Who should write the job ad in your business?

A good job ad is crucial to attracting the right talent for a role. So who should write job ads and when should you call for help? 

Job ad writing can be daunting, especially if you don’t write them frequently.

“Job ad writing should be a collaborative effort,” says NAB’s General Manager of Talent and Leadership, Felicity Joslin. “It’s important that the right people have input in order to target your ideal candidate.”

Depending on the size of your business, the owner, hiring manager (the person who the candidate will be reporting to) and a talent acquisition specialist or HR representative may be involved in the job ad writing process to achieve the best results.

“The hiring manager should be involved due to their hands-on knowledge of the role and competencies required,” says Emma Davis, Talent Acquisition Manager with hipages. “The talent acquisition specialist has the knowledge to write the advert to capture the right target audience, in addition to their expertise in managing the interview process.”

Emma Bannister, the founder and CEO of Presentation Studio says she likes to work collaboratively when writing job ads.

“Multiple people review and contribute to it to ensure we each bring an aspect of what we believe is relevant,” she says. “I also like to include the previous member of staff who worked in that role.”

Small businesses commonly use the following people to write job ads:

  • Business owner
  • Hiring manager
  • HR representative/Talent acquisition specialist
  • Previous staff member who worked in that role

Why you need the right people writing a job ad

The job ad is one of the most important factors in attracting the right candidates to your role.

“You want the reader to get excited about your company and be able to picture working there,” says Joslin.

Having the right people pen your job ad ensures that expectations of the role and reality of the position are aligned, otherwise unsuitable candidates could apply and this could not only impact recruitment, but also retention.

When to ask for help

If small business owners don’t have the internal recruitment capability or experience, Davis suggests going to an external agency to assist with strategy and attraction for the role.

“Small business owners may want to engage the help of others in the job ad writing process if their ads have been unsuccessful in attracting ideal candidates in the past or if the role requires a specialist skillset or experience, which they don’t feel confident to effectively convey,” adds Joslin.

There are job ad writing templates, sample job ads online and online training in how to write great job ads, all of which can be used to help if your budget doesn’t stretch to engaging an external HR consultant.

What to include in your job ad

As they read through your job ad, candidates will self-select either in or out depending on whether they think they have the right skills and experience for the role.

 “You need to ensure that the key ​requirements are listed, as well as highlighting the benefits of both the role and the company,” Davis says. “This is the one chance for you to differentiate between other companies. The job ad should be an accurate reflection of the company culture, team culture, challenges and expectations.”

Davis’s top tips for writing job ads:

“​Make your job ad simple and clear as most candidates are viewing the adverts via mobile,” she says. “​Use headings to break up the advert so that candidates can navigate through easily and see if the role is for them.”

  • An understandable job title (no internal company jargon or referring to a web developer role as a “web ninja”)
  • Key responsibilities of the role
  • Key attributes the candidate must have to be successful in the role
  • Culture and benefits of the business

“​Make your job ad simple and clear as most candidates are viewing the adverts via mobile,” she says. “​Use headings to break up the advert so that candidates can navigate through easily and see if the role is for them.”

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