sticky post it notes with business words on them

Advertising Your Vacant Role

So you have a vacant role in your organisation which you need to fill.  But how do you make sure you get the right person to fill it, who can start to give you work of value as soon as possible and who will be loyal and want to stay with you for a while?

Do you really know what the role is?

This is your chance to really think about what role you need to be filled.

If someone has given their notice and is leaving a gap, do you want an exact replica of that person?  Can the role be tweaked – or even changed radically – to provide a better service for your client?  Does the process need to be streamlined, to provide a quicker or more productive result?  Do you even need to fill the role at all?

Do you need a Job Description?

You may have a very small workforce (even only one employee).  Or all of your employees may be doing pretty much the same role.   And anyway, you need to fill this vacancy quickly.  So why do you need to produce a job description?

The job description can be critical in attracting the right candidates to the role.  If they don’t clearly understand the job, or the title and job description don’t give the right message, then the ideal candidate may simply decide not to apply.

How to write a good Job Description

Tips are to keep it simple, to use a job title which actually describes the job.  If you attempt to use a modern cutting-edge title which misses the mark, then your candidates will miss it too.  So use familiar works which actually describe the job.  Try “supervisor” or “expert” instead of “tsar” or “ninja”.

It is really helpful to consult with the person who is currently doing the job, or who does something similar, to get an idea of what they consider the key skills and tasks are.  This could help you to update the job description correctly.  Or you could find they have been doing something completely different from your understanding!  Either way, it can really help you to describe what you need in your ideal candidate.

If you would like more help with writing Job Descriptions, then please contact us.

What can you offer in return?

Even if you are only small and budget is limited, then you need to show your Company in the best possible light to attract the right person.

Clearly you need to decide on salary and it is helpful if you can find out what the standard is for the type of role you have vacant.  You can scan recruitment advertisements online or in trade publications to get an idea.  If you belong to an advisory body for your industry, then they will be able to help as most will run regular salary surveys.  Recruitment Agencies can give a good idea of the current market place and what salaries are offered for your type of role.

Even though you may not be able to offer many financial benefits as an inducement to work for your Company, there may be other benefits you can offer at little or no cost.  What about flexible hours, or support for carers, or a mental health first aid plan?  Or you may have plenty of parking available, or be in the centre of town, or near a railway.  You may be able to offer remote working, or term-time only hours.

What next?

Once you have a realistic view of what role your vacancy is actually for, then you can use the Job Description to write the advertisement.   If you are putting the role out to a third party to conduct the recruitment for you, then they will probably want to write their own advert.  Either way, the Job Description you have produced will be key in getting the advert right and attracting the right person.

Make sure that you highlight the benefits of working for your organisation.  You may be struggling to think of any benefits you can offer.  If so, that in itself is an indication that you need to rethink your employment strategy.  People rarely come to work just for the love of it, so you need to offer other incentives.  Of course, salary is the initial consideration.  But even if the salary is really great , whilst it might draw them in initially, they are likely to want more from their employer once they start.

It helps if you can offer other things as part of the inducement to work with you. They may think they only come to work for the salary, but if you can offer love (or at least a feeling of being valued and respected) then that is more than many of your competitors and will put you head and shoulders above the rest.

If you think this article is useful and you would like more advice on dealing with this  – or any other people-related issue in your business – please join our mailing list, or contact us  for further guidance.


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