Attracting the best talent with your ad

  • 01-03-18
  • David LLOYD Landau

For most businesses, a job advertisement is one of the first elements they will put together when hiring a new Accountant. This is a vital step where you must clearly lay out the details of the role, ensuring both the candidates and yourself, have a full understanding of what you’re looking for. Think of the job advert as your chance to “sell” the vacancy to job seekers, helping you to attract a quality talent pool that will give you your pick of the very best accounting professionals available.

Although this part of the process can be bypassed by working with a specialist Sydney Accounting recruitment agency, if you are going it alone there are some fundamental rules that are important to follow if you want to write a job advert that excites candidates and hits the mark every time.

Create an eye-catching job title

The job title is the first thing a potential candidate will see about your role. Before they even click on the ad, it’s the job title and preview text that often determines whether they decide to read further or keep scrolling. This makes it vitally important – there’s not much point in a well-written job description if nobody is drawn to reading it. A good job title is both interesting and relevant, meaning it needs to be clever enough to hook the reader but also recognisable so that it quickly communicates what the role is. If you have an internal job title that isn’t particularly relatable, consider adjusting it for the job advert.

However, being too clever can also backfire. For example, a job title reading “Spreadsheet Magician” may be unique, but it could fail to connect with the Accounting and Finance professionals you’re trying to reach. If it’s not easily understood, your talent pool is likely to suffer. A better option would be “Senior Financial Accountant” as the title, and then using the short preview text underneath to convey the nature of the role, showcase your company’s unique approach and culture, and still denote the x-factor you’re looking for in the perfect candidate.

Clearly outline what's in it for the candidate

The best job advert examples don’t merely catalogue requirements and duties but aim to stand out by highlighting the benefits offered to the successful applicant. This involves selling both the role and your company itself and requires you to delve deeper into what makes the opportunity enticing.

Selling the company

If you’re a smaller business trying to compete with a larger one, it’s important to explain who you are and what you do, as well as your values, goals, purpose and company culture. Larger organisations are better to narrow down the specific team or group in order to keep it relevant to the role. Don’t forget to emphasise the points that set your company apart from others and why it is an attractive place to work, such as specific benefits, flexible working options or team retreats.

Selling the role

When you turn your attention to selling the role, a great place to start is by developing a detailed candidate persona (or more than one if necessary). This is essentially a representation of the ideal person for the job. Think about who they are, the stage of their career they’re in, and what they might want out of the role, as well as the opportunities, challenges and working options that will appeal to them. This will help you to create more relevant job descriptions, target suitable candidates better, and generally align your ad to the right market. You can use this persona to highlight the benefits of the role – the facets that appeal to the person, rather than the features of the role itself.

In addition, it’s crucial to be as specific as possible about what the role actually is and what the candidate will be doing, instead of using general terms that don’t clarify the job sufficiently. A word of warning: try to avoid exaggerating aspects of the role or company. If the job is too good to be true, this will be found out in interviews, or worse, once the person starts the role.

Let candidates know what you're looking for

Next, articulate the “must haves” you’re seeking in candidates – the qualities that are absolutely essential for the job – along with the “nice-to-haves” that will put them ahead of other talent. Must-haves can include the experience, skills and qualifications you’d like candidates to possess, such as a being a Chartered Account, good communication skills, the ability to use specialist software or knowledge of Australian tax legislation.

Nice-to-haves, meanwhile, could consist of experience in management roles, a second language or perhaps a background in financial services. The key here is to ensure you keep the requirements relevant by tying them back to the objectives of the role and explaining why they’re important for success.

Provide an easy way to apply

Finally, round the job ad off with an easy way to apply. This could be through a mobile app, a straightforward form where you can upload a CV and cover letter, or a good old-fashioned email; depending on your company and the kind of professional you’re targeting. Regardless of which channel you choose to advertise on, making the method as easy and straightforward will ensure quality candidates are not deterred by a lengthy or complicated process.

Bonus tips for writing a job ad

  • Using a job advert template, such as the one shown here, can be a great place to start and will help you structure your ad more effectively.
  • An effective job ad will usually address the reader directly using pronouns such as “you,” as this makes the ad appear more personal and reciprocal.
  • Keep the length concise and ensure it’s in a digestible format, using headers to break up the sections and make it easier to read. Online job adverts tend to be long and thin, so large walls of text will look out-of-place and the reader could lose interest before the end.
  • Avoid anything that could be viewed as illegal or discriminatory, such as asking specifically for applicants to be young or childless. You can learn more about the legal guidelines for writing job ads in Australia here.
  • Writing a job advert is only the first step of the recruitment process, so once you list it be prepared to follow up quickly and stay on top of the applicants coming through. A slow response can reflect badly on the business!
  • Don’t forget that it’s OK to ask for help – a specialist recruiter can manage the process for you and ensure you find the talent you need.

A well-written job ad will not only help to draw in a better selection of candidates, but if done right, it can also help you get ahead of the screening process. Ultimately, it will influence the quality of the talent available and whether you’re able to find the perfect person for the job – so it’s important to get it right! If you feel like your job advertisements aren’t delivering the results they should be, feel free to get in touch with the team at Richard Lloyd Accounting Recruitment. We’d be happy to help.

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