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Sales Ninja or Ninja of Sales...? Getting job ads right

What is an effective job ad?

It gives a clear picture of the role and the company, it explains the skills and experience you're looking for, and it gives the right level of detail so prospective applicants can decide whether they're a good match for the role.

That all sounds pretty simple, right? It's interesting, then, how many tales of woe you hear from recruiters unable to find a good pool of recruits. In many of these instances, some tweaking of the job ad can make a big difference.

Get the title right. What is the role really about? What would the role be called in similar companies? Marketing and management-speak have had an impact on job titles in many sectors, where every employee is an executive or director or sales ninja. For best results, get back to basics—prospective applicants will need to be able to pick out your job from a long list of others. Make it easy for them. Use the keywords they'll be searching for.

Introduce the company. Keep it simple and focus on why the company is a great place to work. Remember that applicants are likely to be looking at many different job ads, so keep yours clear and concise—you probably don't need to include a detailed history of the company; a few key points should do. Sure, there are some instances where you can't name the company—but if you can, do. Make use of all the hard work your marketing team has been doing to build the organisation's profile.

Explain the role. Imagine your potential recruits know nothing about the role or the company's internal workings. Keep the role description short, accurate and easy to understand. Don't fall into the trap of explaining every minute daily activity. Instead, focus on the essential elements of the role to give applicants a clear idea of its seniority and scope.

Give criteria. Let applicants know what you're looking for. Once again, think carefully about essential competencies and experience. Often job ads will be seeking someone who has done the exact role before, but this can limit your pool of potentials unnecessarily and ignores transferable skills that may be equally suitable for the role.

Watch your language. Make sure you're not inadvertently discriminating against anyone for their age, gender, ethnicity, family responsibilities and so on. Be open-minded and prepared to think laterally.

iHR Australia offers Selection and Interviewing Skills training to ensure you follow the perfect job ad with a successful short-listing and interview process; getting the right person for your organisation.

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