How to write an effective job vacancy advert
Finding and employing a new member of staff for your yard can be a daunting prospect, with so many possible routes to consider and potential pitfalls along the way. Whichever route you choose, to stand the best chance of success you are going to have to write an advert for your job vacancy. To help you Caroline has put together a suggestion for the recipe for a good job vacancy advert. This will not only help you not only attract equine job seekers, but will help you to define your needs and your wishes regarding your next equine employee and most importantly, attract interest.
No 1 piece of advice – Open the door wide with your advert. Don’t restrict applications and interest unless you absolutely have to. Ultimately, you decide whose application you wish to progress, but if you advertise to a very narrow audience, your chances are obviously going to be narrowed accordingly.
What you will need
- First and foremost, an active subscription to The Grooms List website. The Grooms List has been evolved from traditional designs to give you the tools you need to fill your equine job vacancy as easily and as quickly as possible.
- Our easy-to-use Post A Job form walks you through the process of writing your advert, prompting you to provide the information required for jobseekers to find your vacancy, and for them to make the decision to enquire or apply for it.
- Ideally, some nice photographs that will bring your job to life for jobseekers, by featuring the horses, the yard, the accommodation and maybe even the environment they are considering joining.
- To feature your job so you can get it out to our full audience, including social media (>70,000 potential job seekers) click here
- You also need to ensure you are familiar with the latest employment legislation and that your salary package is compliant with this, particular to your country of residence. See Useful Links for more information.
Knowing what you want and need is a great place to start when you begin your search for your new equine employee, but you do need to look very carefully at your wish list. By all means, state the essentials but also consider where you might be prepared to compromise a little. Remember, it is very much a job seekers market right now. If you keep losing out on the grooms of your choice you might want to consider this element a little more. Consider if anything you can offer gives your vacancy the competitive edge, and highlight it! Also, do ensure you know current employment laws and the current National Minimum Wage.
The key ingredients:
- Make your job vacancy advert inviting – think of what you would like to see if you were a job seeker applying for your job
- Make your vacancy stand out (take a look at other jobs advertised, you will quickly see what we mean)
- Make your advert concise
- Don’t make the job sound scary
- Make sure the “wage/salary package” is transparent otherwise candidates will be suspicious. An upper and lower salary range stating ‘according to experience’ is better than no indication at all
- Ensure the contact number/name/email address provided in your Yard Details section are correct and will be contactable
The title of your job vacancy advert is important for attracting job seekers, as it is the first thing they will see when your advert is delivered to them via search results on The Grooms List website, in their social media news feed and on Google. A “clipped” title is not always very appealing, and won’t contain the keywords relevant job seekers will search for. It’s perfectly acceptable to use around 8 words in your advert title so do utilise this space to both increase the visibility of your advert to help job seekers find it, and to attract them to read more about it. Use humour by all means but don’t lose the point of the title, which is to say what the job is.
The job description
On The Grooms List we break the job description down into 4 areas to make it easy for you to include the key information a jobseeker will look for when considering a job opportunity via our site. Be mindful that the information in this section of your advert is searchable by keyword, so it matters that these are completed to ensure your adverts visibility on The Grooms List and on Google:
- The job description: Summarise the day-day job e.g. “Full-time groom required for busy showjumping yard. All usual yard duties, including putting on/off the walker, show turnout, dealing with farriers …” etc. Be sure to give a flavour of life on your yard – what can a prospective candidate expect? Is day to day life/ your team fun/happy/professional/laid back/busy/ambitious…?
- Minimum requirements: What do you need in your new employee? Do you need someone who is top notch at show turnout, or could an employee be trained up to your standards? Is a 7.5t horsebox driver a deal-breaker or a nice-to-have? Do you need someone with their BHSAI, or could they train and gain qualifications with you? This is the point at which many otherwise suitable candidates could be excluded from enquiring and applying for your job vacancy.
- Accommodation provided: If your new employee will be live-in their accommodation details will be extremely important to them. This is a way to really sell your vacancy to jobseekers, and encourage job seekers to enquire about your job vacancy by offering an insight as to where/how they will be living when they come to work for you. A photo would be hugely beneficial if the accommodation is nice.
