Hays UK blog


What do tech candidates want from a job advert?

By James Milligan, Director UK & Ireland, EMEA for Technology and Project Solutions

Tech skills shortages are rife, and competition for talent is only becoming fiercer thanks to increasing demand for niche tech skills across all industries. It is therefore imperative that tech employers fine-tune their recruitment processes in order to attract top talent.

However, despite this competitive climate, our latest research in the Hays What Workers Want 2018 report shows that many employers are missing opportunities to attract talent as a result of avoidable roadblocks on a candidate’s application journey, In fact, 63% of candidates tell us they are being deterred from completing job applications as a direct result of a negative experience with an employer’s application process.

For many tech candidates, a job advert is their first direct experience of a new employer. Yet this seemingly simple part of the recruitment process is easy to get wrong, which can have far reaching consequences, not only for talent attraction, but retention too: a misleading job advert was the reason why 42% of IT professionals say they have left a role in the first 12 months.

Candidates are looking for the following when reviewing a job advert:

1. Transparency

Above all, applicants are looking for transparency when considering a new employer. This means providing accurate information on the role itself, its requirements and the culture of the team and organisation and making this information easily accessible at all stages of the applicant journey. If this is not provided, candidates may either be deterred from applying or be disappointed when they start the job. Often employers fail to provide much information on working environment or culture, but this is something candidates really value.

2. Detail

Our research shows that candidates are looking for detailed information on the salary, benefits, working hours, and location of the job. According to our research, the top factor for IT candidates when reviewing a job advert is a description of the role itself, which is important to 81% of IT professionals, and 68% of IT professionals state that specific role requirements are also important when reviewing a job advert. These are key factors that determine why someone takes a job, and including ambiguous or inaccurate information on these aspects can be a deterrent. Candidates are likely to be filtering their searches based on these criteria, so getting it right is crucial or your job advert may never be seen.

3. Consistency

Your job advert may be the first thing an applicant sees, but the content you provide about your organisation needs to be consistent at every touch point of the applicant journey. Ensure your recruiters and interviewers are able to talk about all aspects of the job description and advert. You should also consider what is being said about you on employee review sites, and if necessary take steps where these reviews may contradict the image you are portraying through your own channels.

Join one of our events or webinars to find out more about our What Workers Want report, which features detailed insights into how employers can hone their application process to attract top talent.

About this author

James is Director of Hays IT, Digital Technology and Project Solutions in the UK, Ireland and EMEA. Having joined in 2000, he is responsible for the strategy of Hays’ Project Solutions, IT and Digital Technology businesses, which includes IT contracting, permanent technology recruitment, resource augmentation and statement of work solutions across both the private and public sectors.


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