Crafting job ads to supercharge candidate pipelines & employer brand

It is becoming increasingly important for employers to create job ads. They should not only be eye-catching, but also accurately represent their company’s culture and values. This is because job seekers today are more conscious about the organisation they are joining. Furthermore, the ads are the first point of contact where they get to know about the company. Job ads are an important part of employer brand management as they set the tone for the recruitment campaigns. They provide job seekers with an insight into the company’s culture and values. We can ensure that we attract and engage the right candidates by crafting well-written job ads that accurately reflect us. Additionally, job ads also help build a positive employer brand that can be leveraged to attract more job seekers. Thus, we will also be feeding into the candidate pipeline.

Before going deep into the crucial steps of crafting the most efficient job ads, we first should know how to resonate with our potential candidates.

1- Research The Target Audience

Researching the target audience involves gathering data about potential candidates and understanding their needs, motivations, and preferences for our job. Furthermore, we need to know what other job postings they are more likely to respond to and what methods they use to search for jobs. We can obtain said data through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and other research methods.

Let’s clarify it with an example. If the target audience is young adults for entry-level positions, we should emphasise the benefits of the job. These benefits can be flexible hours, a competitive salary, and career advancement opportunities. We should also explain the job duties and requirements in clear language that they can understand and relate to.

Another important action is that we should optimize the ad for the target audience. That means, to their preferred search platforms and other job platforms, such as LinkedIn or Indeed. We should ensure the ad has the right keywords & phrases to make it appear in the candidate’s search results. The job advertisement should also be visually appealing, with an attractive graphic design and easy-to-read copy.

Finally, we should share and distribute the job advertisement on the right channels. For example, a job ad for young adults can be shared on social media like TikTok or Instagram. Additionally, we should distribute it through job boards and recruitment websites.

2- Grab Attention With The Subject Line

The subject line is a crucial factor that can make or break the success of the campaign. It should be attention-grabbing and enticing enough to make the candidate want to read more. A great way to grab attention is using keywords and phrases that resonate with the target audience and their needs. However, we should avoid internal jargon that affects the reader’s comprehension meanwhile. Additionally, using simple but interesting language is key to making the subject line stand out and capture the reader’s attention. It should be concise to make sure the audience understands the essence of the job offer and what it entails.

3- Keep The Interest Alive With The Imagery

When crafting job ads, great imagery plays an essential role in connecting with potential candidates and boosting candidate pipelines. High-quality visuals that illustrate the job role and company culture helps us summarise our EVP efficiently. Thus, giving job seekers a better idea of what to expect from the organisation. Additionally, imagery should capture the organisation’s unique identity. This helps us form a stronger connection with the candidate and reinforces the organisation’s EVP.

To optimize job ads, we should focus on creating visuals that are eye-catching and engaging. However, we should remain relevant to the job role and organisation. This will encourage potential candidates to engage with the company and explore further. With the right content and visuals, we can create an effective marketing strategy to demonstrate why the role is a great opportunity. For example, we can use job ad visuals to portray an inspiring workplace culture and emphasise workplace diversity. Specifically, images of diverse teams collaborating in the office, or team members engaging in activities outside of work. Additionally, images of employees collaborating or celebrating in a relaxed setting can highlight the positive work environment.

Furthermore, we can also use visuals to showcase the EVP of the organisation. This could take the form of images of team members in the office, or employees engaging in a variety of activities that highlight the organisation’s values or ethos. For example, let’s imagine an employer who says they value work-life balance. Their visuals could include images of team members taking part in activities outside of work, or team members taking breaks throughout the day. This helps to demonstrate that we are committed to creating a positive work environment. Thus, it makes the job more attractive to potential candidates.

4- Careful With The First Lines of Content

When crafting a job ad, the first lines of content are our most effective tool in keeping a candidate’s attention and keep them interested in learning more. The first line has to be intriguing enough to make the candidate want to keep reading. This could be done through a clever opening, introducing the position in a unique way, or even through the use of humour.

It is important to keep in mind the candidate’s psychology at the same time. They have some questions that we can answer in the opening lines of the job ad, like the ones below.

  • What will I be a part of?
  • Will I be a culture fit?
  • How will I know if I am good at my job?
  • What psychological benefits will I have?

The opening lines should provide a summary of what the job entails, as well as the type of candidate that the employer is looking for. We should do this in a concise manner and without being too wordy. For example, we can start with a statement that emphasises the positive aspects of the job and what they can gain from it. This will ensure interest in the job, and show that we are truly invested in the candidate’s development and wellbeing.

In addition, the opening lines should also provide a glimpse into the company’s culture. Include a fun fact, a brief video, or any other unique content that will help to establish a personal connection with the candidate. This way we can build trust and create an emotional connection with them. After all, it is important to make sure that the right candidate is applying for the job. We also want a great fit for the team, not only a great talent!

Quick tip

Take a moment to consider how we would like to be addressed when searching for a job, and use this as a guide. For example, consider phrases like “Grow with us”, “Join a team of innovators” or “Be part of a future-focused workplace”. This type of language will help to create a sense of belonging and connection, by emphasising the benefits of what the job offers, as well as showing the potential of the organisation.

Ultimately, the first lines of content should be crafted to grab attention, while providing necessary information about the job and the company. This will help to ensure that the candidates keep reading and ultimately become engaged with the job ad.

