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4 Tips for Effective Job Ads

Times, they are a-changin’! Marketing has taken a firm hold on the recruiting world and neither department is letting go any time soon. When marketing and recruiting got together I think we all saw a happy future on the horizon. Although marketing has penetrated numerous processes in recruiting, traditional job ads are an area where we’re seeing some major change, and it’s pretty exciting.

Check out how recruiters are experimenting right now with their jobs ads:

Visuals and Video

Text alone is simply not going to cut it anymore. We are starting to see job ads come to life with visuals of all kinds from simple images depicting employees, to some pretty awesome infographic-style listings, complete with dynamic job reqs.

Want to see how it’s done? Taco Bell has come out with a surprisingly cool infographic that has generated a lot of attention from candidates and recruiters alike. Frequent Recruiter.com contributor Kazim Ladimeji said:

“One new job and brand marketing medium that HR and recruiters should take notice of is infographics, which are more than just pretty pictures – and have a clear role to play in employer branding and job marketing.” Ladimeji adds, “Absolutely, because recent research from SlideShare has shown that infographics are more viral than text documents, (e.g. your job descriptions), being shared 3X more than documents on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.”

Infographics are just the tip of the visual iceberg. Corporate career sites are also rich in media and employment branding content, especially video. Video is a powerful medium today and with lower-cost and improved video creation and distribution platforms, and of course our everyday smart phones with cameras we carry around, its pervasiveness is telling. Companies can and should do a better job storytelling through video, enabling their talent acquisition teams to create company overview videos, “day-in-the-life” employee videos, hiring manager “what it’s like to work here” videos, key business leadership messages to prospective employees via video, and other job related videos that easily be posted to their career sites as well as leveraged for internal mobility.

What’s even more telling is that the results from the Talent Board’s 2013 Candidate Experience Awards report indicate the emerging importance of communicating a company’s culture as a key point of differentiation, as well as decreased emphasis on job benefit details.

When the candidates were asked “what is your experience with the company’s marketing content available before you applied?” their top four answers included:

• Values (i.e., Fit) – 48.7%

• Answers to ‘Why’ People Want to Work Here – 48.6%

• Product Information – 47.6%

• Answers to ‘Why’ People Stay Here – 44.7%

All of which line up nicely with cultural fit and all of which can be produced as videos delivered easily to your target markets.

Mobile as a MUST

If your career site and job ads aren’t mobile optimized, stop reading and get to work. Passive and active candidates alike are turning to their smart devices when on the job hunt (and watching recruiting videos). According to a LinkedIn study, 72% of candidates will attempt to view the career site via their mobile device, yet only 18% of companies have optimized their job ads for mobile (and don’t forget how).

This major disconnect is providing those companies with mobile optimized sites that are rich in “employer of choice” videos, a huge advantage in the competitive world of talent acquisitions. Your candidates aren’t going mobile; they are mobile. Are you ready?

Recruitment Messaging

I want to make a solid plea to recruiters to stop confusing job requirements for candidate personas. In marketing we have what we call “buyer personas” and they help us target our message to reach and entice the right people. Job requirements are not the recruiter’s answer to “buyer personas”.

The recruitment message should be one part, how you want the candidate to view the company and the position, and one part, who you’re looking for to compliment your company culture. Recruitment messaging pro, Christopher Brablc said:

“As you are creating your recruitment marketing messaging, it’s important to keep in mind the ultimate goal of what you are crafting.  While the end goal may always be converting applicants, different messaging should have a different layout and tone depending on the actions you want candidates to take and the main purpose of the content.”


Known for making waves in the recruiting world, Zappos has very recently announced that they are doing away with their job ads completely. They are switching instead to a sort of member’s only system. They launched a program called “Zappos Insider” for anyone who wants to learn more about the company and the culture.

The idea here is that only candidates who are engaged with the brand are going to apply. This method ensures that the right candidates are the ones who take the time to enroll, learn about the culture and then decide if it’s right for them. Video plays a big role in sharing culture at Zappos and you can see for yourself here.

Canned job ads with nothing but a laundry list of requirements, are quickly being overshadowed by these innovative and engaging new types of listings. Employers have learned that engagement and cultural fit need to be established in the recruiting process, and job ads are big part of that. As talent attraction becomes more competitive, recruiters are stepping up their job ad game in a lot of really interesting ways.

This post originally appeared on PeopleFluent.