JobTarget Spotlight

5 Easy Ways to Tailor Job Ads to Attract the Right Candidates

It comes as no surprise that the last few years have marked a trying time for hiring and retaining talent. The labor market has fundamentally shifted for both jobseekers and businesses – bringing with it new expectations, a desire for new skillsets, and a crucial need to add unique value to the market. Our budgets are smaller, our responsibilities are greater, and our patience has been tirelessly tested. In 2023, 69% of recruiting pros said the macroeconomic environment was negatively impacting hiring. Yet, 74% say it did not lower the priority of DEI hiring.

Jobseekers have become more intentional about finding a role with purpose, flexibility, equality, upskilling opportunities, and great benefits. And, in turn, organizations have had to become more adaptable – redefining their strategies to advertise, reach, and engage top talent much more efficiently (while also meeting their ever-evolving needs). Businesses desperately need unique talent right now. But actually reaching that talent is the most difficult step.

So, the question becomes…

How do companies meet candidates’ shifting expectations while staying true to their hiring goals and budgets?

Let’s dive into five different action steps that directly impact the success of a job advertisement and the quality of a candidate who wants to apply to your role.

1. Study the role.

There are too many cases where a hiring manager and recruiter don’t effectively define what would make a successful hire. So, first and foremost, study the role. The days of copying and pasting a job description and not really looking at what the work requires are gone.

Educate yourself so you can build the job advertisement effectively. What is the essence of the job? What fundamental skills does a person in this specific role need to have? Is there a “day in the life” scenario you could map out? Who does this role impact? How does it impact them?

All in all, if you can’t envision, and effectively describe, the persona of this role, the candidate can’t see themselves in this story.

2. Understand the candidate you’re trying to reach.

Now that you have storyboarded the role itself, now you get to study the ideal candidate. A whopping 94% of recruiting pros reported that understanding current employee skills and skill gaps are required to make informed talent decisions.

You need greater visibility into who your target audience is, what they care about, and what skills they have. What is their location preference? What’s been their career path up to this point? Where do they excel? What do they want to get better at? What are they looking for in a career and a company? What salary band does the position need to be in? What types of job sites does this candidate leverage to find a job? Where do they engage online?

If candidates can’t find you, advertising for the job is costing you money with no ROI. Map out the channels and job sites they may frequent. Appearing in the right job search requires knowing what the initial search could be. This has everything to do with the language your ideal candidates speak, the appropriate job title, a tailored job description, and an understood dialect that candidates applying for roles like these would use.

Recruiters must become more like marketers. Everyone is a marketer to some extent nowadays– and that’s not a bad thing. Know your audience. Speak to them in the language they speak, and you’ll reach the right people every time.

Want more information about how to write a winning job title and description? Find the details here.

3. Invest in a leading job site partner.

According to iHire’s 4th Annual State of Online Recruiting Report, 60% of employers surveyed said they have increased their reliance on job boards in the past year, and 70% use them for “most” or “all” of their hiring. And among job seekers, 60% searched for work through a job board in the past year, while 66% said they’d go to a job board first if they needed to find work immediately.

Job boards aren’t going anywhere. The key is to start getting creative with how you’re using them.

So, it’s time to get creative.

Sometimes the biggest headache for recruiters and companies is knowing where to post the job. There are so many questions to answer. Which job sites do I post to? For how long? How do I know the campaign will be effective? What if I drain my budget by choosing incorrectly?

That’s where a leading job site partner comes in to help you leverage available tools to understand the talent pool you’re trying to reach.

There are so many micro-decisions involved with each unique job advertisement that can make building a job ad strategy, for each role, a bit overwhelming. Not to mention, disorganized. There are countless businesses using only one or two job sites to post all their open positions at once. Then they are surprised by the sudden flood of applicants – most of which aren’t quality. Many of them will stop communication, not show up to the scheduled interview, and some may not even show up for their first day.

Why? Because applying for a job is easier than ever right now. Features like Easy Apply buttons populate applications within minutes. Although extremely convenient, candidates believe that there’s a higher probability of receiving a response by applying to more jobs, even if they aren’t qualified.

So, how do you filter out the candidates that are qualified and interested in the role?

Invest in a job site partner. Whether you want to partner with a niche job board or a partner that handles your job advertisement campaigns for you, having a partner with alternative candidate data, job trends, and intelligent technology at their fingertips will move your business forward.

At JobTarget, we help our clients fill their open roles 3x faster with our flagship product, Programmatic. In simple terms, Programmatic Job Advertising ensures that the most qualified job seekers are targeted with the most relevant job ads. It’s the use of technology that ensures the most relevant and effective job sites, timing, costs, and traffic are strategized and distributed.

We take your recruiting budget and optimize it across over 100 job sites to reach your target audience on the best-performing sites for that role. We help you get your job in front of the candidates that matter.

Want to learn more? Contact us here.

4. Analyze and refine your job ad to optimize conversion.

A job ad is only as good as it’s written, the strategy you put forth, and the ability to refine and reassess when things aren’t resonating.

You’re not going to hit the mark every time. And that’s okay. But the refinement process is crucial to ensuring the next campaign returns the results you need.

Re-strategize the job ad. Go back to the drawing board and edit through wordcount and keywords of the job title and description.

Invest in SEO-optimization. You may be using the wrong keywords and phrases for this audience.

Go an extra step and do more compensation research and adjust accordingly. Candidates may be ignoring your ad completely if compensation details aren’t up to par.

Reassess your employer branding. Make sure your mission and vision align with the language in your job post. Ensure DEI is a common thread throughout your ads. Professional development and training opportunities should be well-defined.

Leverage more data! Pull more appropriate job or candidate data. Check out a competitive analysis. What are your competitors doing or saying differently?

Get more budget focused. Seek more detailed budget advice to discuss budget efficiency plans that could move your strategy forward.

5. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Don’t wait to reach out to qualified talent!

A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found that 76% of 2023’s US job seekers say not hearing back after submitting a job application trumps the frustration of not hearing back after a first date. And 72% of job seekers who had a bad candidate experience told others about it online or in person.

Attention spans are slim, and candidates want to know where they stand immediately. The job ad is useless if you don’t capture the candidates who are most engaged right when they’re engaging. It’s all about timing.

The easiest way to proactively communicate with candidates is to set up automated email, call or text campaigns that are triggered as soon as an application is completed. And if you don’t have that capability, closely monitor your campaigns to send manual outreach when necessary.

Bottom line – you have no time to lose! Candidates want to hear from you yesterday.

Final thoughts.

As the need for great talent keeps growing and our budget dollars keep getting smaller, we’re expected to hire more skilled candidates with less advertising money. It’s overwhelming, yes, but it’s doable!

We must create job ads that convert. The market is demanding it.