect job description to get you going. Then as a business keeping costs down is imperative, try posting on free job boards and you might hit gold with your next employee.