Three Steps to a standout job advert
Are you recruiting in 2021 and need to write a standout job advert? Are you worrying about finding new employees with the double whammy of Brexit and Covid19?
With a trade deal done and a new lockdown in force, people are facing significant uncertainty about their jobs, the survival of their businesses and the effect of Brexit, not to mention the physical and mental toll of working under lockdown conditions.
If you’re employing vets and veterinary nurses, you have a particular problem – every one of your candidates probably already has a job, even if they’re not happy in it. Let me explain.
- There are around 28,500 UK practicing vets, spread across all sectors.
- In any given year, around half of the vets registering to practice in the UK are non-UK EU nationals.
- Vets are on the ‘shortage occupation list’ for immigration, and there’s a general consensus that we have a 10-15% gap in veterinary workforce.
- Covid19 has completely changed how practices operate day to day, requiring additional time to offer Covid Secure services to the public and novel ways of structuring their team to allow for staff illness or isolation if required.
- Brexit requires additional vets to provide export services for animal products.
- Covid disruption of veterinary degree programmes means new graduates may need additional support or not be confident and able to step straight into productive work upon graduation.
This means the numbers are stark – we have somewhere in the region of 3,000 veterinary surgeon vacancies, a reduced supply of vets from the EU and a stressed workforce struggling to find respite after a year of Covid.
How can you successfully recruit faced with this perfect storm and find quality people? You need a standout advert, ideally placed for your target audience and you have to actively manage your employer reputation so that the candidate pool regards you as an employer of choice.
It’s a candidate’s market and you must be able to sell your roles or else you won’t be successful in this ultra-competitive scenario.
Whether you use one of the classic trade journals, a professional recruiter, are a LinkedIn user or use one of the novel recruitment platforms like VSGD Careers, then having a standout job advert is a must.
VSGD Careers recently surveyed their community of over 7,000 members to find out what the community thought made a standout job advert.
- 93% voted for the salary range to be included in job ads
- Explain the benefits package – many clinical vets don’t understand total compensation packages that may include benefits, bonus or share schemes.
- Job location and the possibility of flexible working patterns
- Specific information about the type of candidate being looked for and whether there are career development opportunities in the role
How to write a standout job advert
The first thing to remember is that this is a marketing exercise. Just like marketers, you’re promoting the company and the role, selling it to a discerning audience with a particular set of needs.
In fact, the perfect job advert should appeal to just a small number of applicants. Thinking about your audience like a marketing specialist is a great starting point.
Start with the job, not the company
Have you written a well thought out job description? If not, then you’re not ready to write a job advert.
Defining the role and responsibilities, thinking about how the role fits in the business and what the reporting or line management structure looks like should your starting point. Think of this like the features of a product.
Now think about the ideal person. This is your audience persona – the vision you have for you ideal employee.
- What skills and competencies do they have – what are absolute requirements of the job versus those desirable characteristics?
- What about the behavioural skills – what are you looking for in communication style, leadership or teamworking traits?
- Finally consider the cultural fit – who is going to fit well in your team?
Now you have the features of the job and the persona of your ideal candidate defined, you can start to craft the job advert.
It’s a job advert not a job description
Whilst the job description is the basis of the advert, it’s not the whole piece. Think about how you can shorten the job advert to be concise, engaging and differentiated, whilst clearly spelling out the specifics of the job
- What is the job title?
- What are the key roles and responsibilities?
- What key skills, competencies and personal qualities are you looking for?
- What is the remuneration package – salary range, benefits, holidays and other benefits?
- What is the location of the job and is travel involved? If so, how much?
Whilst the advert has to be a marketing tool, selling the features and the benefits of the role, the job description can be attached or available as part of the recruitment package.
Sell the company as an employer of choice
With a high number of roles available, think carefully about how you differentiate yourself from similar employers. You might literally be the only gig in town, in which case geography is your friend but even that won’t help if you can’t explain the benefits of working for your company. Candidates can afford to be picky and they will be, so what makes you the best?
Now is the point at which you pitch your business and explain why you’re the best gig in town and worth working for.
- Be truthful and authentic – it’s easy to use review sites, social media and the web to quickly and remotely get a sense of your practice and mismatches are readily spotted.
- Explain your company culture, vision, mission and ambitions – do you have a set of company values or behaviours published? What makes your business tick? What do your current employees and clients say about you?
- Think carefully about how you communicate your uniqueness – how well is your business represented on LinkedIn, online or in specialist recruitment platforms like Glassdoor?
- How can you use the job advert to promote your business – is there scope for a video tour, to meet the team, post some photos of the business in operation or to post a company profile? As a minimum, you should post links to your website and social media.
- Stay connected – what can you do to actively engage with your audience? Does your recruitment platform enable you to interact with candidates, answer questions, or use the unique features of social media and LinkedIn? If you’re using a recruitment agency, how are they bringing your job advert to life?
If you play the long game in recruiting, this is called employer reputation management. Every opportunity to show off the business is carefully curated across a wide range of media.
Think of company culture like this – it’s what staff say and do when no-one from the management team is looking. Use culture in recruiting as a filter to help you select equally matched candidates for a good fit.
Taking your time to craft the marketing campaign that includes your standout job advert will pay dividends, engaging candidates and finding the right person.
Join Vets Stay, Go or Diversity Careers now!
For recruiters, we want you to find your ideal candidate, so our promise to you is simple.
- We’ll help you create compelling job adverts that engage candidates.
- We’ll provide access to a unique, self-selected community of veterinary professionals looking for your kind of career roles.
- We’ll offer you novel opportunities to showcase who you really are, your culture and your unique contribution to the animal health community.
For candidates, our community and service is unique.
- We’ll help you create a standout personal profile and CV or resume.
- We provide training, coaching and networking galore to help you become a candidate of choice.
- We are a unique, self-selected community of veterinary professionals looking for career roles that enable us to stay, go or diversify.