Improving recruitment: The secrets to successful job listings


With returning business confidence leading to increased hiring and job search activity, South Africa’s job market is showing signs that it’s on a positive trajectory. At the same time, data-driven recruitment platforms have revolutionised traditional hiring by helping companies better identify, target, and retain quality talent. Posting an online job listing has many advantages over headhunting or using other traditional hiring techniques. For recruiters or employers trying to find the best person for the job, there are a few benefits and best practises they should know about.

The benefits of job listings

Creating ads or posting job listings can hold many benefits – especially when they are backed by vast amounts of recruitment data. Recruiters only conducting a database search instead of advertising their job vacancies often miss out on new, fresh talent actively applying for positions and ready to move. To drive the right candidates to the right jobs, many of today’s leading recruitment platforms use job-matching technologies that send job alerts to suitable candidates. These alerts are segmented based on various fields (such as location, sector, or experience level), providing candidates with very specific job ads sent directly to their inbox daily or weekly. Pnet, for example, which attracts 40.5% of the online traffic market share among local recruitment websites, sends 70 million job alerts to candidates every month, delivering over 45% of the platform’s applications.

Additionally, recruiters using a partner network of aggregators can further increase the number of applications they receive and ensure the widest possible reach.

Reducing time-to-hire is a significant challenge for employers, and often a critical KPI for recruiters. But recruiters receive many responses to ads, which they then have to sort through to shortlist candidates. With today’s sophisticated filtering tools, however, recruiters can segment these responses based on the candidate’s profile that was created at registration. Response handling services also save recruiters more time by managing the entire process for them. All they need to do is supply their job description, shortlist criteria, and a closing date. Recruitment platforms that offer these services then advertise, filter, and provide them with a shortlist of rated and scored candidates to interview.

Companies could be missing out on attracting good talent because their ads aren’t performing as well as competitors’ ads. But, with platforms that provide job ad competitor insights, businesses can see exactly how their ads are performing relative to others in their industry. With real-time insights into candidate behaviour and who their competitors for talent are, recruiters can also proactively amend their listings or try alternative titles to improve their candidate delivery.

Job listing best practises

To ensure ads attract more candidates, especially those that are ideal for the job, it’s important that they follow certain job listing best practices. For example, always try to use a simple and straightforward title but use rich, clear language for the details in the ad content. It is also helpful to include synonyms for the job title in the ad content and give a clear description of required skills that cover as many potential jobseeker search terms as possible. Ultimately, how well the job description matches the information in the job listing will help the matching technology work its magic to find the right candidates.

A well-structured and organised ad is always more effective. Avoid a long job title that includes details of the ad, or large blocks of unstructured text. Advertising multiple roles in one ad or mentioning other job titles can interfere with the job search relevance and ranking, as will adding a list of keywords or using obscure jargon.

Eligibility criteria, such as qualifications or access to transport, should always be clearly listed, but it’s important not to go overboard as it can also be discouraging to candidates. Instead, including additional information related to your Employee Value Proposition such as company culture, working environment, opportunities for growth and development, or bonuses, can be more beneficial as it shows what you have to offer candidates.

Great job ads lead to great candidates

Think of a job listing as an advertising opportunity for your company. With a dynamic, well-structured, and captivating representation of the company and the available position, job ads can stand out and improve the number of applications and quality of applicants a job ad gets. Great job ads lead to great candidates and, with the help of data-driven recruitment platforms like Pnet, recruiters can ensure they find those candidates faster – and with more consistency – than before.

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