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'Must be a winner' | Is this the most demanding job ad ever?

Story Demanding Job Advert

Sophie Parrott Press Releases, Tips, CV...

When crafting a job advert, it is crucial to keep it short and simple to attract as many prospective candidates as possible.

Yet, HR Grapevine came across a lengthy job advert for a web developer role in Colchester which goes against this concept.

The job advert – which was posted to Indeed but has now expired – shared that it was on the hunt for a full-time web developer with a minimum of ten years’ experience in the field, in return for a starting salary of £25,000 in the first year of employment.

An exhaustive list of requirements regarding personal conduct, expectations, key skillsets, as well as the nitty-gritty of work-related tasks and company benefits were included in the listing.

Employee expectations included: punctuality, efficient working, business acumen and an ambition to grow, among other things, as traits that candidates must have.

Commenting on the job ad, Mandy Watson, Managing Director at recruitment firm Ambitions Personnel, told HR Grapevine that delivering a succinct message and tempting a candidate to apply is the most effective way of attracting new talent.

“What we see [in this job advert] is a very specific set of requirements and a lot of information all set out in a contract-like manner.

“While this may not be the intent, the sheer amount of information and the level of detail it goes into suggests that this is not an advert at all, but a job description and a demanding one at that,” Watson added.

In addition, the job advert encouraged those who have traits such as laziness, negativity, time management issues or a tendency to clock watch to apply elsewhere.

The listing also shared the requirement of the candidate to have platform knowledge, including the likes of WordPress and Joomla, as well as familiarity with coding. A list of key skills was also provided.

Aside from sharing what they expected from prospective candidates, the listing went into details of what new employees could expect from working at the firm.

This included a profit-sharing scheme (applicable following five years at the firm), on-site parking, bonus schemes, company events and subsidised gym memberships among other things.

In addition, candidates were told that they would receive all of the necessary equipment, support from a web development team and a range of company sizes when it comes to clients.

While the advert stated that working hours are between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, employees are expected to be at work no later than 7:45am. It also said that recruits should be prepared to 'work evenings and weekends if deadlines are missed'.

Watson has urged employers to work with recruitment firms because they are ‘well-versed’ in what candidates are looking for in a new role.

“If the intention was to grab people's attention, then mission accomplished. However, whether it would attract the company's ideal candidate is debatable," she added.

“Our advice is always to put yourselves in the candidate's shoes, if you can imagine wanting to apply for a position that you've described, then you're probably on the right lines."

Tips for writing a job advert

Writing and circulating a well-articulated job advert is crucial for attracting top talent.

To help with this, HR Grapevine has collated a list of five top tips:

Shout about any perks and benefits of working for the firm as soon as possible, as this will be key to attracting new talent and boosting the number of applications received.

Get rid of any corporate jargon and make the job advert as easy and as digestible as possible.

Refer to people as ‘you’ as this can help prospective candidates to envision themselves in the role.

Don’t assume that candidates know everything about the company so include information about the organisation, the products or services it offers, why staff work for the company and what makes them stand out from competitors.

Before publishing, make sure you double check the content of the advert to make sure it accurately reflects the job and doesn’t have any typos. It may sound like a simple tip, but this can be a common and easily avoidable step that hinders the process.