Blog: Common mistakes SMEs make in job ads

Wondering why you’re job ads aren’t delivering the calibre of candidates you hoped for? Saxon Marsden-Huggins has these tips for SMEs.

Large businesses can allow for a few mistakes during the hiring process, however small businesses aren’t afforded the same luxury. Hire the wrong person and you risk using a significant portion of your budget investing in an employee who fails to deliver a return.

Attracting the right candidates to your organisation comes from executing engaging job advertisements in the right channels for your target candidates. Get the job ad right and you’ve taken the first step in the journey toward the best hire for your organisation.

Unfortunately this is where many businesses go wrong, so I’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes small businesses make when writing job ads.

1. Underselling your business
Small businesses don’t have as much market exposure as larger-sized competitors, which can mean potential talent might not recognise your brand name immediately.

To sell yourself and educate candidates about your organisation, you need to tell it to them straight. Highlight your work-perks, the personality of your staff and your growth plans– spell out anything you think will excite your potential candidates about working for your organisation.

2. Listing too many qualification requirements
Employers are starting to catch on that long and detailed lists of essential criteria is a bad idea.

Candidates will rarely meet every single criteria in your list and you don’t want to run the risk of having qualified candidates disqualify themselves prematurely because of a long and daunting list of prerequisites. 

If you’re asking for three years’ experience when really only one is necessary to do a good job, then you could be excluding some potentially great candidates from engaging with your organisation.

3. Writing boring job ads
Online job boards are crowded places and if your job ad lacks personality or character it won’t do well in the competition for candidate air-time.

Add some personality when you’re crafting your ad - think about what you want your brand to say to potential candidates and try to excite them through language and imagery.

Hopefully this will help you when you next look to recruit - think of it as your ‘what not to do’ list and you’ll be right on track to creating more  interesting and engaging job ads, which will result in more candidates hitting that ‘Apply Now’ button.

Saxon Marsden-Huggins is the managing director of Recruit Shop, which was founded in 2010 in with the aim of providing low cost recruitment services to small businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand.

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