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Why the recruitment ad is an advert for your business

This is a prime opportunity to promote your business’s qualities, culture and goals. Your ideal candidate will want to follow the path you are busy paving. Your job specification and description come into their own now as they form the backbone of the ad. Keep the advertisement simple, short and jargon free. Now is not the time for a thesaurus. You’ll want your candidates to know exactly what you require. Tailor the wording to your target audience.

What you’ll need to include:

  • Job title and description
  • Brief outline of the business
  • The job requirements and what the employee’s main tasks will be
  • The responsibilities the employee will have
  • Who they will report to or the number of people they will they need to supervise
  • Wage, hours, location and type of job. Is it full-time, part-time, temporary or fixed term?
  • How they should apply and the deadline.

Application forms or CVs?

You may decide to choose your shortlist from a pile of CVs, or through a more uniform application form.

In a form you can clearly outline what the job entails, which might make it easier to decide if they will make a good choice for the role.

If you ask for details on ethnic origin, marital status or age, please make clear this information is for monitoring purposes only and will not form part of the selection process.

Where to market your job vacancy

Here are some suggestions about ways to broaden your potential pool of applicants. Flexible working opportunities are more and more commonplace as our living and working lives adapt to social changes. Visit our Where to Advertise page for ideas about where to place that inclusive ad.

Open up to flexible working

By being open to flexible working you are widening the application process to even more people with the skills you’re looking for. Many candidates will want to know if you will consider alternative patterns of work - so why not say so in the job advert?

The ‘Happy to Work Flexible Working’ strapline and logo has been designed by Working Families, TUC and other employer bodies, for you to use on adverts.

You'll also find some simple guidance about job design to help you consider what the job really needs and what type of flexible working might work best for your organisation.

You can download the logo, strapline and guidance free of charge.

Benefits of fair recruitment

Building a fair and transparent workforce begins right at the beginning of the recruitment process. The way you word a job advertisement or the requirements you include may put off some people from applying and could be unlawful.

You'll be better able to reach individuals who are underrepresented in your workforce. Take positive action by engaging with local community groups, schools or equality organisations.

Sign up to the Positive about Disabled People (Two Ticks) scheme. Using this logo means employers will interview any disabled people who meet the minimum requirements of the role when they apply for a job.

And below you'll find more advice and helpful links.

Five job ad dos...

  • Ensure the language in adverts is clear and accessible.
  • Include a statement about the physical accessibility of your building.
  • Advertise your opportunities widely to maximise the number of high quality applicants.
  • Think laterally about where to display the adverts. You can use local or national press, community radio stations, library notice boards, existing equality networks.
  • Ask candidates to complete an equality monitoring form. The information gathered should not be used to make a decision about a candidate, rather it is a useful tool to understand how inclusive your recruitment practices are.

Five job ad don'ts...

  • Avoid abbreviations, jargon and words such as "young", "mature" or "recent graduate", which suggest a certain age is required. This could amount to unlawful discrimination.
  • Avoid job titles that imply they may be done by men or women only. For example, instead of  "handyman" you could say "maintenance worker".
  • Avoid images that imply jobs are associated with particular groups, such as pictures showing only male mechanics or  female nurses.
  • Physical characteristics such as height should be excluded unless it can be shown that they are a requirement of the job.
  • Driving licence requirements could exclude disabled people and must not be included unless driving is needed for the role.

Equal opportunities

Send a positive message from the start by including an equal opportunities statement that applications are welcome from all suitably qualified or experienced people. For example: 'We particularly welcome applicants from those who are significantly underrepresented in our sector, such as women, disabled people and individuals from Black and Minority ethnic communities.'

What's next?

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