- Benefits: This covers why a job seeker should be interested in your vacancy specifically. Please do consider what the job seeker would get out of your position in particular and provide the detail. As we said, the equine recruitment market is extremely competitive and you don’t want to leave out anything enticing. Remember, you need job seekers to at least enquire about your job vacancy in order for you to ultimately employ them! You might highlight the following here:
- Lots of riding
- Chance to compete
- Gain your *whichever* qualification/licence
- Accommodation included free of charge
- Bills paid (if live in)
- Own horse accommodated, no livery fee to pay
- Share of pool money/pension/etc
We discourage you from including “How to apply” details here to avoid unwanted correspondence. To help give your job vacancy advert the widest possible coverage, this section is publicly visible and can be found through a simple Google search. Any personal details included here will be removed by The Grooms List team before your advert is published on the website.
The finer details
Beneath the space to add your job description on The Grooms List advert form you will find simple questions to answer. These serve as prompts for you to provide answers to questions we know jobseekers will ask before enquiring/applying but, more importantly, they are directly searchable on our Jobs List website by the jobseeker. To take advantage of the full potential of The Grooms List it is advisable to complete all of these fields so your advert is never excluded from relevant search results. For ease, you can hold your Control key (Command on a Mac) to keep multi-select menus open while you click each option that is relevant to your yard and job.
The areas employers often ask us about are:
Earliest start date
The Grooms List will not order job vacancy results by their earliest start date, so do not worry that this will affect your adverts visibility in search results. It is merely a guide for jobseekers to understand your requirements timewise. Earliest start dates are searchable on The Grooms List, so jobseekers needing an immediate start can isolate the jobs relevant to them. Likewise, jobseekers can find jobs to start after a specific date. Don’t worry that your earliest start date may be too soon – it simply denotes an immediate start. If the job is live on the website, jobseekers can apply for it. If your start date is flexible state this in your job description section. The more of this kind of information you give, the more jobseekers you can appeal to. You can also update your jobs as often as you like, so it doesn’t hurt to update your start date if you are concerned that it has passed.
We encourage you to type something here rather than leave it blank, otherwise Jobseekers become suspicious and in most cases it deters them from enquiring further. They would far rather see either of the following than an empty space:
- Negotiable dependent on age and experience in a range from £xx to £xxx
- At least the National Minimum Wage for your age.
Remember, you want jobseekers to at least enquire so you can chat with them about your vacancy, and it’s perfectly reasonable that they want to have some idea of the salary package before putting in a call to you. If you are not sure about setting a salary range you can find details on the current National Minimum Wage and National Minimum Wage here, and the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage Accommodation Offset Rates here. Also see our useful links. Make it clear if accommodation is provided with the job, so job seekers know what they do and don’t need to budget for out of their wages.
We have tried to cover all possibilities for accommodation provided to help make your advert as targeted as possible. The types of accommodation shown on The Grooms List advert form are:
- Shared with other employee (e.g. 3 bed accommodation shared between 3 grooms)
- Single (self-contained accommodation, employee does not have anyone else sharing any part of their living space)
- Shared with your partner (self-contained accommodation suitable for a couple, either a working couple or a partner working elsewhere locally)
- In employers home (employee has a bedroom within the employers home)
After you submit your job vacancy advert
Nothing slows the recruitment process down more than inaccurate or missing information and poorly communicated details, therefore we have measures in place to maintain quality control for both employers and jobseekers. When anyone submits a job vacancy advert or Jobseekers Profile it is queued for fast track/same day approval by our team before it is made visible on The Grooms List. If we are unsure about any part of your advert, jobseekers most definitely will be! We want you to fill your job vacancy quickly, so we will call you to verify specific details before publicising your advert and potentially putting suitable jobseekers off enquiry or applying.
Once your job vacancy advert is published to The Grooms List it is publicly visible and registered jobseekers can apply for your vacancy. Once you have filled your vacancy you can “hide” your advert from public listing in the Manage Jobs section of your account area. You can edit, publish again (make visible), delete or even duplicate your job vacancy for future recruitment drives.
We regularly post tips, guidelines and industry information to our Advice, Articles and Blog page, so do visit regularly to find the latest information for employers. If you are not already receiving our emails, please do subscribe to our employer’s mailing list for news, tips, guidelines and candidate previews and our unique preset quick search links, delivered straight to your inbox.