Are your job ads receiving a high calibre of applications?
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Are your job ads receiving a high calibre of applications?

A recent Grapevine news article shared coverage of a BBC job advert ridiculed for being too long and littered in jargon, leaving potential candidates perplexed.

This is worrying as the number one challenge for in-house recruiters, revealed in the 2017 UK Candidate Attraction Report, remains as candidate scarcity, so quality job descriptions and advertisements are absolutely key to attract the right candidates.

Whilst job adverts come in many guises there are a few rules you can follow to attract the widest pool of candidates. How you decipher what are the exact skills the candidate needs for each vacancy and how best to communicate this in the job advert could generate the quality and quantity of applicants you need.

Unconscious gender wording

Job advertisements and job descriptions that are created and include either more masculine or more feminine wording could detract from some genders applying – limiting interested skilled candidates. Subtle wording differences to your job advertisements could attract a wider base of applicants with the right talent. 

Eploy have created a free tool, ‘check my job’ to see if a job advert might be unconsciously gender biased through masculine and feminine words used. It also checks the length of the job advert against best practice and gives instant results with details of the masculine, feminine or neutral words used. What’s more you can use the tool again and again to be best placed to ensure your recruitment campaigns deliver time after time.

When looking at a sample of visitors using our ‘Check my Job’ tool, 80 per cent of those jobs checked were feminine biased gender ads compared to 20 per cent masculine biased ads. The masculine ads typically contained the words lead/leading, decision/s or active and in some examples a combination of all. Those feminine ads all contained the words understand/ing support/ing or again a combination of both.

You can read more about the academic work of Gaucher, Friesen and Kay and the testing of gender code with example job descriptions in a previous Eploy blog.

If done right, job ads will attract good quality candidates so don’t deter a perfect candidate by using wording to make them look past your job ad and on to the next. Eradicating gender bias will see a much better return on your time and effort.

Other ways to maximise a high calibre of job applications include:

1.Keep it simple and ‘normal’

Using relative job titles that are ‘normal’ and relevant will help with candidate scarcity. Be concise, descriptive and as the BBC example indicates don’t be overly creative and alienate candidates. Make sure job titles are meaningful outside of your organisation and sector too.  

2. Know the effective sourcing channels that work for you

So once you have the perfect approved job advert, what’s next? Know your target audience and source the right candidates of course! We know from the findings of the 2017 UK Candidate Attraction Report that candidate sourcing activities can deliver varied results. The top 4 channel usage by in-house recruiters are:

 - Advertising the job on your Website/Careers site (94%)

- Using Professional Social Networks (84%)

- Seeking Employee Referrals (70%)

- Posting to General Job Boards (70%)

No real surprises there. However, the top channel by usage (website) generally falls short as a highly effective sourcing tool, lacking somewhat in quality and quantity candidates – however, the larger the organisation the better results. The reports shows the full breakdown of the candidate sourcing workflow and channel usage that is delivering best quality and quantity of candidates in the report - and there are variations by sector and size of organisation.   

Added to that is an interesting correlation between the regular measurement of Website/Career Site as a channel in having a positive effect on results; which leads on to the final point….

 Measure, Measure, Measure 

This sounds obvious but measurement of performance is so often overlooked. What information do you have on current vacancies, candidate attraction, stage of the vacancies, effectiveness of your campaign and the success of placements?   

Using your ATS/CRM system reports and analytics to monitor and track recruitment performance means being in control. Having quick access to real-time reports will enable you to monitor performance and see the impact of your work in aiding successful recruitment with a high calibre of recruits.

For more information about Eploy and a guide to Applicant Tracking, Job Requisitions, Talent Pooling, Recruitment CRM and Recruitment Analytics download our free brochure. 

Download free brochure

Don’t forget to visit ‘Check my Job’ and of course get your free copy of the full 2017 UK Candidate Attraction Report to sense check how you are attracting the right candidates.


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