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Our job adverts are not getting the quality of candidates we expected

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Despite the abundance of job seekers out there, employers often learn that it takes more than just simply listing a job opening online to find a high-quality candidate who will be an asset to the company.

The current job market has become highly competitive and finding the best talent is more difficult than ever. The days of expecting candidates to read job descriptions that are disguised as adverts have long passed, especially for employers looking to attract passive talent.


A common problem for businesses is that their job ads do not generate enough interest and are struggling to get applicants to respond. Here are a few reasons this could be happening:

  • The job ad has the wrong job title – often too niche or company-specific. Terms which may be used in a workplace may not be common job titles anywhere else, e.g., “Chief Geek”.
  • The advert is too long or reads like a job description – nobody wants to read a long boring job description at the initial stage of their job search – regardless of how active or passive they are.
  • Passive candidates are not targeted – an ideal employee is typically one who has extensive knowledge, experience, and a passion for what they do. Many passive candidates are already employed and aren’t actively looking for new opportunities – dull advertisements will have a hard time attracting their attention.
  • The salary is not listed – a recent study by job board REED showed that almost a quarter of jobseekers will only apply for jobs with a listed salary.
  • The application process is too tedious – applicants don’t want to invest a lot of time or effort filling out the applications, and they may not be committed to a process that is too complicated.

A well written job ad will not only help attract talented professionals to apply, it will also promote the company’s brand and allow employers to build a strong talent pool of potential candidates for the future. Taking it into perspective, it has the potential to cut down on pre-screening and sourcing time, advertisement boosters, and provide a positive candidate experience from the very beginning.

With so much depending on the strength of a job ad, this is one step in the recruitment process that must not be overlooked.


It is sometimes challenging to come up with a promotional piece that makes an impact. The key objective is to get the candidate’s attention and entice them to apply by highlighting the company’s unique selling points – in other words, placing emphasis on what the applicant will receive in return for accepting the offer.

Through our customized approach to job advertising as well as our local and international expertise, we provide our clients with highly effective career marketing strategies that enable them to recruit the best talent.

Here are some of the considerations we keep in mind when creating compelling job ads for our clients:

  • Job title – we focus on titles that are clean, generic, SEO-optimised, and have high search volume on the job boards.  This will ensure that we are targeting the right candidates in the right sector.
  • Structure – we use the A.I.D.A. copywriting Formula – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – ranging between 250 – 400 words’ depending on the seniority of the role. The key is to give applicants compelling reasons for choosing this offer instead of competing options, over and above the money and benefits they get.
  • Passive candidate focus – we put value on the passive candidates. The ad should convince them that the job offered is better than the one they have, making sure to sell the benefits, the role and the company. It is unlikely that passive candidates will respond to plain, traditional job ads.
  • Salary – some employers may not want to explicitly mention salary, but those that do generally have many more applications.
  • Clear & simple call to action – we make sure to formulate a straightforward call to action. Not all candidates will have an up-to-date CV ready to send out immediately, so it’s important to clarify the application process.
  • Review and adapt – if the ads do not draw the right quality of candidates, we make adjustments. During the review process, we check details such as whether the title matches the profile of the candidate we are seeking, if the minimum requirements are too restrictive, etc.

An impactful job advertisement is crucial – it plays a major role in attracting the right candidates, and it should complement the company’s brand identity.

Through this approach, we are able to effectively fill more roles for our clients. Using creative ads rather than dull job descriptions, we make our job ads stand out as more engaging and more likely to get responded to by the right people. In addition to attracting more applicants, our advertisement solutions generate more interest from passive candidates – this ultimately results in a higher number of employees who fit their company’s needs and goals.



About Allen Recruitment

Allen Recruitment Consulting is an international recruitment consultancy business with head offices in the centre of Dublin, Ireland. We are a full-service recruitment company for permanent, temporary, contingent and contract roles. We offer full recruitment outsourcing services, executive search and headhunting services, and much more. With offices all over Europe – IrelandPolandthe UKSpainSweden, France, Belgium and the Netherlands – Allen Recruitment can help expand your company abroad.


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