A Guide To Job Advertising In The UK

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In today’s digital age, advertising a job vacancy is more than just posting an ad and waiting for applications to roll in.

With over 2,000 job sites in the fragmented UK market, it’s crucial to make informed decisions to find the ideal candidate. This guide aims to provide you with the insights you need to navigate this complex landscape successfully.

The Importance of Job Sites

Firstly, let’s establish why advertising on job sites is essential. More than 90% of job seekers start their search online, making job sites a vital tool in your recruitment arsenal. Even traditional recruitment agencies are shifting their focus online, closing high-street offices in favour of digital platforms. 

Why Not Just Use Social Media?

You might wonder why you can’t just rely on social media platforms like LinkedIn or X (formerly known as Twitter) to find candidates. While these platforms can be useful for networking, they often lack the targeted reach that specialised job sites offer. Moreover, not all job seekers are active on social media, limiting your pool of potential candidates.

The Pitfalls of Company Dogma

Many hiring managers and HR stick to the same job sites out of habit, often using phrases like “this is how we’ve always done it.” This approach can be detrimental for a few reasons:

1. Search Engine Rankings: Google frequently updates its algorithms, affecting the visibility of job sites.

2. Changing Strategies: Job sites often change their applicant attraction channels, making outcomes unpredictable.

3. Cost vs. Value: A cheap job site might not yield quality applicants, making it a false economy.

Adopting Applicant Logic

To make better decisions, try to see the world from the applicant’s perspective. Here are some steps to guide you:

Step 1: Keyword Research

Around 93% of job seekers use search engines like Google to start their job hunt. Use relevant keywords that a job seeker would use to find your job.

Step 2: Site Usability

Visit each job site and assess its user-friendliness. A complicated application process can deter potential candidates.

Step 3: Mobile Responsiveness

Most jobseekers use mobile devices for their search. Ensure the job site offers a seamless mobile experience.

Step 4: The Importance of Transparency

Be transparent about the job role, responsibilities, and compensation. Misleading adverts can attract the wrong candidates and tarnish your company’s reputation.

Types of Adverts

Understanding the types of adverts can help you make an informed choice:

1. Duration-based Adverts: These are the most common and are typically active for 28 days.

2. Slot-based Adverts: These are flexible but can be more expensive.

3. Performance-based Adverts: These charge you based on clicks, views, or applications and require active management.

The Hidden Costs of Advertising

While the upfront costs of advertising might seem straightforward, there are often hidden costs like additional fees for premium listings or extra reach. Always read the fine print and budget accordingly.

Preparing for the Sales Pitch

When you’re ready to purchase a job advert, prepare for a sales pitch. Salespeople will try to upsell, so it’s crucial to know what you need. Don’t be swayed by statistics that don’t apply to your sector or location.

The Art of Negotiation

Don’t hesitate to negotiate the price or terms. Many job sites offer bulk discounts or seasonal promotions that you can take advantage of.


Advertising a job vacancy is a nuanced process that requires careful planning and execution. By understanding the landscape, avoiding common pitfalls, and adopting a strategic approach, you can significantly enhance your chances of finding the ideal candidate.

About author

Poppy loves personal finance almost as much as she loves her two cats, Tif and Taz.
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