Review our step-by-step guide to advertising a job, writing and publishing an effective job ad, and building a pool of talented candidates.
This article is part of a larger series on Hiring.
The best way to advertise a job successfully is by preparing well, writing an effective job ad, publishing your ad, and following up with candidates. Knowing how to advertise a job and finding the perfect candidates are critical tasks for any organization that needs to hire quickly and efficiently. Additionally, learning to promote jobs by planning recruitment strategies will mitigate recruitment costs and potentially add strong, qualified employees to your team.
ZipRecruiter offers a recruitment platform that can potentially reach thousands of applicants and allows you to sync your job ads to over 100 leading job recruitment boards. You will receive a FREE Highlight Enhancement ($60 value) to make your job ad stand above the competition—and you can start out advertising your open job for free.
1. Prepare to Advertise
There are many steps that organizations need to take before launching a recruitment strategy. This includes removing disorganization and surprises, such as going over budget, that could result in lengthy recruitments.
- Determine your needs: First, determine what positions you need to fill.
- Discuss with leadership: Checking with leadership before posting an advertisement is wise as it ensures that all team members are on the same page. Discuss and plan how the position will be written and advertised.
- Consider budget: Analyze what your budget is for advertising, hiring, and onboarding your candidate. Advertising on a pricey job board can easily cost a couple of hundred dollars for a two-week posting. It’s important to be prepared and know ahead of time that you have sufficient resources to find that perfect candidate.
- Create your job description: Writing a job description before beginning your recruitment process can make advertising the job easier. Job descriptions assist you in developing employment ad text for the recruitment process. They should also include diverse language to appeal to all prospects.
- Consider using recruitment software: Professional recruiting software can assist your business throughout the hiring process, from creating your job description and job ad, to tracking your applicants and onboarding your new hire.
2. Write an Effective Job Ad
Using your job description as a guideline, you can write an effective job ad that will yield strong, desirable candidates. By following these steps to formulate a job ad, you can hire the best candidate both quickly and cost-effectively.
- Position Title: Develop creative job titles that are meaningful for the organization, but be sure the title of the position directly matches the job description. If you’re set on using a fun or creative title, it’s best to use it next to the conventionally understood version—for example, Marketing Rockstar (Marketing Executive) or Beverage Dissemination Officer (Bartender).
- About Us: Tell talent why they should work for your company. Who is the company? What is its mission? What is the company culture? Endear the reader to your brand and then dive into the description of the position you are recruiting for.
- Job Description: Be sure to clearly explain the position and provide a list of role responsibilities. Sharing a lot of information in the ad without giving enough detail on what the position is can lead to unqualified candidates applying to your advertisement. Additionally, sharing minimal job responsibility data can lead to a misunderstanding of the ad narrative.
- Applicant Requirements: Add details to your job ad that states what education, experience, and skills are required for the position. You can make a list with details such as “Bachelor’s degree in Communications required,” “must be proficient in QuickBooks software,” etc.
- How to Apply: Your job ad should include a section to notify the job seeker on how to apply for the position. For example, “Apply with your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.” We suggest using a ghost email address so that no staff member has to share their email address and risk applicants overusing it.
3. Publish Your Job Ad
The top ways to recruit are using word-of-mouth, posting to a job board, advertising on social media, and utilizing recruitment software. Many job postings see most of their activity in the first week of advertising.
If you partner with a job board—such as ZipRecruiter, which offers a four-day free trial—you can create a cost-effective way to get the word for your job opening out.
Word of mouth, including employee referrals, still represents one of the best ways to acquire the top candidates. Reaching out within your network allows you to connect with trusted professionals, increasing the likelihood of finding a quick referral or applicant that may be right for you. You can notify your potential internal candidates by posting the open position on a break room bulletin board or through email communications.
Another great place to promote jobs is at a job fair. These are typically one- or two-day events where businesses set up booths and have applications on hand for potential employees to apply for open positions. Job fairs can draw hundreds of job seekers in one setting. Plus, you can see your candidates face-to-face and hold interviews on the spot.
There are numerous free job posting opportunities, although there are limitations to where you can post and how long the job will be seen.
Best Free Job Boards
Features and Benefits
If you are looking for a more robust job board experience with additional options, consider using a job posting site with a subscription. These provide enhanced features that can make the hiring process easier such as templated job ads, posting to multiple top job boards simultaneously, and sorting and screening applicants for you.
Best Paid Job Boards
Features and Benefits
Did You Know? The average job posting gets 250 resumes. Learn more in our article on recruiting statistics.
Commonly known as headhunters, these third-party agencies are hired by businesses to quickly source qualified, pre-assessed candidates in exchange for a fee of 20%–30% of the first year’s salary of the person hired. For example, if the candidate you hired is paid $100,000, the staffing firm would be paid $20,000 to $30,000, typically over the first three to six months.
Many employers who use staffing agencies take time to locate one that operates or specializes in their industry.
4. Follow Up With Your Ad
Once you’ve published your job ad, be sure to follow up and review resumes promptly.
- Get to candidates quickly: When the market is hot, quickly following up and reviewing resumes is critical. Failing to review resumes on time can result in top talent no longer being available.
- Refresh your job postings: With some job boards, there is an option for “job refresh,” which ensures your posting stays toward the top of the first page of job search results. While your job posting is active, you should refresh it weekly.
- Make it easy for passive talent to apply: Looking for passive candidates (people who already have jobs) is a good practice. The best way to attract their attention is to make it easy for them to apply to your job.
- Stay in contact with candidates of interest: In addition to getting back to job seekers quickly for that first contact, be sure to connect regularly with your candidates of interest. A weekly call or email will give them reassurance that you value their time and the opportunity to include them on your team.
Advertising For Multiple Jobs
You won’t always hire one employee at a time, so when the time comes to advertise and hire for more than one position, follow these tips to hire multiple employees simultaneously.
- List your priorities: Focusing on the most important jobs is the best way to get your priority positions filled as soon as possible. You may have several recruitment ads posted at the same time, but you should choose to review resumes and schedule interviews for the most critical ones first.
- Track your candidates: Be sure to track your applicants as you move them through the pipeline. Utilizing a tool that is designed to track candidates and where they are in the hiring process can be a huge time-saver for you and your team.
- Set a budget for each open position: When you are hiring for multiple positions at the same time, it is essential that you understand how much money you are spending on advertising and what your estimated return on investment (ROI) will be for each position.
Building a team with the best talent is one of the most important jobs you have as a leader. And, knowing how and where to advertise your current job openings will increase the likelihood of finding top candidates. Be sure you have set up a budget, discussed open opportunities within the company, and created an eye-catching job advertisement.