How To Write A Job Ad That Attracts The Right Person

Some helpful tips from HR expert and industry icon, Lizzy Boots.

Do you have a gap in your team but can’t find the words to find the *perfect* person? We asked HR expert and founder of Boots & All Consulting, Lizzy Boots, on her tips and tricks to writing a great job ad to attract your next superstar employee.

First steps

Before you put fingers to a keyboard, you need to think about what you value as a business. Lizzy says you should be honest about who you are. It’s easy to stray from your usual personality when writing a job ad for the sake of sounding impressive and professional.

“It’s no good saying you’re a relaxed workplace when, in fact, your business is very structured and has a culture of seriousness. Likewise, if you always have Friday afternoon drinks with the team, your ideal employee would need to value this socialising too,” Lizzy said.

The perfect employee will be the person who fits seamlessly with your environment. A great way to find out what they may look like is to ask your existing superstar staff, Lizzy says. Find out what attracted them to apply to their position and what keeps them there.

“Sometimes you’ll be surprised at the things people say. It might be that you sounded friendly and mentioned after-work activities,” Lizzy said.

Finding the words

Once you have identified your values, you can start constructing your job ad. Like resumes, it’s better to be honest. Lizzy says there aren’t enough real conversations happening in today’s ads.

“Your ad should be a conversation with your potential employee. Ask yourself, what does this conversation look like? What is the tone?” she said.

The language you use should reflect your business. Lizzy discourages the use of vague jargon as it’s dated and unnecessary fluff. Things like ‘must be a self-starter’ or ‘well-spoken and tidy’.

“These things are a given. Do they have initiative? Well, they show you that by submitting their application on time. Actions speak louder than words,” she said.

The do’s

Lizzy instead includes necessary information like your location, salary bracket, hours, and workdays. You should be realistic and paint a clear picture of what is involved in the role. Clearly state your non-negotiables, even if they aren’t the most attractive propositions, like working on a Saturday or staying late if the doctor runs overtime. Your future employee needs to have this information upfront.

“The basics should go right at the front, so the person has a clear idea of the role within 60 seconds. You only have that much time to grab their attention before they move onto the next ad,” Lizzy said.

Follow-up

Finish your ad with a genuine statement thanking the applicant for their time and advise them of the next steps. The standard procedure is a telephone interview followed by an in-person interview. A phone interview helps to weed out those in your shortlist that aren’t suitable and to be considerate of their time. An in-person interview can take up to three hours out of someone’s day, so you want to be serious about their application by this stage. Lizzy also suggests sending a follow-up email after you have received their application if you want to take the extra step in showing your appreciation.

“It takes a minute to send a quick email to say that you have received their application and you’re reviewing it. It’s also an opportunity to let them know that if they don’t hear back from you, their application was unsuccessful this time around,” she said.

The person applying may not be skilled enough this time, but it could be a very different picture in a year. Lizzy says HR has become PR, and it’s essential to keep a good relationship with all of your applicants.

“It’s a PR exercise every time you recruit. By treating your applicants with care, you are creating an advocate for your business. Treat them in the same way you treat your clients,” Lizzy finishes.

This article originally appeared in SPA + CLINIC Volume 84. Click here to subscribe to future issues and read the latest below: 

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