How to write a job post that brings you quality applicants
“How can I write a good job post?”
“What constitutes a quality listing?”
“How can my childcare vacancies attract more candidates?”
As an agency or recruiter, you naturally want the maximum number of quality applications from each job post. Well, there are several ways you can ensure that your job postings on Jobs in Childcare (and equally the listings on your own website) bring you as many suitable applicants as possible.
Read on for our top 8 tips of what to think about when you’re writing posts for your vacancies.
Please note - many of the points mentioned may seem obvious, but the omission of any of the below could be an immediate turn-off for candidates, or even the difference between their deciding to apply for the job or not. Even if you are an experienced recruiter, it is always a good idea to check in with your team and make sure that everybody is on the same page.
1. A list of duties
Of course, any serious candidate needs to understand what the role involves - and needs a thorough understanding. Will there be nannying, cooking, cleaning, school runs, driving, proxy parenting? Who else works in the home? Will the candidate need to be part of a team? Having additional previously unmentioned tasks put on the plate is unpleasant for candidates; try to give them a full understanding of what exactly the role entails from the word go.
Sometimes, job seekers may see that multiple agencies are listing the same job. Our discussions with candidates have shown that they almost always choose to work with the agency providing the most detailed and thorough job specification. This makes the candidate feel comfortable and secure, and like the recruiter is really in touch with the client. Candidates also tend to have ‘preferred’ agencies that they continue to work with - so it’s important to make them feel assured and to build a good relationship from the beginning.
2. The schedule
The candidate will also require a thorough understanding of what the schedule will be. Is the role full-time or part-time? What will the hours be? How many days off, and which days? Will this be the same every week or will it change? If it is a rota position, are days/ weeks off paid, or only working days? If your client is reluctant to provide this information, explain to them that it will give them the best possible chance of finding their ideal staff member; they want somebody professional and organised, don’t they?
3. The location
It goes without saying that the candidate will require information on location, so be specific about this. London, Moscow and New York are big cities! Equally, don’t forget to write about whether transport is provided.
Think about changes to the regular timetable too. Do the family travel? Do they sometimes live abroad for the summer, or even the winter? Where exactly? Does the candidate need to travel with them? And if so, how does this affect the schedule previously defined? These are all details that any serious candidate will require and appreciate.
4. Details about the charges
You will need to provide details about the charges’ ages. This should be up-to-date information if your client is a returning client. Often, jobs listed on jobs boards mention ‘school age’; this is a red flag for candidates who are looking for genuine, specific information and may see the agency or family as time wasters if they don’t see this. Try, also, to add a personal touch - information on hobbies, free time, attitudes to discipline, and any special notes such as allergies will give the candidate a real feel for the job. This can ultimately give them a real desire to be accepted for one position in particular.
5. The salary
It is highly recommended to include the salary on offer rather than simply stating that it is ‘high’ or ‘high and negotiable’. Postings with a numerical salary figure are up to 50% more successful than those that don’t provide specific information. In the job description itself it is also a good idea to mention the inclusion of any food and travel costs that might ‘sweeten the deal’.
And don’t forget to list any possible changes to the standard salary too. What is the client’s attitude to overtime? Is there a separate travel salary? Will the client pay a retainer if (s)he takes the charge(s) away from their nanny, governess or tutor? Is transport home paid for rota positions? The more details you can provide here, the better.
6. Candidate requirements
Having included all the information about the role, you now need to consider what specifics are required of the candidate. To avoid time wasters and unsuitable applications, it is a good idea to be firm and clear regarding the following points as a minimum; length of experience, qualifications required, language ability and the right to work in the desired location. However, you need to be extremely careful to avoid the dreaded…
You MUST avoid discrimination and your post may be taken down from Jobs in Childcare if you do not comply to anti-discrimination requirements. You could even face legal action if a candidate complains about you to the appropriate governing body. To find out how to avoid these issues, be sure to read https://www.gov.uk/employer-preventing-discrimination carefully. If your client has specific wants regarding gender or ability, use adjectives such as ‘preferred’ or ‘ideally’ to give an idea of what the client envisions; you MUST NOT concretely rule out possible candidates due to nationality, age, gender and more. Be very careful with this one.
8. Spelling and grammar!
Again this sounds obvious, but every day job posts go up around the globe with mistakes in them. Be professional or you will set a poor precedent and risk damaging the good reputation of your agency. If you or your staff are unsure of their spelling or grammatical ability, use a spell-checking tool such as Grammarly to ensure your posts look polished and businesslike.
The Jobs in Childcare Team