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The Psychology Behind a Great Job Ad

The Psychology Behind a Great Job Ad

Understanding the psychology behind a great job ad including what attracts and engages potential applicants is crucial in designing job ads that not only catch the eye but also convert views into applications. Once you have that secret sauce you’ve unlocked the key to crafting a message that resonates with the right candidates, drawing them in and making them feel they’ve found the perfect opportunity.

Why the Psychology of Job Ads Matters

We all know that feeling of reading a job ad and getting a little buzz because it sounds perfect for you. Every aspect of a job ad – from the language used to the values highlighted – can influence a job seeker’s perception and interest. The right words can create excitement and a sense of belonging, while the wrong ones can turn potential candidates away. Here’s 3 reasons why understanding this psychology is important:

  1. Attracting the Right Candidates → A well-crafted job ad not only filters out unqualified applicants but also speaks directly to the ideal candidate, making them feel as if the ad was written just for them. (This is that little buzz feeling I mentioned above!)
  2. Boosting Employer Brand → Job ads are often the first point of contact between your company and potential employees. They set the tone for your employer brand and what it’s like to work at your organisation.
  3. Increasing Application Rates → By appealing to the psychological needs and desires of job seekers, such as the need for belonging, achievement, and growth, you can significantly increase the number of quality applications.

Key Psychological Triggers in Job Ads

Belonging and Inclusivity

Promoting Diversity

It goes without saying that when writing job ads, you should always use language that embraces diversity and inclusivity. This might involve describing your company’s commitment to creating a diverse workforce or highlighting specific diversity initiatives and employee resource groups. By doing so, you make every candidate feel welcomed, showcasing an environment where various perspectives are valued and contribute to the company’s success.

Use Real Examples

Don’t just make a blanket statement, mention real policies or practices in place such as flexible holidays for cultural observances, support groups, or diversity training programs. This tangible evidence helps candidates visualise themselves within your company, reinforcing the feeling of potential belonging.

Achievement and Recognition

Growth Opportunities

Clearly articulate the paths for professional development and career advancement within the role. This could be through descriptions of mentorship programs, access to training and certifications, or examples of past employee promotions.

Recognition Mechanisms

Explain how achievements are recognised in your organisation, whether through regular reviews, awards, or public acknowledgments. This lets candidates know that their hard work and contributions would be appreciated and rewarded, aligning with a common and natural desire for professional validation and success.

Security and Stability

Company Stability

In uncertain economic times, emphasise the stability and longevity of your company. Highlight any notable achievements such as years in business, recent growth milestones, or financial stability to reassure candidates that they are making a secure job choice. An example of this is sharing how you supported your team throughout the Covid era.

Job Security

Discuss the role’s permanence and potential for long-term career opportunities within the company. For instance, mention contracts, permanent roles, or critical projects that need long-term commitment, which convey a message of trust in the role along with reaffirmed security.

Culture and Values

Cultural Add

Describe your company’s culture and core values in detail. Include quotes from current employees about what it’s like to work there, and if you have them, mention any awards that recognise your workplace culture.

Value Alignment

Show how the role aligns with societal values or impactful goals. For instance, if your organisation is a peak body in the healthcare sector, highlight how the position contributes to advancing public health policies or improving healthcare standards. For associations focused on education, discuss how the role supports educational initiatives or enhances learning opportunities. This attracts candidates who are not just looking for a job but are passionate about making a difference in areas they care deeply about within their community.

Understanding the psychology behind a great job ad is a powerful tool in the recruitment process. By doing so we level up from selling a job, to communicating a fit between a candidate’s personal goals and what the role offers.

You can download our new (and free) guide that explores the ‘how’ of creating psychologically appealing job ads, packed with practical tips and templates to help you attract the perfect candidates.

creating psychologically appealing job ads

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