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Simple ways to the top of a job search

Tips for recruitment advertisements


Simple ways to the top of a job search

Over the past 13 years, Career Times has been at the forefront of both print and online recruitment advertising and marketing. We have found that certain recruitment advertisements were able to exert a strong pull on prospective candidates while some others simply failed to appeal.

Advertising a job vacancy on an online job board does not guarantee satisfactory results. Successful online recruitment relies primarily on the "visibility" of a job posting. While the majority of recruiters realise that jobseekers usually search for the latest job postings, they tend to overlook two very simple but determining factors that could make their job postings stand out from the rest.

Career Times' data reveals that jobseekers exhibit certain behaviours. Aside from searching for the most recent job vacancies, they also look for job postings that fulfil two criteria–keyword and category.

Keyword optimisation
Walking in the jobseekers' shoes

First thing first, employers must get to grip with the subtle differences between the supply and the demand in the recruitment advertising process. On the supply side, a recruiter remains active, sending out messages to attract people with the desired calibre, competence and attributes. Conversely, jobseekers are on the demand side and they are confined to a passive role, seeking to fit their skills, knowledge and aspirations into job vacancies that may or may not be right for them.

Our statistics show that 50% of job searches were conducted via "keyword search" and the rest via "category search", for instance, on specific industries or job functions.

In our experience, most recruiters that advertise a job vacancy compose a job description only to explain the job, failing to take full advantage of an online advertising vehicle. In view of this, a "you approach" to recruitment advertising is advised. In other words, advertise what jobseekers want to know and prompt them to take action. So, recruiters should answer the following questions before placing an advertisement:

  • What exactly are your prospective candidates looking for?
  • How will they respond to your advertising messages?

    Ditch that old job title and be creative

    Change is constant in the business landscape and it creates jobs that may require an amalgamation of different skills sets. Although some HR executives are not given the flexibility to modify or create market relevant job titles due to stringent corporate control, they must be able to adept at the pace of change and flex their creative muscle when hiring people, particularly when regular job titles do not reflect the real job nature any more.

    A certain level of creativity in the job titles can help attract prospective job candidates but recruiters need to start off with the very fundamentals–the true nature of the jobs being advertised.

    For example, can an employer substitute a "relationship specialist" for a "sales executive"? People looking for sales jobs naturally conduct a job search by the keyword "sales". An advertised position of "relationship specialist" will get a slim chance of being noticed. However, there is a way of accommodating creativity.

    In cases like this, we would recommend recruiters to hyphenate relevant and eye-catching keywords. For example:

    Relationship specialist – a senior sales executive position

    • Irrelevant job titles confuse jobseekers and generate poor search results
    • Strong adherence to corporate guidelines
    • Advertise vacancies with job titles that reflect the responsibilities and ranks
    • Hyphenate the job nature or keywords that are most relevant to the job for better search results

    Category search

    Although the Career Times search engine allows jobseekers to match keywords against those in the job description field, it is always wise for recruiters to complement job titles with an appealing message. The reason is clear–jobseekers scan through a list of job titles before clicking on the "right" ones for further details.

    If a recruiter is trying to lure jobseekers away from one job function to another, or encourage a career shift to another industry, it may be wise to hyphenate the jobseekers' current job titles or functions. The below may be ideal for companies looking to hiring a customer service executive to fill a sales position:

    Sales executive – a position for experienced customer service executive

    It is also important to space out key words for better visibility. Compare the below job titles:

    2. Designer (HTML / Flash / JavaScript)

    Both jobs will come up in an online job search for "designer", but if certain jobseekers perform a search for specific attributes such as skills/experience in HTML, Flash and JavaScript, the second one is apparently more eye-catching and more importantly, searchable and will appear on top of the search list while the first may never see the light of day.

    Most of our jobseekers use English when performing an online job search. Recruiters may consider supplementing Chinese job titles with English ones for better results. But do keep in mind that the translation, whether it is from Chinese to English or vice versa, should serve the jobseekers' purposes, and not the other way round.

    • "Unsearchable" keywords
    • Searching for people with alternative industry skills and experience
    • Chinese job titles don't come up in job search
    • Leave a space between keywords
    • Hyphenate the job nature and/or an attractive and concise message
    • Supplement Chinese job titles with English ones

    Top 100 keywords used by jobseekers

    1 Clerk 26 Purchasing 51 Draftsman 76 SAP
    2 China 27 Admin 52 Printing 77 Footwear
    3 Manager 28 Quantity Surveyor 53 Technician 78 Customer Service
    4 Marketing 29 Director 54 Editor 79 Settlement
    5 Assistant 30 Account 55 Warehouse 80 Training
    6 Merchandiser 31 Security 56 Personal Assistant 81 General Manager
    7 Shipping 32 Audit 57 FMCG 82 Fabric
    8 Engineer 33 Sweater 58 QA 83 Merchandising Manager
    9 Officer 34 Receptionist 59 Retail 84 Garment
    10 Secretary 35 Fashion 60 University 85 Management Trainee
    11 Macau 36 Project Manager 61 Toys 86 Administration
    12 Sales 37 Watch 62 Club 87 Temp
    13 Part Time 38 Chef 63 Procurement 88 Operation
    14 Safety 39 Quality 64 Environmental 89 Coordinator
    15 Hotel 40 Jewellery 65 Teller 90 Graphic Designer
    16 Japanese 41 Credit 66 Toy 91 Dealer
    17 Project 42 Food 67 Buyer 92 Wine
    18 Trainee 43 Insurance 68 Sales Manager 93 Associate
    19 Designer 44 Logistics 69 Fashion Designer 94 Library
    20 Driver 45 Accountant 70 Textile 95 Statistics
    21 HR 46 Event 71 Property 96 Sourcing
    22 Bank 47 Shipping Clerk 72 AutoCAD 97 QC
    23 Analyst 48 Compliance 73 Office Assistant 98 Laboratory
    24 Research 49 Executive 74 Part-Time 99 Senior Merchandiser
    25 Design 50 Regional 75 Oracle 100 Data

    If you have any questions over keyword search and category search, please contact us at 2156 2666 and we will assign a recruitment consultant to assist you.

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