Job Descriptions – And Why They Matter

Recruitment can be, and many times is, a time-consuming endeavor that eats away at a company’s resources. But despite this, I’ve seen far too many businesses overlook, or put-off, updating their employee procurement procedure.

A big part of this is all about getting your job advertisement spot on, the first time around. It’s amazing how many times I see the same job being advertised across – not one, but a multitude of – job boards, time and time again. And among them all, the one common theme is a lack of detail in the job description.

To think of the amount of time and money that most of these advertising companies are throwing away is mind-boggling, especially when it takes just a little more planning to begin with to reign in the expenses.

No doubt, many of the ‘empty’ job advertisements – void of job descriptions – will attract candidates, who will probably also apply for the role. But the chances are, these individuals will not be the kind you are looking to add to your company. It would be akin to advertising a shop without telling anyone precisely what the shop sells. Sure, you’ll get a few casual perusers walking in, but no-one who is looking for anything specific will even entertain the idea of visiting.

A detailed, skill-based and personal job description will make sure you are casting your rod in the right pond, and will attract those who feel they match what you are looking for.

I imagine taking this route, could save many businesses both time and money when looking to expand, as well as making sure they attract the best fit for their outfit.

Aside from this, it also benefits potential employees in that it outlines your company direction and how they would fit in. A clear job description for every employee helps to steer their individual goals and contributions in the same direction. There will be no office confusion about who is to pick-up what work, which will ultimately lead to a more productive and happier team!

So remember, it all starts at getting the recruitment process right from page one – something that HiringMadeSimple.co.uk can help you with to no end! From job-board advertising right through to candidate assessments, we’re here to make sure you get the best from your recruitment!

Job Seekers Willing to go the Extra Mile to Find Work

According to a recent study carried out by totaljobs.com, job seekers are now willing to travel larger distances to attend job interviews. The research shows that, in fact, those looking for work will travel up to around 72 miles for the chance to shine in front of prospective employers.

What’s more, the study also finds that job-hunters now spend much longer preparing for interviews than they did last year, with 44% putting at least two hours into planning and company research for each job opportunity. That’s a fairly large 12% increase on the previous year, showing that candidates are realizing the competition for jobs and are equally putting their foot on the gas – quite literally – to leverage themselves onto a higher platform.

John Salt, of totaljobs.com, said of the figures…

“Despite the fact that the UK jobs market has grown in recent years, it is still a competitive market. These statistics show that job seekers are increasingly aware of the commitment they need to make in order to find employment.

“This is no longer a time where people can expect to walk into a job, or be able to ‘wing’ the interview. People are willing to travel a long distance from their homes, and an increasing number are willing to put in over five hours work, in order to better their chances.”

The figures also mean that some businesses must look at the interview stage of recruitment a little more seriously rather than flippantly. With candidates now putting in the extra mile to impress prospective employers, it’s important that company’s hone their interview techniques too, and provide each potential employee with a fair and dedicated experience. For more information, please refer to our guide on Effective Interviewing Techniques.

Additionally, companies should keep in mind their location when advertising on job boards. That is, if a job seeker is willing to travel further to your premises, then it makes sense to target those within a wider locale.

And remember, for all the help you’ll need to advertise a vacancy online (across over 70 UK, leading job boards), then be sure to visit our homepage – HiringMadeSimple.co.uk – for more information.

 

How to Write a Great Job Advert

Every company wants to attract the best candidates to their outfit, which is what makes writing and effective and eye-catching job advert, is crucial. To get you started, we’ve put together a few pointers to consider when advertising your next open position.

Think like a Marketing Executive

Advertising a job is much like advertising a product, only instead of trying to engage a sale from a customer, you’re aiming for an application from a potential candidate. However, all the same rules of the classical ADIA marketing still apply; that is:

Attention

Create a concise, clear, yet enticing headline that will grab a potential candidate’s attention so that they read more about the job. Falling at this hurdle by creating miss-leading and/or cloudy headings will see potential candidates skip right past your advert.

