Increase your hiring success with these 5 critical steps before you write a job ad

Premierehire Executive search and leadership strategies

You as the hiring manager or business owner hold the key to significantly increase the probability of a successful hire by ensuring that the process outlined below happens before someone posts the same old job ad or modifies one from the internet. Taking time now could save you having to rehire, lots of money or, at the very least, many hours in screening resumes and interviews.

Outlined below are some of the steps we follow to manage successful searches and you can too within your group of stakeholders. When you follow these steps you also build a valuable tool to help attract in-demand candidates, manage and motivate a new hire, and improve job success and retention rates. Even if you plan to only contact potential candidates (not post an ad), it is still important to provide a descriptive document of the opportunity.

It takes discipline and time to do this process, especially since the role probably needed to be filled yesterday, but consider the cost (and time suck) if the person you hired wasn’t successful? What might the lost opportunity cost be? How many hours will you spend training and coaching only to start all over again after one or both of you finally call it quits?

Each step is designed to answer the big questions in the mind of job seekers, especially those in demand.

Step 1: What do I need to do? What do they expect?

What are the performance objectives for this job? What needs to be accomplished by month 3, 6, 9 and 12? What needs to be accomplished on a daily, weekly, monthly basis? What will success look like in 2, 3 or 5 years?

Step 2: What is my Purpose and how do I fit into the bigger picture?

Why are these results important? Who will it serve or what is the impact? How does it impact the bigger picture or bottom line?

Step 3: What is my Opportunity & Rewards

What is in it for the new hire? How will compensation, bonuses, perks be tied to their activities and results? What growth or career opportunities are open to them if they are successful? Are there internal examples of other employees who were promoted or have earned salary increases?

Step 4: Do I have what is needed? Will I get the resources, training, and support that is needed to succeed?

What skills, certifications, previous experience, or leadership style will be important to ensure a new hire will be successful in the role. Don’t overload this list. Think minimalist. If it helps, do an exhaustive list first then rate each item as A- must have, no time for training or on the job learning; B – would be helpful but can get trained or learn on the job; C – nice to have but can do without; and D – common assets and psycho-metrics that are known correlations to previously successful people.

What resources and training will this person need? Who will provide this?

Step 5: Does everyone agree with what I need to accomplish?

If you have not already done so in the previous steps, gain input and consensus from key stakeholders.

This is the step I see most often missed with significant consequences. The earlier you engage everyone who is vested in this hire, the better. If each person interviewing has slightly different ideas on what is needed to be successful, it will be hard to gain consensus and a lot of hours will be wasted.  If you do the hiring based on your assumptions of others expectations, the new person could be doomed for failure or a rough start. Save everyone from wasted time and frustration by presenting the above information and ask for stakeholder input before you post.

Now you’re ready to write your job ad

The above process has probably produced a rather lengthy but informative document – save this valuable tool to review with interested candidates and to help in the onboarding process.  Your job now is to edit this into a brief marketing tool (aka job posting), but be careful not to summarize too much.

The goal of the ad is to attract the right people. Your ideal candidate should be able to read the ad and think, “I could do amazing in this position, and it meets my needs too.”

If you frame the information in terms of goals and objectives versus just describing what someone will do, this is more likely to inspire and draw in the right person and, hopefully, scare away counterfeits.

A general format to follow is similar to how newspaper articles are written. The first few sentences tell the job seeker everything they need to know before they invest any more time to read further. Get people’s attention first, then draw them into the detail so they will, hopefully, self-screen themselves. You only want those candidates who think they can be successful to apply. Make the introduction work with keywords and hashtags for Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and wherever else your potential hire hangs out. Make sure to avoid internal jargon and the temptation to use lots of adjectives.

In the main body use bullet points to make it easier to read and keep the writing style simple and direct. Your choice of words is important and can attract or repel the people you want or the diversity you need in your teams.  For example, using wording like, “looking for a rock star salesperson”, or stating, “we need people who will crush sales targets”, is going to bias your respondents to younger males. Textio is a handy tool that you can run your job ad through to identify text that will bias your respondents.

Once complete do a few more edits to take out excess words and ensure clarity. Grammarly is another helpful tool if writing is not your strength. Now you are ready to post, network, share and search.

For more insight on hiring strategies read, “Why job postings are a gamble for top talent and the lesser know strategies to find them“.

Best of success in your recruiting. If you need help with a search, the Premierehire team can help. We guide you and your team through the process and provide end to end recruiting strategy to ensure you get right person in place.


Premierehire is an executive search and staffing company that works closely with company leaders to help them attract, recruit and retain top performers. Their highly consultative approach includes our Premierehire Accelerator program which includes assessments and coaching throughout the process including onboarding.

The Author

Leanne Abraham helps leaders and teams reach higher levels of performance and fulfillment in their work.

Leanne serves as an executive & team coach, facilitator, leadership trainer, and talent advisor. Her coaching, tools, and proven processes elevate organizational health, growth, and transformation to attract great people and build great places to work because ‘people are the point’.

She and her team also help organizations find and retain top people with their 4 Phase Executive Search and New Leader Integration Solutions.

Leanne has over 25 years of executive leadership experience and is a certified executive and team coach (EMCC). She is a certified coach for Birkman Leadership and Career Assessments and has extensive training with the Adizes Institute for Organizational Transformation, Robbins Madanes Intervention coaching, the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC), and the Global Team Coaching Institute (GTCI). She also has a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Business from UBC.

Leanne serves clients throughout the US and Canada, ranging in size and industry.

If you are looking to elevate your team, your leadership, or your career, please send an email or book a complimentary consult.

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