Jersey’s finance and related professional services industry is the largest sector on Island, employing almost 14,000 people.

The high levels of skills, experience and diversity within the sector have contributed to its ongoing success.

However, the increasing competition for talent, means that firms need to be creative and really differentiate themselves from others, in order to attract skilled individuals. This includes the way they advertise for vacant roles.

We recently sat down with local recruitment agencies to get their take on how the industry currently promotes its employment opportunities and to understand how job adverts could encourage applicants from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

From these discussions, we felt it would be insightful and relevant to share our findings with you, to add value to you when hiring new team members.

How can we improve job descriptions?

Using feedback from their clients, and their experience of working in recruitment for the financial services industry, the agencies shared with us their thoughts on job descriptions and gave us some great examples of best practice when it comes to job adverts.

Do

  • Keep it simple – Keeping job descriptions simple, clear and understandable is key to capturing potential employees. They should cover three main things:
    • who you are
    • what you offer
    • what the job is
  • Use gender-neutral pronouns – the use of gendered vocabulary in job description can determine if the job would appeal to men, women, or both, e.g. “proficient“ (neutral) versus “dynamic” (masculine); “role model” (neutral) versus “leader” (masculine)
  • Tailored benefits packages – Remember who you are trying to attract and tailor your job description for the appropriate audience. School leavers and graduates will value other benefits over someone who is an experienced professional. Younger people will be looking for roles that offer career progression, training, and social events, whereas a working parent will be more attracted by flexible working and car parking
  • Talk about the team– Speaking to candidates about the team, who they are, what they do and how the candidate might work with them is a great way to bring your firm to life in an engaging way. This could be done via a “Meet the Team” video embedded in the job advert
  • Sell your firm – candidates are placing more emphasis on a company’s culture and values. It is therefore important to include a concise overview of your firm, its accreditations, approach to sustainability and/or diversity, equity and inclusion

Don’t

  • Use acronyms – Avoid using acronyms or jargon specific to your firm. Whilst this makes it easier to explain certain aspects of a role, it can put off candidates from applying. Instead focus on aspects of the role that are more general rather than business-specific. Instead, use broader acronyms if necessary and focus on aspects of the role that are more general rather than business-specific
  • Complex job titles – Feedback from candidates suggests that they find some job titles confusing as they are long and complex, and it doesn’t tell them what they will be doing. Clear and concise job titles and descriptions are preferable for candidates and provides an opportunity for firms to sell the role in face-to-face meetings
  • Be too generic – if the job description is too broad and generic, it can lead to both, deterring quality candidates and attracting unsuitable applicants

Afterthoughts

Some other points raised during the Roundtable included:

  • Provide feedback – We know everyone is very busy, but feedback is critical to help candidates understand why they either did or didn’t get the role.
  • Don’t lose touch – With many HR systems becoming automated it’s easy to lose that human touch. Feedback from candidates was that they really valued hearing directly from the hiring manager or member of the HR team as it made them feel valued.
  • Informal coffee catch-ups – Setting up an informal meeting beforehand is a great way to connect. This would be especially important for those returning to work or those changing career, making the process feel more friendly, relieving any initial worries and showcasing the human side of the recruitment process.
What's Next ›

We are holding another Recruitment Roundtable in May 2024. If you would like to shape its structure or if there are any specific topics would like to be raised, please email us.