Tips for writing a job vacancy ad

Tips for writing a job vacancy ad

If done well, a job vacancy ad can be a vital tool for hospitality venues in finding the right candidate. Depending on the scenario, they can help to encourage candidates to apply, or reduce the number of applicants so as to make the hiring process manageable.

The ad can also filter the type of candidates who apply. Be it through the job description or follow-up requirements such as asking candidates to submit a video or address key selection criteria, the ad can maximise the number of applicants who are a good fit for the position, and minimise the number of poorly-fit candidates.

According to Ashley Taylor, Head of Field, Partnerships & Training AUS & NZ at Barcats (a community & recruitment platform for the hospitality industry), the quality of the ad will impact the quality of candidates. Here’s a few things to consider when writing and distributing it.

“Every piece of personality you can get in the ad should be there”

Often, candidates will be selective in the jobs that they apply for, and will be on the lookout for roles that pique their interest. Further, it’s likely that job-seekers will avoid applying for jobs they are ill-suited for, and prioritise roles that involve higher pay and/or greater satisfaction and fulfilment in the workplace. 

Therefore, it’s critical that the job vacancy ad highlights the features of the job that meet the needs and interests of prospective employees, and does so in a way that catches their attention. According to Taylor, the ad has to cut through to the reader, otherwise it will be overlooked.



A job vacancy ad is also an excellent branding opportunity, with Taylor saying that it should promote the venue and team – like the ‘About Us’ section of the venue’s website.

 “People want to work with exciting people and at fun venues. You need to sell the dream to work with you. Start with a bang [and include] every piece of personality you can get in the ad,” he says.

Taylor adds that venues should consider embedding images and videos – which can help to connect with suitable applicants and stand out from other jobs – and avoid grouping multiple job openings together. Grouping multiple jobs together will lead to people bypassing those ads. 

“If you don’t spend time being creative with your ad, don’t bother,” Taylor says.

“It will impact the quality of candidates [who apply].”

Keep it relevant

While generating enthusiasm is really important, the job vacancy ad should be honest, realistic and include all relevant information – for example, experience using Point of Sale, or Table Management Systems –  without the ad being too long, or extraneous. If the ad doesn’t meet the expectations of the job-seeker, they might not bother applying. And, if the job itself is inconsistent with the job description, the venue may face the risk of high turnover.

According to Taylor, a common mistake in a job vacancy ad is not including salary expectations and being unrealistic about the experience required in the role. He also says the ad should “sell the dream” of working in the business.

This aligns with LinkedIn research, which shows that compensation (49%) and better work/life balance (29%) are critical factors for employees in accepting a new job opening.

“The shorter the job ad, the better as you want broad interest initially [but] salary information and expectations should be top-line. You should also disclose how many hours per week are involved in the job [and go into detail] regarding workplace culture and perks.”

“[Through the job ad] you want everyone to know your personality and the venue's culture.”


Spread widely

 With a significant number of job-seekers using a diversity of online job boards in search for the right position, Taylor says that it makes sense for employers to promote their ad as widely as possible in their search to find the ideal candidate. However, he says that managing multiple job board systems can be a costly process. As such, employers should consider using specialist job boards within their industry.

“Like Barcats in hospitality, [these sites] are significantly cheaper [than some of the other systems] and [offer] much more personal hands-on support to find what you need.”

Taylor adds that the business may consider posting an ad when there’s a gap in the workplace, or the workplace can foresee a gap in the future. 

“For roles you almost always need more of like floor staff or mid-level chefs, it’s worth [perpetually] always having an ad live with a cheap, industry specific community site like Barcats, and sharing this into connected community groups,” he says.

 “These industry specialist job sites do a lot to support the industry, and can provide recruitment support without the recruitment fees.”

 A job vacancy ad should convincingly sell the position to job-seekers – while still including details that are relevant to the role – and motivate job-seekers to spend their time on a strong application. Once the ad has been approved – and is hitting all the right notes – it should be shared widely. That should be part of the process of finding the ideal candidate for the position.

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Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business.