Job Advert or Job Description

Released On 7th May 2021

The age-old question…

Or the all-encompassing ‘job spec’ (to be avoided at all costs). But back to job descriptions and job adverts. The two are completely different beasts. 

A job description does exactly what it says on the tin, it defines the role - what the role is accountable for, the reason for it existing and in some cases, for HR and Line Managers to create PDR's and the dreaded annual reviews.  Something to measure performance and impact against – not the most thrilling part of the process – but completely necessary!

The job advert on the other hand is used to sell the role and your business. Think of it in the same way you would a product you are trying to sell.  If you were struggling to find customers for a product, would you use the product specification as the advert?  Of course you wouldn't!  You would want your customers to know what makes the product amazing, why it's so special and why they absolutely have to buy it – so why treat your job any differently?

The job advert is often the first insight a prospective candidate gets of your business (unless your employer brand is so super that you have candidates queuing up to work with you!) and you need them to be buying into you from that first interaction, a bit like love at first sight, you want them to be thinking about you non-stop.  The advert needs to tell a story, something compelling that persuades people 'just passing' (aka passive candidates) that maybe they could be open to looking at something else.

If your ‘job advert’ contains bullet points, followed by lines such as ‘your key responsibilities will entail’ then who do you think is buying?  Probably not the people you are trying to sell to.

Tell your audience what is exciting about your company, and exciting about the role.  Why is this role different?  Think about the type of candidates you are trying to attract, and talk to them like human beings, in the type of language they would use, don’t fill it to the brim with industry jargon!

The right job title is also key.  Sure your internal job description might read ‘Chief of People Happiness’ but consider what candidates will actually be searching for online.  Try HR Director either as the job title, or somewhere in the text where the search engines will pick up on it – otherwise, unless you work for a huge global company where you have the audience and the budget to promote anything and everything, no-one will ever find your beautifully crafted ad.

So to put it simply, job descriptions and job advents are completely different! It’s totally okay to use the job description as the basis for your advert, but a direct copy and paste simply won’t cut it!