Think also about the type of candidate you want to attract, your company ethos and image. Are you a fresh, fun and young outfit looking for graduates to help drive your business forward, or an established outfit on the prowl for seasoned professionals to guide the company in the right direction?

Think about the wording and how your target audience is likely to react when reading your heading. Only then will you begin to maximize your adverts potential!

Interest

After grabbing a candidate’s attention, you’ll then need to keep it by highlighting all the benefits of joining your company. Of course, make it clear what you would expect from potential suitors to the role, but also focus on how the role can benefit candidates too. Do you have a cool or funky chill-out area in your office? Then tell them about it! Are your offices equipped with state-of-the-art computers? Then wax lyrical.

Desire

Okay, so you’ve got their attention and you’ve managed to hold it all the way through your job advertisement. Now comes the tricky part – making them desire, or want to apply for the job. To do this you must convince potential candidates that the job will satisfy their requirements.

Obviously, everyone’s requirements will be different, so it’s impossible not to leak a few people at this stage. However, by clearly listing everything that your company can offer to a candidate you’ll keep your losses at a minimum.

Things like progression opportunities, office location, company ethos and working environment should all be briefly touched upon so that candidates know exactly what they are applying for. By doing this, you’ll have candidates unconsciously ticking check-boxes in their heads and generating a bigger desire to apply for the job.

Action

The final step is to lead potential candidates to an action – in this case applying for a job. The best way forward here is to place your advert on as many high profile job boards as possible, making the application process for all job-seekers extremely simple. If you need help with placing you job advert online, see our job advertising page for more information.

What NOT to Put in a Job Advert

Although your goal is to stand out from the crowd and attract as many candidates as possible, there are a few things you should refrain from in doing so. These include:

  1. Large graphics (which make for slower page loading times)
  2. Fancy looking fonts (which distract from the content itself)
  3. Too much information (nobody wants to read 3 pages before applying for a job)

And Finally…

Remember that HiringMadeSimple.co.uk can help you with all of your job advertising needs, including candidate assessments and advert placement on over 70 of the UK’s leading job boards!

Jobseekers Looking for Digital Breakthrough

A recent study carried out by totaljobs.com has shown a 30% increase in the number of applications for jobs within the electronics sector over the last year, with applications for IT-related jobs also rising by 10%. It’s not a surprising jump – considering the fast pace at which technology is evolving – and it seems that those looking for work are becoming more savvy to the growth of the tech industry, focusing greater ambition to get their ‘foot in it’s door’.

And it’s something that hiring companies must now consider – when advertising jobs for within their outfit – in order to attract the best candidates possible.

I remember when I was first trying to break into the digital scene. I would prowl the internet for hours on end looking for any sign of an entry-level position that required little or no digital experience. Granted, I had experience in other areas – statistics, analysis and marketing to name a few – but I recognised that the way forward in the modern game was through technology. I was desperate to land a job that would offer me exposure to the digital industry and bolster my chances of a successful career in the future.

The point I’m trying to make here is that many job advertisements just didn’t fit what I was looking for in a full-time roll. There was very little on offer when it came to digital training or technological advancement. It all boiled down to, in most cases, either you were an IT person or you weren’t – there was no middle ground for people like me trying to push their way through into the industry.

Luckily for me, I managed to find that one job that offered me the assurances that many other job seekers are looking for today – an introduction to the tech-side of business. Be it through social media, online analytics programs or digital advertising, I was constantly exposed to new technology, laying the foundations for what has now been a great few years working in the industry.

So, what’s the lesson here?

Put simply, more people are turning their heads towards a career in the digital sector. There will undoubtedly be many job seekers looking for that breakthrough role that introduces them to new and emerging technologies. It’s down to you as a company to bring the table – whether it be through a marketing role, sales position or customer services – an opportunity to learn and grow with modern business techniques and technology!

In doing so, not only will you attract more people to the open position, you’ll also maintain a great working environment where staff want to work & learn all at once!

