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Make your job stand out

Pressure on organisations to recruit the best accountancy and finance talent continues to intensify.

September 2018

Pressure on organisations to
recruit the best accountancy
and finance talent continues to
intensify, but our latest research in the
Hays What Workers Want 2018 report
shows that many employers are missing
out on talent as a result of avoidable
obstacles in their job application
processes. Some 60% of PQ accountants
tell us they have at some time been
deterred from completing job
applications as a result of a negative
experience with an employer’s
application process – something that
employers need to take action to fix if
they want to keep their advantage in the
competition for talent.
In our new report, we look at the ideal
applicant journey through four stages:
search, apply, decide and join. Our
report shows a sizeable gap between an
employer’s perception of the quality of
the applicant experience they provide,
and the reality experienced by PQ
One of the keystones of this
application journey is the job advert itself,
yet all too often these are treated as an
afterthought. Our research shows that
misleading job advert content is one of
the most common reasons for employees
to leave a job within the first 12 months,
with 51% of respondents giving it as a
reason for previously leaving an
organisation. A lack of training (51%),
the culture of the organisation (32%) and
mismatched manager expectations
(24%) were also frequently alluded to,
some of which could be addressed in
part through the more effective use of job
So what do organisations need to
include in a job advert to give them the
best chance of attracting PQs?

1. Don’t be woolly on the detail.

Candidates could be deterred by an
advert that omits critical information or is
vague on details. The vast majority (81%)
want a detailed description of the role
itself, followed by 70% who say the most
important criteria for them is the
compensation and benefits. It is therefore
critical to provide sufficient detail on
exactly what your vision is for this job,
and how you plan on rewarding them.
People do want to know what success
looks like. If this information is
incomplete it can not only deter
candidates from applying at all, but also
lead to recruiting applicants with
mismatched expectations to yours, who
may not stay long with your organisation.

2. Anticipate what candidates want.

When preparing your job adverts it’s also
important to recognise that whether they
are applying via a recruitment agency
website, careers portal, job board, or
social network, candidates will be filtering
their search results. The top two criteria
for PQ candidates when conducting a job
search were location (85%) and salary
(73%). However, only 44% of employers
always include salary information in job
adverts, potentially missing out on
candidates who will not consider applying
without this information.

3. Paint a consistent picture.

Your job advert may be the first thing an
applicant sees, but the content you
provide about your organisation needs to
be consistent at every touchpoint of the
applicant journey. Ensure your recruiters
and interviewers are able to talk about all
aspects of the job description and advert.
You should also consider what is being
said about you on employee review sites,
and if necessary take steps where these
reviews may contradict the image you are
portraying through your own channels.
Our Hays What Workers Want report
export examines the applicant journey
from searching and applying for jobs
through to interview, offer and onboarding,
identifying the common dealbreakers
for applicants at all points of the

• Karen Young is a director at Hays

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