Job ads – are you doing it all wrong?

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Most job ads focus on the essential skills a candidate must be able to offer – but are you taking the time to sell yourself? One new study says employers are more successful when they boast about their own attributes.

The study’s co-author, Joseph Schmidt, insists employers are able to attract a better calibre of candidates when they emphasize what the organization can provide to prospective employees.

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business changed the wording of 56 genuine online job ads posted by a large Canadian engineering firm. 

The ads either emphasised characteristics the employer was seeking in a candidate or features about the job and organization that the employer could offer a new employee.

Measuring the number of times an ad was viewed, the number of applications it generated, and the quality of candidate, researchers found that the latter style ad was significantly more successful.

The results, based on 991 résumés, showed that the ads emphasizing what a candidate stood to gain elicited three times as many responses from the highest-rated applicants.

“It certainly has important practical implications if you’re recruiting a lot of people each year,” says Dr. Schmidt. “If you get 10 or 15 more higher-quality applicants than you would have otherwise, that could have important effects on the performance of the organization,” he added.

Not to mention that the required changes are a minimal, inexpensive way to improve the recruitment process.

Of course employers will always have to include some pre-requisites a potential employee must have – nobody wants to be inundated with applications from unqualified aspirants – but telling candidates what you can truthfully offer can have a big impact.

“The moral of the story is; don’t forget to tell applicants truthfully what the job will offer them,” concluded Schmidt.

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