And remember, if you need any additional help when it comes to job advertising, HiringMadeSimple.co.uk is here to help! We provide all the tools and services you’ll need to hire the best staff possible for your company. Find out more by visiting our homepage.

 

Why Social Network Websites will Never Replace Job Boards

As we all (begrudgingly or not) move into a new era of mobile websites, content on-the-go and fervent social networking, some companies are starting to look at candidate recruitment in a different light. That is, a few businesses are turning their heads towards social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to attract new candidates – which is understandable. After all, the explosion of Facebook and its global reach means that companies can’t afford to look the other way any more. But when it comes to job advertising and candidate sourcing, are social networking routes really the ideal way to go?

It’s a question on the lips of many recruitment specialists at this moment in time, and the fiery debate surrounding it is hotter than ever.

Our view is that social networking websites will always be cast in a supporting role when it comes to finding new talent; here’s why…

Social Platforms are Not Designed with Job Advertising in Mind

The main reason that online job boards replaced the traditional newspaper job advertisement columns is that they were a much easier and cost effective way of doing the same thing. What’s more, job boards have developed much more since they first arrived on the scene – with the introduction of CV databases, candidate searches, keyword matches & many other features.

So the question is, do social media websites allow us to do the same things as on a job board website, but much easier and cheaper? The answer is no.

Okay, so Facebook has a job board – that much is true. But these social job boards are not strong performers, quite the opposite, in fact. They do not offer all the same tools, CV databases and flexibility that classic job-sites – such as Reed and Monster – offer.

Social Media Websites are ‘Unprofessional’

To be honest, I don’t like the word ‘unprofessional’ in this regard; it seems a little outdated and comes with an old-fashioned vibe. But for want of a better word, it is.

Put it this way – social media websites contain information about a candidates that both you and the candidate in question would rather keep separate from job applications. There are many times that I’ve seen companies shy away from a potentially good catch, because of a less-than sophisticated profile picture or news feed on the candidate’s profile.

And it works both ways. People know that their profiles may not shed them in the most professional light, and so they too back off from applying to jobs via social networking sites.

Social Media Enhances Job-sites

What I will say about social media outlets is that they can greatly enhance the effectiveness of classic job-boards, from focused candidate targeting right through to a means of advertising your job advert. They essentially give you an extra ring to your ladder, enabling you to see farther and wider than you could with a job board alone.

It’s this kind of hybrid approach which works best for many companies, and is yet another reason why social platforms will never replace classic job-sites.

And Remember…

HiringMadeSimple.co.uk can offer you all the expert advice and tools you’ll need when it comes to finding talent for your company, including effective job-advertising across over 70 of the UK’s leading job boards.

Make the Switch – 3 Reasons to Manage Recruitment In-house

In the current economic climate, more and more businesses have been forced to scrutinize every cost and outgoing, in order to squeeze as much juice out of their budget as possible. The knock on effect for many, is a straight swap from having their recruitment managed by an agency to handling their employment reigns themselves – in-house.

But far from just benefiting from the reduction in cost from this approach, companies are starting to realize the additional perks that come with taking a hands-on attitude towards recruitment.

So, if you – like many other UK business leaders – are considering taking back the power from an overpriced and overhyped recruitment agency, here’s a few extra incentives to push you in the right direction…

No-one knows the Job like You Do

Think about it, this is your business we’re talking about here. Why would you want to let someone else suggest the type of person who should be working for you? Chances are, they don’t know you’re business from the ground-up like you do – and I’d be willing to take a punt that they never will, either.

It all boils down to how much you want your company to succeed. If you’re after a short-term fix to help sail your company steadily along then by all means, a recruitment agency may be able to find someone to fit that bill. But if you’re on the hunt for that gem of a candidate who can really help to drive your company forward, then you’ll probably want to catch someone who does more than simply tick a few boxes on a recruitment agency’s check-list!

Put simply, you know what talent looks like within your own set-up more than any recruitment expert could!

Brand Motivation Shines Through

You, are a brand ambassador for your business; something you will never get – no matter how much money you pump into it, nor how long you look for it – from a 3rd party agency or recruitment specialist.

