How to write a flexible job ad to attract top talent

Posted: 27/07/2018

Flexible hiring is a fantastic way to tap into a pool of skilled talent and demonstrate your credentials as a good employer.  Advertising flexible jobs also enables people to find opportunities to progress a flexible career, and ultimately facilitates a happier, healthier, diverse and inclusive New Zealand workforce.

Our experience gained through searching across thousands of job advertisements has provided some useful insight into writing effective flexible job ads.

Tip 1: Mention flexible working in your ad

It is surprising how many businesses assume that people inherently know that they offer flexible working options, but don’t mention it in their job vacancies.  Even if you reference flexible work prominently throughout your website, make sure the words are included in the job ad.  ‘Work-life balance’ should not be used as a substitute – as you may be referring to proximity to mountains or the beach rather than flexi-hours.  Likewise “we are an equal opportunities employer” doesn’t necessarily mean that you offer flexible work.

Tip 2: Be specific

Job seekers are generally looking for a specific type of flexibility, so if you offer flexi-hours (flexible working hours), or remote working options – then mention this in your ad.  If the position is part-time, then include the number of hours or a range (eg. 20-25 hours per week).  Be clear if particular days or times must be worked.  Clarity upfront will avoid wasting time in a recruitment process when mutual agreement of conditions could never be met.

Tip 3: Reference flexible work prominently

The opening line of a current ANZ job ad is: Flexible options! Part-time/30-hour week, flexi-hours, flexi-place, extra leave.  Flexible work is referenced 8 times throughout the ad.  Talented job-seekers are left in no doubt that the role offers an opportunity for flexible work.  By contrast, a candidate is likely to miss the flexible work reference if it is written in small print at the bottom of a lengthy advertisement.  This is particularly important when you advertise on traditional job-boards which don’t indicate flexible jobs through a search function.

Tip 4: Be positive about flexible work

Flexible work sometimes appears to be offered reluctantly, as though it is a last resort if a suitable candidate can’t be found who is not seeking flexible work: “We may consider flexible working arrangements for the right candidate.”  This hardly provides assurance to a skilled candidate that they would be entering a working environment where flexible arrangements are normalised rather than viewed as a privilege.

Tip 5: Invite a discussion about flexible working arrangements

Being provided with the permission space to discuss flexible work is a major drawcard for candidates. Auckland Transport does this effectively by including the line:  “Please talk to us about how we could make this role flexible for you”.

Tip 6: Pay attention to wording in the rest of your ad

Phrases like “We promise you will never have to take work home with you!” could detract any candidates looking for the opportunity to occasionally work from home.  If you are seeking greater diversity, then listing benefits like pool tournaments and PlayStations is probably not going to attract the diverse talent that you’re looking for.

One of the services that we provide is helping to write flexible job advertisements to attract top talent. If interested, then please get in touch:

Once you’ve drafted a fantastic job, then post it for free on Getaflex – tap into some great flexible talent, and help our initiative to enable all people in Aotearoa, New Zealand to progress a professional, flexible career.

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