Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Recruitment Advertising

Branded, image and want ads
As a sales rep, it's important to understand these types of recruitment ads, the needs associated with them and the varying results they get. With this knowledge, you will be able to offer your advertisers the best recruitment advertising solutions to fit their needs.

When it comes to recruitment advertising, there are many avenues your advertisers can take. Your clients could go with the most popular and common choice, the want ad. A want ad is your classi "help wanted" liner or display ad. This is beneficial to companies that have a job opening they need to fill and need to attract applicants. But there are other options as well, including branded and image ads, each with a distinct purpose. As a sales rep, it's important to understand these types of recruitment ads, the needs associated with them and the varying results they get. With this knowledge, you will be able to offer your advertisers the best recruitment advertising solutions to fit their needs. The three main categories of recruitment ads are explained below, along with advice on how to create and implement them. To demonstrate these differences, we have also created example ads for each of these three categories for a fictional hospital looking to advertise in the recruitment section.

Branded Ads

Although a company may not be currently seeking new employees or have a position that needs to be filled, they shouldn’t stop advertising in the recruitment section. Companies should always be creating and maintaining a positive image and public presence, whether or not they’re looking to hire. Branded ads are advertisements that are geared toward creating a positive image for a company and promoting it as a good place to work (hence why it is called a “branded” ad  — it promotes a company’s brand), even if they aren’t currently hiring. Your clients may not readily see the point in placing a recruitment ad if they aren’t actually looking to hire, so it’s important to present them with the benefits. By posting a branded ad, they are not only creating a positive image of their company, they are keeping the channel of communication with jobseekers and potential employees open. Moreover, their competition may also be advertising, so it’s good form to stay equally present and accessible to the public as their competitors.

How to:

When discussing branded ads as a possibility for your clients, tell them the goal is to create a positive image of their company without specific job openings. Suggest picking one or two employees for the campaign as representations of the work environment at that company. An employee testimonial as an ad is a great way to prove that your company is a place jobseekers may want to work — after all, you have given them an example of a happy employee in your branded ad. If your advertiser decides to use an employee testimonial, make sure it is a testament to the company, not that employee’s position.

Another option is offering a photo of your company building with quick, but smart, copy about how it is a great place to work, and all applicants are welcome. This doesn’t draw attention to one specific position, or even explicitly say they are hiring. However, it does reaffirm that it is a great place to work, and jobseekers will walk away with that image and impression in their mind and maintain that attitude toward the company in the future.

Image Ads


Image ads, similar to branded ads, encourage the idea of creating a positive recruitment image, while they may not necessarily be hiring at that time. However, instead of promoting the image of a specific company, these ads promote a certain industry or field. For instance, this may be something to suggest to hospitals or vocational schools that are looking to advertise. The idea is to encourage someone to join a specific type of field, for instance nurses or technicians. An industry may want to post an image ad for certain career paths, because there is either a shortage in that field or they are just trying to promote that industry to the public or in-coming students. Readers should leave an image ad with a positive impression of that particular profession.

How to:

If one of your advertisers decides they would like to publish an image ad, tell them to pick one of the positions that they feel needs more applicants or that just needs a boost in its public presence. Then create an ad that demonstrates why that is a fruitful and fulfilling career path to take. Again, using employee testimonials is a positive way to accomplish this campaign; however in this case, they should be discussing why they love their field rather than their company. Similarly, you could discuss the success rates of individuals that decided to work in that particular field and how they have gone on to prosper because of that decision.

Want Ads


Want ads are the most tried-and-true form of recruitment advertising. When a company finds itself with a specific opening or in need of new employees, they place an advertisement for the opening, with a job description and what skills and requirements are needed to apply. This is not so much a chance to boost a company or an industry’s public image, but rather a practical solution to hiring.

How to:

The design of this ad is slightly more restricted than the previous options in terms of freedom for creativity and copywriting, as you need to make sure you include all of the necessary information for applicants. After all, the goal is to receive résumés in order to efficiently and successfully hire a new employee. Make sure you give the position title, a job description, skills and experience that are required and whether they want a résumé or cover letter, or both. Make sure your advertiser has the perfect candidate in mind in order to create the content. If not, they will have to weed through numerous applications that don’t meet the requirements before they find a candidate that will successfully fill the position.

Although want ads may be limited in design, make sure you’re still thoughtful of their appearance. A good design will go a long way in capturing a jobseeker’s attention in a section filled with want ads that share a common format: job opening, description and skill requirements. Make sure you’re breaking up the monotony and standing out from the crowd.