By making the switch back to an in-house recruitment management policy, you’ll be able to convey that brand image across much more easily to potential candidates, and offer a much less mechanical experience for the candidate themselves.

Save a Lot of Money

And here’s the clincher, the big-daddy of all reasons to take your recruitment management in-house and out of the greedy hands of an agency – money!

Everyone knows that the main thing on a 3rd-party recruitment expert’s mind is the pay check at the end of the month. And it’s not surprising, given how much money is pumped into recruitment services by companies.

There’s no doubt about it, recruitment fees are big, and there’s much money to be saved by taking control yourself.

And Finally…

If you are considering the jump from agency to in-house, HiringMadeSimple.co.uk can offer you all the help and tools to get you started – for a much more reasonable price than any agency can! From job advertising services (across over 70 of the UK’s leading job boards), to specialist advice, we’re here to help!

 

Job Market at its Strongest Since 2008

The latest labour market update by the Office for National Statistics has shown a boost in the number of jobs advertised so far in 2013. The figures suggest a much healthier outlook for the employment industry as a whole which, hot on the heels of a 5-year baron spell, has seen companies struggle to stay afloat amidst a turbulent financial climate at best.

In light of the report, the Reed Job Index for May this year also reports a 17% increase in job availability over the last twelve months. What’s more, it also finds a 8% increase in advertised jobs on its website since last month (April 2013) alone.

James Reed, the website’s chair, said of the report that “there are strong signs that the growing health of the jobs market will continue to help drive the economy forward.

So what does this mean for hiring companies?

Most importantly, it means that more UK-based companies are ticking the right boxes when it comes to managing their recruitment policy and business-growth.

If the past few years have taught companies anything, it’s that they must hit the nail on the head when it comes to expanding their workforce. Any slight slip of judgement could potentially be an extremely costly one, so it’s vitally important to get things right the first time around.

In short, companies are becoming more savvy with their whole recruitment process, from posting job advertisements in the correct places and efficiently screening their applicants, right through to their interview techniques and final handshakes.

And the knock-on effect?

Since more and more companies are playing their cards the right way, it brings around more competition in attracting those potentially stellar candidates that every business wants to employ. In other words, there are more fishermen at sea all trying to catch that ‘big fish’, so it’s your responsibility as a hiring company to make your net as wide as possible to land them.

At HiringMadeSimple.co.uk we lend you all the tools and advice you’ll need to do just that, giving you that edge over competing businesses also on the prowl for new talent. And what’s more, we provide them at a much more palatable price than any ‘professional’ recruitment agency would.

To learn more about our services – and how they can help your company join the rising few who are clocking on to modern recruitment techniques – visit our homepage at HiringMadeSimple.co.uk.

Top 5 reasons for using online Job Boards

Here are our ‘Top 5’ reasons to use online job posts for your business…

1)      Everyone is online!

With 76% of the UKs population now online, and recent research showing that job seekers’ preferred searching method being an online search – your business really can’t afford not to advertise your vacancies online!

 

2)      Reach the best candidates

By advertising your job online, you instantly get nationwide exposure for your vacancy. With more people searching for vacancies online, your vacancy can be found by more of the people you want to target.

 

3)      Get the most applications

Your vacancy will be seen by more people, and more qualified applicants than traditional media sources (newspapers, radio, etc). This means your vacancy should be viewed by more of your ideal applicants and therefore receive more qualified applications.

 

4)       Take control of your recruitment

No-one knows your business better than you. By advertising your job vacancy online, you can control the application process from start-to-finish.

(Our recruitment specialists at Hiring Made Simple are always on-hand to help out if you need some guidance!)

 

5)      Save money

Online job board advertising is often much more affordable than traditional media sources, and yields more applications from a wider talent pool.

 

So there you have it!

Is your business advertising its job vacancies online yet?

 

HiringMadeSimple.co.uk lets you post across upto 70 of the UKs leading job boards in one simple step, and for less than the cost of a single job post directly with the Job Boards.

See our full range of Job Posts here.