5- Showcase Functional Benefits

Another focus to supercharge candidate pipelines & the employer brand is to showcase the functional benefits of the job. When job seekers are evaluating potential employment opportunities, they are likely to weigh a variety of factors. One of the most important considerations is the benefits that come with the job. However, it’s not enough for employers to simply list out the benefits they offer. They must also ensure that those benefits are relevant to the candidate and will make the job appealing.

To maximise a job’s appeal and effectively filter out unaligned candidates, we should highlight benefits relevant to the candidate. This not only ensures that the job will be appealing to the right candidates but also helps create a more accurate picture of the job. We should be specific and clear with the functional benefits of the job and demonstrate why it’s an exciting opening.

In addition to discussing salary, bonuses, and range, there is more to talk about. We can share the developments, rewards, and skills the candidate could acquire, as well as vacation and leave policies. This approach will capture the attention of job seekers and create a more accurate picture of the job. Furthermore, it will create a strong employer brand and distinguish our organisation from other job ads.

It’s important to consider not only the practical benefits but also the psychological benefits of working for their organisation. By fostering a sense of purpose and showing how the candidate’s work can have a positive impact in the world, we can craft a more compelling employment opportunity.

6- Introduce The Organisation As A Brand

In the “About Us” or “Mission” section, introducing ourselves as a “brand” makes all the difference in attraction. Every job ad should include a branded story narrative that conveys the essence of the company’s culture differs. This narrative should focus on the unique aspects of working for the organisation that stands out from their competitors.

The narrative should also tap into the psychology of potential candidates. We can do this by emphasising the sense of purpose, pride, and reward that comes from working for us. For instance, we can emphasise how we value diversity, prioritise innovation, are committed to employees’ development in the beginning.

Employers should also provide additional information such as a description of the team, the company’s mission or vision, and any corporate fun facts or awards. We should include visuals such as photographs, videos, and illustrations that reflect our brand identity. These visuals create an emotional connection with potential candidates, allowing for an even more powerful brand message. The total of these helps potential applicants get a clear picture of the organisation and the value working for it.

7- Create Clear And Easy-To-Read Job Descriptions

A clear job ad should be more than just a collection of keywords; it must capture the attention of the ideal candidate. An easy to read job description should illustrate the company’s vision and make the job appear attractive to potential applicants. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of the duties of the job as well as highlight any necessary qualifications and/or experience.

Starting with a job summary that presents unique benefits and why someone would want to join the team will help to capture the attention of potential candidates. By clearly outlining the benefits that come with the job, job seekers may be more likely to apply for the position. Additionally, job summaries should also focus on the opportunity for professional growth and development. This helps to appeal to the aspirational goals of potential candidates, as they may be more likely to apply for a job that offers opportunities to learn new skills or grow professionally.

It is important to provide enough detail to give potential candidates a clear picture of the job role, but not so much detail that the job description becomes overwhelming. Make sure to trim any unnecessary details and reserve them for the interview process. The daily duties should be listed in order to provide a picture of what the job day-to-day would look like and help candidates to decide if they are a good fit for the role. Be sure to break down the requirements into ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ and focus on what candidates can do tomorrow.

Finally, it is also important to use inclusive language. Utilising online tools such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT) can help to remove any potential bias from job descriptions and make sure they are welcoming to all potential candidates.

Quick Tip

From a psychological standpoint, job seekers may be experiencing anxiety and fear about the possibility of getting the job. A well-crafted job description with clear, concise information can help to alleviate some of these fears. Illustrating a clear job role, responsibilities and qualifications provides a better understanding of what is expected from our people. Thus, it clears out the unknown. Furthermore, it will also help them to understand the company’s culture and make sure that they’re a good fit for the team. With this extra step, we make sure the job description is interesting and enticing to the right type of candidate.


Crafting an effective job ad requires careful consideration of the target audience to ensure that the post attracts the right applicants and provides a stellar candidate experience. Companies should be mindful of the imagery they choose, the content they use, and the overall portrayal of the organisation. This will ensure that the post stands out and reflects a positive employer brand, driving better results in the long run including organic referrals & better retention, while also reducing the risk of ghosting and absenteeism.

To learn more, you can join a free week session of Employer Brand Academy certificate courses here or you can download our free ebook on creating an authentic employer brand here.

Author: Ali Ayaz
Ali Ayaz is an Employer Brand and HR Consultant with Modern Management Consulting who is well-versed in Employer Brand Development, Candidate and Employee Surveys, Recruitment and Employee Engagement. Having successfully completed Employer Brand projects with multinational blue-chip companies in Automotive, Banking, FMCG, IT, Telecom and Retail industries, he teaches employer brand management, human resources and fundamentals of management at Employer Brand Academy (online) and European School of Economics (London). He is the author of the e-book “How to Build a Robust Employer Brand Strategy” and founder of the Employer Brand Academy. He is a chartered member of CIPD - the professional body for HR and people development.

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  • […] Job postings are an important part of an employer’s recruitment process. They provide insights into the type of job, the salary range, the qualifications required, and the company culture. All of previous instances can help employers understand their employer brand. You can use this data to create job postings that accurately reflect their employer brand and attract the right type of applicants. […]

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