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write job ads to find the best contractors.

How recruiters can write job ads to find the best contractors.

Getting job ads wrong can be expensive. If the wrong people apply it can waste your time and if the wrong people are successfully placed in roles, it can damage your relationship with temps and clients alike.

While the outcome of the recruitment process isn’t solely reliant on the strength of the initial job ad, having a well-written ad will play an important role in reducing the risk of ending up with a poor candidate fit for your client.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should aim to write an ad that persuades every candidate you are offering them a dream assignment. Instead, it’s best to paint a realistic picture that will encourage temps to ‘self-filter’ until you find what your client is really looking for.

Here are four steps to ensuring your job ads help you find the perfect fit:


Get to know your clients’ brand and culture

A company’s culture is essentially the beliefs and behaviours of its people.  It defines the environment and expectation placed on workers and is often a key factor in distinguishing a business from their competitors. Even if the role you’re hiring for is a short-term assignment, temps still need to be able to fit into that culture.

For recruiters, it’s important to have a firm grasp of what the culture is among the clients you work with. One way to do this is to make time to visit the offices and speak to some of the people you aren’t directly working with. This can help you build a full picture, which will allow you to write an ad that helps find a candidate who fits.


Write the job ad so it gets across the personality

You get much more out of people when they enjoy the place they work: full time or contractor.

But most job adverts sound the same. ‘Well established small company is looking for’ or ‘duties include liaising with clients.’ These don’t show personality, which means it’s very hard for prospective candidates to picture the working environment.

On the other hand, Dallas Restaurant & Bar went with a very niche ad that encapsulated their laid back personality:


“A fin al avvv won moh befaw ah go ome.

If you’re an experienced bartender and you can decipher this babble,

we’d like to hear from you.

(Those lacking a great sense of humour need not apply.)”


Of course, you’re unlikely to adopt that tone for an IT assignment, and even for a bartender role it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but that’s the point. It’s okay to discourage the wrong people in order to boost interest among candidates who will actually enjoy and thrive in the role.


Talk about the negatives

It’s also OK to talk about the challenges of the role. If it’s going to be really tough – perhaps they need to completely strip out the old system and rebuild processes and procedures from scratch – then that should be included in the ad.

Likewise, if they will be driving between multiple sites across the country, it’s best to make this very clear.

Again, this helps screen out contractors who are not equipped for the job either because their skills or circumstances don’t align with the requirements or who are simply unprepared to take on the level of work.


Start with why

People often make decisions based on emotion before logic.

So start off your job ad with why your client’s company exists; their founding principles and vision for the future. If people don’t agree with the philosophy – then you’ve saved yourself some aggravation further down the line.


Talk directly to your reader

Rather than writing phrases such as ‘the candidate will be expected to support the administration and sales teams” write directly to your reader, and explain exactly what they’ll be doing. It’s a relatively subtle shift, but it encourages the candidate to picture themselves in the role and understand whether it truly is what they’re looking for.

All of these approaches to the job ad writing process will help you find contractors who genuinely fit into the clients company. And, however short the contract, that’s the sort of thing that will get you noticed by clients and candidates alike.

You can also reach the right candidates by promoting vacancies to thousands of contractors when you join our service for free.