How to write a good job advertisement in IT?
Do programmers and other specialists in the IT industry read job advertisements when they can choose between offers from employers? Of course it is, but the offer must be 100% concrete - without any admixture of generalities and artificial phrases. In today's post, we will look at the most common mistakes in recruitment advertisements and, step by step, we will tell you how the advertisement should look like, which a potential candidate will notice.
31st October 2022
In today's market, experienced programmers have no problem with a lack of jobs. The only difficulty in finding one actually lies in choosing the worthwhile and most specific offer from among the silent advertisements. Job offers that look like the one below definitely do not help either party in the recruitment process. The average job offer (and this is regardless of the industry) looks more or less like this: Responsibilities:
working on interesting projects
working to schedule
solving problems and reporting to the manager
ability to organise work
ability to work in a team
2 years' experience
work in a young team
opportunity for professional development.
The mistakes made by people constructing IT advertisements similar to the example given are many. Their main problem is, of course, the lack of specifics. Mentioning soft skills in an ad, such as the ability to work in a group or conscientiousness, instead of hard skills, such as knowledge of particular technologies, makes the whole recruitment process much more difficult. The same applies to the job description. Is a good atmosphere and working in a young team really what the candidate is looking for? And finally, the most burning question - what does an attractive salary mean? The consequence of an incorrectly constructed job offer is wasted time and wasted HR budgets, because although there may be many applications for a given position, most of them are unlikely to be relevant to expectations. Moreover, an ad devoid of specific information may discourage people who would actually be suitable for the job.
So what should a GOOD IT job ad look like?
The recipe for a near-perfect IT recruitment ad is a combination of tried and tested principles for all industries, plus a handful of additional tips. First and foremost, it should contain as much detailed information as possible about who is being sought.
First of all, the absolutely key information that lets the candidate know where he or she is actually going to work. The ad should not even lack a description of the type of employment and the location of the company. It should definitely be written about how many hours the job is, how many days of holiday the employee is entitled to, whether there is the possibility to work remotely, the form of employment and the salary.
Job description and technology. This section requires specificity and a high degree of precision. The source of substance here is, of course, the manager of the target team, but it is the role of the recruiter to lay out the content clearly and provide information in a candidate-friendly manner:
scope of responsibilities - it is worth being factual and, if possible, showing how much time (e.g. in percentage terms) the employee will spend on particular tasks
be sure to include in the ad a description of the project(s) the candidate will be working on. Here, it is worth mentioning the industry for which the software is being developed and showing the interesting challenges faced by the team
The employer's requirements should also be described as precisely as possible. In this section you should include all the skills without which it is not possible to take up the position. This will save time for recruiters, who will not have to dig through piles of CVs that do not meet the employer's expectations. When writing down the company's expectations, it is worth remembering to divide the requirements into key and welcome requirements. A description of what the work organisation is like is very important. You can show the work methodology used and good practices in the software development process. A great way to make the requirements more specific is to provide information on the degree of knowledge of a particular skill. For example, if you are looking for a candidate with knowledge of German, you should write what level of German is required.
What does the company offer? Attractive salaries are a definite NO. If an employer wants to be specific, he or she must provide concrete salary information. Wage spreads are an extremely attractive element of an ad that every reliable company should opt for. In addition to the list of benefits, it is worth mentioning all other employee benefits and employer perks such as training opportunities (which ones?), bonuses, employee discounts, unique office amenities, promotion path prospects or funding for specific purposes.
About the company. Be sure to introduce the company briefly. Avoid corpulence and information that is completely useless from a candidate's point of view. Focus on what makes the company stand out from the competition and is likely to attract the attention of applicants, e.g. individual stories, impressive numbers, unique challenges or products.
The team, or make yourself known. Concreteness and merit are fundamental in IT recruitment, but anyone who thinks that developers do not pay attention to issues such as atmosphere and colleagues is mistaken. Who will I be working with? How big is the team? What is the structure within it? Who will I be learning from? What is the management style? It is a good idea to include the answers to these questions already at the announcement stage, showing the organisational culture, by which we mean, among other things, the criteria for remuneration and promotion, the communication style and the company values.
Mistakes to avoid
It is certainly not worth getting carried away by your imagination or the temptation to fudge reality. All half-truths will sooner or later come to light, in which case you risk losing a valuable employee. Transparency and partnership honesty with potential colleagues is the only way to win their trust and commitment. Last but not least, the biggest mistake made in advertisements for the IT industry is the omission of salary. Like it or not, salary disclosure already at the job offer stage is now standard in this professional group. It is on the basis of the amount proposed that candidates make the final decision to send their application. It does not pay to hide this information, especially if there is something to show.
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