Writing Effective Recruitment Ads
by Steven Tarlow
Marketing Services, The Spokesman-Review

What makes an effective recruitment ad?

An effective recruitment ad is a serious inquiry on the part of a hiring organization in need of a valuable asset. It facilitates an exciting courtship, a blind date with destiny. For the good of your company, here are some hints to help you produce recruitment ads that maximize quality response and minimize the consumption of valuable resources – namely, time and money.

   First, think visually. Whether your recruitment ad is a display or liner, the most direct, beautiful ad is what attracts the eye. You must think of the career hunter – your customer – as a moving target. They will scan the job listings from column to column, so give your ad an advantage by capturing readers’ eyes for more than a fleeting glance with a good layout. This draws their attention, projects your company’s image and personality and creates recognition. Simple and bold - white space, crisp borders, photos and illustrations, including your corporate logo and colors.

   In your copy, avoid abbreviated words that make your message unclear – confused customers have many other recruitment ads they can consider.

   Next, focus the image of the ideal candidate you have in mind, because it’s time to start writing. You know the duties and skills your position requires, as well as your corporation’s culture. The headline of your recruitment ad is the first opportunity you have to lead the reader onto better things -Your position.

   What's in it for me? is the career hunters mantra. Create an immediate urge to act by appealing to their emotions with short, direct headlines and subheadings that reinforce copy points and emphasize benefits, showing what they’ll gain from a relationship with your company.

   Once you catch a career hunter’s eye with a tantalizing headline, reel them in with your body copy. Provide details, specifics and benefits that sell your company . You must be specific about what you are looking for, because relying upon position titles to do your work for you can be a roadblock to fully qualified applicants. Moreover, clear descriptions can help weed out those without the necessary skills or credentials. You should also describe the interview process fully. Appeal to the reader’s self-interest by emphasizing what’s in it for them – money, benefits, etc.

   Recruitment ads that do not list a specific salary range or sampling of benefits gather significantly less attention. In turn, ads that give a clear idea of salary and benefits offered are difficult to overlook.

   Once a career hunter is ready to act on your advertisement, make it easy for them to contact you, when and where.

   An ineffective ad can also lead qualified prospects to pass you over for the stunner at the other end of the classified column. All of this results in an ineffective use of valuable time.

   Put in your due diligence, recruiters! If compelling copy doesn’t come easily for you, indulge your recruitment senses in the time-honored practice of “creative borrowing.” It is worth looking at other recruiters’ copy in print media and online for examples you can adapt, as some are brilliant at using their ads not only to attract candidates, but to support their brands.

   If you have an existing recruitment section on your Web site, opt to have interested applicants who see your ads click through for more information on your business in general, and on the opening you seek to fill.