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How To Write Effective Small Business Job Ads

When your small business is growing and expanding, it can be a particularly exciting time.  Evidence that your hard work after what could very easily be many months – or even years – is paying off, it’s a fantastic boost to your confidence knowing that things are going in the right direction.

While you’re likely to be able to manage a certain amount of growth yourself, there’s going to come a point in time where you need to hire someone to help you out.

It’s highly likely you think it’s going to be a quick and easy process – everyone wants a job, right? – but the truth is you need to do a lot to ensure you only get the people you want applying for the position.

We’re not just talking about getting the best of the best here, but simply getting people applying for the role who are genuinely going to be of benefit to your organisation and ultimately ensures that neither your time or theirs is wasted.

Therefore, with this in mind, what do you need to be including within your job advert to see the most success with your hiring process?

Company Details

One of the first things to talk about in any advert is your small business.  You don’t need to go massively in-depth, but you need to give the potential employee an understanding of what they’re getting into.

Give an insight into what your small business offers, why it’s unique and the growth you’ve seen recently.  The more you sell your company, the more attractive the job is and the more attractive it is, the greater number of people you’ll get applying.

Don’t use half of the advert to talk about your small business, but give people enough information to catch their eye and find out more – use it as a sales pitch and basically tell everyone the key points that would make them want to work for you.


Drawing people in with the above, you need to get down to the nitty gritty next – and whatever you do, don’t skimp on the detail.

OK, so it’s best to point out that you don’t want to be telling everyone every single thing that the role is going to encompass, but you need to ensure that by reading the advert, any potential employee is going to have – at the very least – a good understanding of what to expect.

The more detail you offer, the more people can become aware of what the role is about and when this happens, you’ll find that for the most part, you’ll only get people applying who are genuinely interested in what’s on offer.

If you put up an advert that seems to skirt around certain points or doesn’t go into enough detail, people can start to interpret what it could mean themselves, potentially leaving you wide open to receiving a huge amount of applications from completely unsuitable individuals.


What’s also important to include, yet something that’s so often missed out, is what you expect from the applicant.  You can basically be as in-depth (or not) as you want here, but you need to be truthful.

Hard-working, flexible and forward-thinking are all phrases that are good to use, but they’re also all quite expected.  Therefore, feel free to write a few sentences, rather than just using singled-out adjectives.

Perhaps you want someone who’d be willing to start early or finish late on certain occasions.  Maybe you need someone to bounce ideas off, so they need to be able to listen but also respond back with confidence.  Chances are you’re going to want someone to take charge of a certain area of the business, so don’t be afraid to put this in here, too.


And although it’s always best to leave the benefits to the end, as you obviously want people to want the job for reasons other than the salary, you can’t be naive and think it won’t be a factor they consider – it will.

In fact, there are plenty of organisations out there who believe it’s important to heavily promote the benefits an employee will be getting, as the more attractive the salary package is, the more likely it is they’ll choose you over a competitor.  However, focusing on small businesses and realising it’s unlikely there’s going to be a huge package on offer, it’s generally recommended to keep the benefits to the end – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about them heavily!

Salary is obviously going to be the main point, but don’t forget everything else that could make the role appealing.  Flexible working hours.  Perhaps more holidays than normal.  Maybe a commission structure on any sales.

Remember, the more you make someone want to work for your small business, the more they’ll generally give, resulting in an effective and efficient employee who although gets rewarded, without doubt works for their money.

There’s a whole host of things to consider when hiring an employee for your small business.  However, if you start with the right advert, you can sit back and relax knowing you’ve done as much as you can to at least get the most suitable applicants possible sending in their details.

This post was originally featured on March 12, 2013.

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