3 Steps to Creating a Candidate Attraction Ad

Do you believe that you need to hire a third-party recruiter to get A Player talent? Do you think it’s difficult or impossible to attract great talent through a job ad? If you answered yes to these questions, I’m here to tell you that fortunately, you’re wrong. Trust me, it’s a good thing.

Take a look at the job ads on Indeed and Linkedin. They’re not really ads at all; they’re boring. No one is really telling their story and I know that it’s not because they don’t have a great story to tell, they just don’t know how to do it.

When you write your job ads, do you capture your company’s story and why it’s so great to work there?

It’s time to do away with boring job ads and start creating candidate attraction job ads. When I write them for my clients, it’s not uncommon that I get comments like “Wow this is the best job posting I’ve ever seen!” or “You need to write job ads for every company!”

So how can you create a candidate attraction job ad that attracts top talent? Follow this 3-step process and you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the competition:

1. The Position Scorecard: Go Beyond the Job Description

Outlining the who, what, when, why, where and how is extremely important. It may sound simple, but there are many parts to a job ad and writing it all down will help you fine-tune what a great candidate looks like.

Gather information on the current state of the role including team makeup, challenges of the role, department and company priorities as well as the DNA of the team/company. 

Many mis-hires in recruiting can be avoided by spending upfront time on aligning on the Position Scorecard with the relevant decision-makers. You can also avoid time wasted in interviews by both HR and Leaders.

Examine what a great culture fit looks like. What’s the current state of the team and what’s the value add that the ideal candidate will bring to the table?

It’s critical that you talk about the culture, the leader the candidate will report to, what they’ll achieve in the role and what’s important to that ideal candidate. Get to the nitty-gritty of who they are.

2. Define the Ideal Candidate’s Pain

Once you’ve defined things like why the position is open, desired experience, hard skills, and compensation, you need to dive deeper.

It’s time to do research and gather data about the ideal candidate’s pain points.

For example, some accountants hate doing technical accounting all the time and want variety in their day-to-day. Maybe that’s the type of person you’re looking to hire for your firm. Speak to that pain point or desire and talk about the variety of projects that the new hire will enjoy at your company. 

As a hiring or HR leader, you have to talk to your employees so you understand what they’re looking for in that new hire. You have to know what the employee engagement surveys say. You have to truly understand what kind of candidate will help your company grow. 

Externally, there’s a ton of data about different types of roles. Get on Quora, Glassdoor, Reddit and other forums or websites that pertain to your industry. Find out what candidates complain about and desire with regard to a particular role.

3. Tell the Story 

Take all the information in Steps 1 and 2 and tell the story of the role.

You need to stand out if you want the best talent in your company. People want you to be authentic. It’s not hard to stand out – every company is unique. Not to mention, the bar for writing job ads is so low.

Here’s the recommended structure of your candidate attraction job ad:

  • Intro – What Role – One Line Sizzle
  • Speak to Pain – Get Them to Say Yes to Your Questions
  • What a Great Ideal Candidate Looks Like
  • Sneak Peek – Day in the Life – Paint a Vivid Picture
  • The Culture
  • Team and/or Leader
  • Role Snapshot
  • Must-Have, Should Have

Remember, even though you have to talk about your company, it’s about what you can do for the candidate. For example, people care that you’ve won awards but don’t write a huge paragraph about it. Talk about awards through the lens of how it’s beneficial for the candidate.

You don’t need to be a great writer to create amazing ads; you just need to know who you’re recruiting for, their pain points and your company’s DNA. If you have these three things down, you’re golden!