6 Things Candidates Want to See in a Job Ad

Person writing and on a laptop.

In the competitive landscape of recruitment, crafting a job ad that captures the attention and interest of potential candidates is essential. Today’s job seekers have specific expectations and desires when browsing through job listings. Understanding these preferences can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts. Including a few key elements in your job advertisements can help to attract top talent to apply to your job postings.

1. Company Culture

More than ever, company culture has been an important consideration for candidates, especially top performers. Including some information about the culture of your organization in the job advertisement can be beneficial to attract those candidates to hit the apply button.

In the ad, use the style of language of your company. If you are a more laid-back organization, feel free to use a more informal, conversational style of writing. However, if you run a very formal company, be sure the language used reflects that.

Be descriptive about culture by adding facts that give applicants a good sense of the true culture. However, don’t get carried away! There are many places a candidate can go to learn about culture in addition to the job post, so make this brief.

2. Salary

Not only do candidates prefer to see salary ranges present in a job ad, but the law requires it in many states. When salary information is present on the job listing, it can act as an incentive for candidates to go through the application process. Additionally, it can help weed out candidates that have expectations far outside the range, saving your organization (and the candidate) time.

At the end of the day, when both candidate and company know a range in which to negotiate and are on the same page, it makes for a much smoother hiring process all around.

3. Career Growth

If your company commits to long-term growth, this would be a good thing to mention in the job ad. Programs such as supplementing continuing education, certifications, workshops, or other development programs can be a draw and help potential candidates envision a future with your organization.

4. Day-to-Day Details of the Job

Don’t overlook the day-to-day responsibilities of the job itself. While culture and career growth can be incentives, whether or not the potential employee can complete the tasks at hand is obviously important. Give the job ad readers a glimpse at the day in the life of this job and what the most important tasks and goals are for this position.  

5. Flexibility and Location

As recruiters, we speak with candidates day in and day out. One of the most asked questions we get is about flexibility, meaning whether a job is remote, in the office, or some combination (hybrid). Since 2020, this particular benefit has been more widely expected and sought after by many candidates. If flexibility is something that is offered, clearly state that in the job description as it may be an important factor for a potential candidate that will incentivize them to go through the application process.

On the other hand, be honest if remote or hybrid flexibility is not an option. Many companies cannot accommodate this for various reasons and that is fine. But there is no point in hiding that until later in the interview process and wasting your company’s time.  

If there is an in-office component, be clear about the location of the job so candidates can get a realistic picture of the commute if possible.  

6. Benefits

Benefits can have a huge impact on a candidate’s decision process when searching for a new job. Factors including healthcare, paid leave, and retirement plans are benefits many people look for, and clearly stating your benefits in an ad may be the deciding factor on whether that candidate hits that apply button.

While we are not advising you to outline your entire benefit package options on the job ad, make a clear and concise list of benefits offered and highlight any benefits that are above and beyond!

Bonus Tips

  • Keep it simple! Do not make the job ad so long that potential candidates fall asleep while reading it. Make it clear, concise, and detailed.
  • Remember this is a job advertisement, meant to draw your ideal candidates in and make them envision working for your organization. Keep this in mind and write it with the candidate in mind.
  • Pack it with relevant information. The more information you give potential candidates, the more they have to weigh the positives and negatives and decide if the role makes sense for them to apply to. Maybe a candidate seeking a remote position will see an enticing salary and decide the commute is worth it. Maybe the great paid family leave benefit will outweigh a lower salary for someone. The more relevant information you can provide to candidates, the better!