Small Companies Battle UK Unemployment

In a recent study carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), it was revealed that small to mid-sized companies hire around 1.3 million unemployed and disadvantaged people every year. To put that into perspective, that’s approximately 90% of the total job-seeking population in the UK as things currently stand.  Now that’s a huge chunk, and it speaks volumes about just how important small businesses are for the UK job market.

It’s easy enough to see from these figures alone, that small firms pave the way when it comes to turning the employment cog.  You would probably think, then, that the UK Government would offer these aspiring companies a helping hand at every possible opportunity to keep that cog turning, especially during these times of austerity. But according to the FSB, it appears the exact opposite is true. Not only will recently proposed changes to the UK tax system bring with them enough red tape to wrap up the London Eye, they’ll also see the introduction of real-time information reporting, requiring businesses to relay information regarding employee wages to HMRC 12 times per year – a time consuming and administrative headache at best.

Ted Salmon, of FSB, said:

“Small firms play a unique role in providing the way to employment, especially for disadvantaged groups. They have a greater tendency to take on those that would struggle to find a job – those who have not worked for a long time, have little experience or have been sick. They have also shown resilience in the face of recession – still taking on some 1.3 million unemployed people per year. While not all of these will be new jobs, this is nevertheless evidence of the crucial role small firms are playing in our economic recovery.

“We know from our survey work that small firms want to do more to support jobs, but their employment intentions are currently on hold. Many businesses don’t have the confidence to create new jobs at the moment because cash-flow is tight and they need a helping hand. This is why we’re calling for the National Insurance Contributions holiday to be extended. There are also a lot of new regulatory changes in the pipeline. Our concern is that these changes will add to the already heavy administration burden for small firms meaning they choose not to grow or take on staff.”

But despite this, with unemployment levels (though decreasing slowly) still at staggeringly high levels, the onus remains on small to mid-sized businesses to help get our country back into work. With this in mind, many companies have started turning more often to employing interns and / or apprentices to help carry their business forward without putting too much of a strain on finances.

Either way, now more than ever companies will need to be thorough in their approach to hiring new staff.

Graduates Want to Make a Difference

Graduates in 2012 want to make a difference with the skills and knowledge they’ve gained at university, says a recent study carried out by management consulting firm Hay Group. In fact, as much as 51% of recent university students stated that ‘whether or not a job would make positive difference to world’ would be among one of deciding factors when it comes to looking for employment. And though the job market is in no way saturated with this brand of happy-go-lucky opportunities to keep up with graduate demand, the study has made me think a little differently as to how best to attract graduate-calibre talent to a company.

What Graduates Want

Of course, no-one wants to work for Dr Evil (except maybe me, I’ve always fancied one of those board-rooms where you can plunge fellow employees into a steaming pit of a lava at the push of a button), and be branded a monstrous corporate cog; but the reality is such that not every job on the market comes with a free glowing halo to wear over your head.

The trouble is that the gap between reality and student expectation (in the UK job market) is somewhat of a gaping chasm, meaning a lot of graduates enter the market with a significantly picky mind-set. So then, we must be a little more astute when it comes to job-appeal and targeting graduates to fill a particular role.

It’s all in the Job Description

The best course of action would be to think like a graduate – what would they want from the job? Of course, they may be expected to be ‘a competent Excel user, with good analytical skills in a bid to increase the sales of a new energy drink product’. But if you flip the coin, a much more appealing description would be the ‘requirement to use their analytical and Excel  wizardry to help as many of our British athletes find out about our amazing new energiser drink’! Talk about making a difference (who wouldn’t want to help our athletes in the wake of a hugely successful Olympic triumph?)!

Conclusion

Universities may be pumping out graduates more often than ever, but the current state of the UK job market isn’t enough make students forget about their principles. If employment-seeking graduates want to make a positive difference to the world, then let them – all it takes is a little re-think in order to keep them interested!

Get it across in your job advert that they’ll be pulling levers which determine the very fate of something immensely important, and you’ll be well on your way to landing your prize!