Employment Ads That Get Attention
The first step in attracting a pool of candidates for a position is to prepare an advertisement for employment to be placed in your local newspaper or one of the other resources mentioned later in this chapter. An ad that simply states the position, rate of pay, and how to apply will not excite anyone. Chances are that the people who respond will be those who are simply looking for a paycheck with no concern for a rewarding career opportunity. They are the ones applying for any job that is available, regardless of whether it's something that they would enjoy doing. People who are not happy at work will not impress your customers. Customers who are not impressed are unlikely to come back because they will patronize the competition instead.
A catchy advertisement will grab the attention of the best applicants. If the job is fast paced, mention this in your ad because many people thrive on being busy. Flexible scheduling options are a hot item right now as many people struggle to balance work, family, and continuing education. A person who works well independently is likely to respond to an ad seeking a self-starter. Is there an opportunity for growth? Let people know. Adding these extra perks turns a dry announcement into an exciting venture.
Newspaper advertisements are most successful if they appear in the Sunday edition of the paper. When you place an ad, you will have the option of running it for Sunday only, weekends only (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday), or in increments of a few days or a week or two. As long as Sunday is covered in the timeframe you choose, you will get the best exposure possible.
An advertisement for employment may be used to determine if someone pays attention to detail and follows instructions. For example, if your ad instructs applicants to send a salary history along with their resume and they don't do this, assume that this person will not be meticulous at work.
Before placing your ad, decide how you want people to apply, and let it be known. You may want them to request an application in person at specific times. For positions that are beyond entry level, you may want to see a resume by mail, fax, or e-mail as the first step. If you need someone with prior experience, stating this in your ad will save time for everyone involved. Use bold print or a bigger font for the name of the position to make it stand out. Short ads are likely to be skimmed quickly and overlooked. Invest in the space you need to draw attention to your ad.
Before placing an ad or taking advantage of one of the other resources for finding people in this chapter, make sure you have an ample supply of employment applications. Most importantly, ensure that the applications ask questions that are legal in your state! The laws may change from year to year. Your state employment or labor-relations agency can help you verify if your applications are in compliance if you are not sure. Most likely, if you order your applications from a reputable source and they are current, you will be in compliance. Beware of outdated applications that may ask questions that were legal a few years ago, but that you are no longer allowed to ask.
If the applications you use ask job seekers for their social security number, verify if this is allowed in your state. If it is, keep completed applications in a secure place for the sake of the applicant. Some states have strict laws about who in the company has access to this information.