Although unemployment is still forecast to peak at over 7% in March, with ANZ reporting job ads are now higher than pre pandemic levels, the employment market is quite buoyant. What we have seen over the past 12 months is that people who are in jobs that are secure are reluctant to look for a new role.

This makes for a very difficult market if you’re trying to recruit people because natural turnover that occurs in organisations hasn’t been happening. What we are finding, particularly for skilled or specialised roles, if that it’s still a small market and very difficult to recruit great people.


Before you post your next job ad, here are our top tips on making it more effective:


  1. Get the title right

Think carefully about the job title on the ad and research what will be most effective. The job title is important, not just for search results for candidates when they go into the job boards, but also if they have emails set up from the job boards to send them particular roles.

If you don’t have a job title that can cut across industries then you’re limiting the number of people that will see your ad, and therefore apply to it, that may have transferable skills.

As an example, I was speaking with a business owner recently, who had gone to market with a job ad at the end of last year, which had the words “people and culture” within the title. When the business advertised the role they had many applicants from HR and Management backgrounds that were not really fitting in terms of salary expectations or other components of the position.

I spoke with the owner and we broke down the job into the different components and the skills required and found that the transferable skills needed weren’t necessarily HR experience, but people management skills. Through our discussion, we thought that somebody that had come from a people management role like a retail store manager would probably have had more of the skills available than an HR practitioner.

This completely changed the mindset for what the business was going to market for, and helped to redesign the job title and job ad to those transferable skills which were needed in order to attract the right candidates.

The job title on the ad does not need to be what you use internally. In the above example, they could still use the old title internally and discuss with the preferred candidate the official title. The important part is that you are using the title that best reflects the role to the external market.


  1. This is a sales and marketing process


You are selling this job. You are selling your company. You are selling you as a leader!


Recruitment is much more a sales & marketing process than it is a human resources one.

If you want to try and attract candidates you need to make sure that you are really selling through what it is the role offers and what your company offers.

Review your job ad and ask yourself;  are you speaking to the person that’s reading this, as though you’re holding all the power?.

Are you just talking about what you’re looking for, or are you putting that job ad together in a way that it shows not just what you’re looking for a candidate, but also what you’re offering, and why it is worth their time to apply with you?


Particularly those in secure employment are not going to look twice at your job ad unless you give them a compelling reason to.


  1. Pre employment testing.


Research shows that the biggest predictor of successful job performance when it comes to recruitment is using effective pre-employment tests. I always recommend using cognitive tests, and sometimes reliability (also known as integrity tests), which are backed by research in terms of future job performance. These assessments are available online, not difficult to administer and quite inexpensive.  Make them part of your recruitment process before you go through to a second interview.


  1. Coffee chats are great, but stick to standard questions


I was speaking to a business owner recently who hires their candidates after having a “coffee chat”. It is nice and relaxed and enables them to get to know each other socially. When I asked the success rate of hiring, I was told “It isn’t bad, about 50/50”.!

Coffee chats are great after you’ve already had a structured interview (or sometimes even before a structured interview). But, the research tells us behaviour-based questions are much more effective at predicting future performance.

These are questions when you’re asking about examples of what the candidate has done in the past. (Tell me about a time when ABC happened and what you did in that situation).

These are effective as when someone can demonstrate they have done before, is likely to show what they’re going to do again in the future, or perhaps they will give you an example of something that didn’t work out and what they learnt through that process. It’s much more effective than a hypothetical question, because in hypotheticals people will tell you what they think should occur, rather than what they would actually do given the situation.



But Recruitment is so time consuming!


Yes it is!

Each time you go into a recruitment activity imagine that you’re going to have to do it 3,4,5 or 6 times over. Because if you don’t get it right that first time and you get the wrong person in, you will need to keep going through that process over and over and over.

It is much better to spend the time upfront and get the right person. If you’re not finding the right candidate then accept that and restart the recruitment process after you have reviewed what you need in a role or changed what you’re looking for in a candidate.

Recruitment is one of the most fundamental components of your business when it comes to culture and it deserves the time. You should always be hiring slowly (and firing quickly!).


Need more help? Check out our free on-demand webinar about finding great employees here  or, our Flex HR service may be just what you need. Check it out here or contact us today for more information.