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What retail job seekers really look for in job adverts

When it comes to targeting jobseekers, there are a million and one things you’d want to include on the recruitment advert and everyone will give you different advice as to what will ‘hook’ the ideal candidate. With access to the largest database of retail jobseekers, we thought we’d get the information straight from the horses’ mouths.

Less than one year ago in December 2015, research from Adzuna.co.uk discovered there was twice as many advertised jobs as there were jobseekers to fill them, meaning recruiters had to nail those recruitment adverts the first time in order to attract the right candidate. This sparked an on-going debate as to what factors are most likely to make jobseekers apply.

Even more recently in February 2016 reports revealed that almost a quarter of jobseekers in Britain would prioritise flexibility over salary and career opportunities when applying for a new job; 24% of the 4,000 jobseekers and recruiters who were surveyed said the option of job flexibility was top of their priority list when looking for new position.

However, recent research conducted by The Retail Appointment from a survey of retail jobseekers has challenged this.

Let’s talk money

We all know that details of salary can often make or break a job application. Our survey findings suggest that candidates are more likely to apply for a position if they know the salary, or at least have some sort of guide. It provides reassurance that they can afford to take the risk of leaving their current role for the one you are promoting.

If you are creating a role where the salary is uncertain or negotiable then it is important that you provide a salary band and state ‘negotiable dependent on level of experience’. Then all boxes are ticked.

Company background?

Word count is often limited when it comes to online job advertisements so it comes as little surprise that ‘company background’ was one of the lesser choices of what jobseekers want to see in a recruitment advert. It’s hard to condense that level of information down into a job ad.

However, 84% said ‘company background’ information was the most important thing a business should have on their website, so if the candidate seeks more details on the potential employer this is where they will find it, along with social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Potential candidates will want to know when your business was formed; how many employees it has; where it operates; what are the products and services and markets in which it serves; whether it has won any awards or comply with any quality management standards such as Investors in People. They’ll also want to get a feel for a business’ culture and aims.

Keep standards high

In such a competitive jobs market, there is growing pressure on those behind the ads to get the recruitment right the first time. Recruiters simply can’t afford to make mistakes and face the implications of getting their recruitment advertising wrong.

Online adverts will be the first interaction jobseekers have with a brand therefore it needs to be positive, well written and appealing for it to stand out from the crowd.

The small stuff

Details of what educational requirements are needed in order to fill a role were deemed to be the least important piece of information employees seek in their job adverts - just 34% cited this as the case. And when it came to details on a company website, just 33% of respondents said that testimonials and videos of what existing employees say about the business is the most important piece of information that should be featured.

This is surprising. Testimonials add credibility to a business’ pitch; almost like mini case studies.

It enables a business’ story to become more believable with every testimonial they produce. This is one area of a website that you can never have too much of and they shouldn’t just go on a website, they should also go on all marketing collateral.

Make it accessible

If you want to attract employees who are best suited to your specific business needs, the process begins with drawing up a good job description.

Almost three quarters (70%) of our survey respondents said a recognisable job title was the most important thing an employer should include in their job advert.

Employers are not legally obliged to create a job description, yet producing one enables them to focus their thinking and decide how the role must contribute to their business and who is likely to fulfil that role.

From the candidates’ perspective it also sheds much needed light on what the job will entail.

Know your candidate

Producing a “person specification” can also help you when writing a job advert, interviewing candidates and assessing their suitability.

As well as specifying duties, the employer should think about explaining how the role must contribute to the business and how it fits in with the wider structure.

For example, will the successful candidate be part of a team? Will they head up that team or work under a more senior colleague? Even if they’ll largely be working independently, they’ll need to know to whom they’ll report.
The key for any candidate is to give them suitable information which describes how the role will eventually develop.