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Recruiting? Make sure your job ad includes these six essential elements

by , 05 September 2013
If you have a job description of the job you're hiring for, you'll have a clear idea of the minimum skill and experience required. This means the job ad you put together will show exactly the type of candidate you need to fill the position. It'll also encourage suitably qualified people to apply for the job. To do this effectively, make sure your job ad contains these six essential elements.

A job description is a written description of the job responsibilities, requirements, functions, duties, skills required and other aspects of the job, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

To ensure your job advert attracts the right candidates, make sure it has these six crucial elements.

Six important elements to include in your job ad

#1: Job title

Use the position title from your job description.

#2: The job description

Include two to three lines that clearly explain the position. You can also include the key performance areas from your job description. This will explain what you'll expect the person to do.

#3: Qualifications

State the minimum qualifications needed.

When you say applicants must have a certain minimum qualification, make sure the successful applicant couldn't do the job without it, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

A word of caution: Sometimes an applicant may not have the formal qualification you're looking for, but his experience may be excellent. In this case, it won't matter that he doesn't have the required qualifications.

The Employment Equity Act says you must recognise a candidate's knowledge and experience when you consider him for a position.

#4: Skills and experience

Be as specific as possible about the minimum skills and experience applicants need to do the job.

For example, if you're advertising for a graphic designer and you only use one specific computer programme, InDesign, your job ad must state: 'Must know how to use InDesign and have 2 years' experience with it.'

Remember to specify if you need experience in a certain industry, for example, retail.

You can also include what personal attributes you want applicants to have. For example, would you need them to be people orientated, assertive, reliable or creative?

Although you should stay away from prescribing specific personalities that you would like, you should specify job-related personal attributes.

#5: Affirmative Action/ Employment Equity compliance

If you're only hiring people who are from designated groups and you've stated this in your employment equity plan. At the top of your job ad, state 'Affirmative Action position' or at the end of your ad, insert a phrase such as: 'The organisation is an equal-opportunity employer; however, preference will be given to Affirmative Action applicants.'

#6: Other

In this section in your job ad, state:

  • What area the job is in;
  • Working hours, if they aren't Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm;
  • If they need to have transport or not;
  • Your company details and contact details;
  • What the remuneration package is. If you don't, you may receive applications from people earning more than you're willing to pay; and
  • If anything extra must be submitted with the CV, for instance, one-page letter motivating why they're perfect for the position, copies of the qualification; and
  • What the closing date for applications is.

With these six vital elements in your job ad, you'll be sure to attract the right candidates for the position.

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