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Human resources: recruitment and selection
Human resources: recruitment and selection

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4.8 Advertising

If you are managing the recruitment process by a traditional route you will now need to consider advertising the vacancy. Your organisation may have a specific policy or rules governing advertising. The cost of advertising can constitute a significant proportion of any recruitment expenditure and you need to ensure you get an effective response at the least possible cost. The important factors are:

  • the content of the advertisement (key elements of the job, location, salary, etc.)

  • the medium used to carry the advertisement (national paper, professional journal, local magazine, etc.)

  • the timing of the advertisement.

Where you advertise the job is important. If you are looking for specialist skills, then targeting professional journals may be more effective than using a national newspaper. If you are attempting to encourage applicants from specific groups such as people with disabilities, then the websites or magazines of particular societies may be an option.

Just as the content of the advertisement should encourage suitable people to apply for the job, it should also discourage unsuitable candidates from applying. Much individual and organisational time can be wasted in sifting through unsuitable applications, and it is unfair to applicants to raise false expectations. The information contained in the advertisement should be taken largely from the job analysis and the job description (see Box 3 ).

Box 3: Contents of a job advertisement

The advertisement should be factual, truthful and relevant. Ludlow and Panton (1991) suggest that it should contain the following:

  • the job title, in terms likely to be familiar to the reader; avoid jargon

  • the name of the organisation, the nature of its activity and the location of the job

  • the aims and responsibilities of the job

  • the qualifications required and the experience needed – this will be a summary of the person specification

  • the salary and fringe benefits; where possible, state the salary range

  • genuine promotion prospects

  • the manner in which applications should be made; for example asking the applicant to send a CV, or to write or telephone for an application form and further information

  • the closing date, if there is one, for applications.

Remember that the advertisement is a public relations opportunity for the organisation. It needs to present the best face of the organisation in order to attract the best applicants. Antidiscrimination employment legislation in many countries applies to most stages of the recruitment process, including advertising. Legislation may make it illegal to discriminate, either directly or indirectly, on the grounds of ethnicity, disability, colour, gender or marital status.