Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Are Busy Ads Best?

A guide to creating recruitment ads
You’re no longer just a glorified order-taker when it comes to working with advertisers; they really need your help — especially now, as the recruitment vertical finally shows sign of life again after a multi-year hiatus.

It is a sales rep’s job to guide classified advertisers into creating the most effective ad possible for their vertical. The task is no different when selling recruitment ads. It’s important that you have the knowledge of what drives potential hires to submit their resume. The advertisers don’t want a million submissions; they just want that one perfect candidate to apply. In the following, we’ll show you how to attract the right type of applicant with effective recruitment ads.

The aim of all recruitment advertising is to attract interested and qualified candidates by clearly and quickly communicating the essential information and providing an easy response process.  Sounds simple enough. But most employers don’t know what it is that will attract the right people. That’s where you come in. You’re no longer just a glorified order-taker when it comes to working with advertisers; they really need your help — especially now, as the recruitment vertical finally shows sign of life again after a multi-year hiatus.  

The design of the ad should concentrate on clarity and simplicity. The text and graphics should convey both a sense of professionalism and interest. When speaking to an advertiser, remind them that the ad is not really about them. It’s not even about their company, but rather it’s about the type of applicants they’re hoping will respond. Most advertisers looking to post a job will come to you with a lengthy description about the company, what it’s like to work there, a vague job description, the skills necessary, the legalities and a call to action. This standard ad does nothing to resonate with anyone in particular, and doubtfully catches the attention of your advertiser’s perfect candidate.

The aim of all recruitment advertising is to attract interested and qualified candidates by clearly and quickly communicating the essential information and providing an easy response process.

When you’re approached with a standard ad, ask your advertiser if they’re willing to listen to a few suggestions to make them stand out in the crowd. Then you can give them the low-down on all things successful in recruitment advertising:

• Forego a long company description. You’re not going to be able to convey everything about your company in a three-by-eight ad, so leave it off! Instead, have them include their company website. The right candidate will do their research before submitting their resume and coming in for an interview anyway, and they can get a deeper understanding for the company as a whole, rather than skim through (and possibly pass up) the job post.

• If they insist on inclusion, lead the ad with the description. If it’s possible, allow someone who has done the job write the description. If that’s not possible, insist they include as much detail as possible without becoming boring. Keep the candidate interested enough to read the entire ad!

• Subset the legalities.

Remind the advertiser to attract attention, generate interest, create desire and provide a simple “next step” for the call to action. Below are some common mistakes:

• Extravagant layouts
• Text heavy ads
• Too much emphasis on the job instead of the person
• Capital letters
• Fancy fonts
• Obscure headlines (clever headlines are encouraged, but don’t make it impossible to figure out)
• Geek-speak (too many technical terms will disengage the reader prompting them to skip over your ad)
• Too many words (I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue too, too much text slows down reading and distracts the potential, leaving them to skip the ad)
• Boring descriptions

And for your reference, here’s a checklist of items to include for an effective recruitment ad:

• Job title
• Job description
• Employer
• Location
• Qualifications and skills (especially if this is an online ad!)
• Salary
• Call to action
• Website address
• Equal opportunity statement

Remember, don’t let your advertiser make the posting too wordy or busy! Busy ads ARE NOT best.