How to...create a viral job advert

 How to...create a viral job advert

It’s often a mystery why some job advertisements go viral, whilst others get a measly handful of applicants, despite being crafted thoroughly with attention to detail.

Investing in a good marketing campaign can often pay dividends or alternatively, injecting wit and satire into a job advert can spark just as much, if not more interest.

Recently, Skyline Offices wrote a job advert seeking a candidate who is “desperate” or “demoralised” and “wants to live the Monaco lifestyle on a Wetherspoons budget.” Benefits include: the ability to select job title; “HUGE autonomy”; “access to our selection of booze from our ‘drinking globe’”; and “[upon leaving] a gushing and over the top reference that puts most modern fiction to shame”.

This job advert, and its subsequent online viral spreading, aligns with findings published in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising by researchers from Oulu Business School and Oulu University of Applied Sciences. The researchers found that humorous campaigns can increase exposure; although the downside is that the chances of flippant job applications increases.

Plaguing a job advert with jovial references could be the maker or breaker of getting a job advert seen, but talent specialists must be mindful of what calibre and demographic of candidates they want to attract. Whether humorous job advertisements actually work, one thing is certain – people pay attention.

On the flipside, confusing job descriptions can decrease the chance of a job advert gaining mass exposure.

Research has shown that impenetrable jargon in job ads are putting off young candidates from applying.  Two out of three candidates, aged between 16- to 24-years-old, said they could not understand a role they were applying for according to a report, compiled by Business in the Community and City & Guilds.

Whilst language plays an important role in a job advert, the platforms on which it is shared are just as pivotal. 

James Purvis, Head of Talent Acquisition at European scientific research organisation CERN, says that the key is knowing the place of the job ad within the campaign. “We have a social media strategy and a job board strategy. Social media is about building engagement, using word-of-mouth and referrals. Job boards are about reaching out to new communities with whom we are probably not in contact via our social media.”

“To win over top talent and really set themselves apart from their peers, employers need to be ready to adopt emerging, disruptive technology,” adds Chris Bogh, Chief Technology Officer at Eploy. “To be ready relies on having clear processes in place already and getting the basics right. This is essential before looking to new ideas such as recruitment marketing, employee advocacy and online reputation management which will become increasingly more important.”

In this regard, recruitment and digital marketing techniques are intrinsic to the subsequent spread of an advert.

Tim Jubb, Digital Marketing Executive at Eploy suggests that three digital spaces are particularly key to modern candidate attraction strategies:

1. Social media : Understanding the digital ‘social’ space and how to recruit on it can help to successfully attract top talent.

2. Job boards: Online job postings are still the most important way to market to your candidates. Stellar job descriptions can make all the difference in the war for talent.

3. Website: Websites can make or break candidate applications. User journey, ease of application, mobile responsiveness and communications are key to hiring top talent and ensuring the candidate experience is consistently high.

Adding to that, Skillscrush spoke to viral video expert and CEO of, Alexander Debelov, about developing a viral marketing campaign - and he says that timing is key. He advises not to share ads when competitors are and to seed your intial views by reaching out to those on your mailing list - or in the case of hiring, your talent pool.

"Create additional marketing spikes during the first 24 hours to show algorithms high rates of views, likes, comments, and shares," he adds, and if views start to slow, invest in paid views or shares to regain momentum.

Be the first to comment.