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Recruitment advertising

Overview

The procedure to advertise recruitment can be complicated for employers to approach. However, getting this process right is essential if a recruitment exercise is to be cost-effective and attract the right quality of applicants.

Before starting to advertise recruitment, employers should organise and plan their approach, carefully considering the content and the design of the job advert and the most appropriate time to publish it. They should also identify the most suitable media for advertising the job in order to reach an appropriate audience.

Key points

  • Preparing a job description and person specification can provide a useful basis for designing a job advertisement to advertise recruitment.
  • All forms of job advert are covered by the Equality Act 2010.
  • Employers must not publish adverts that indicate, or could reasonably indicate, an intention to discriminate.
  • Adverts should contain enough information about the job and the organisation to help applicants decide if they are suited to the job.
  • Adverts must not target applicants with a particular protected characteristic, unless this is an occupational requirement or lawful positive action.
  • Positive action may be used to encourage applications from under-represented groups.
  • Relying upon 'word of mouth' recruitment has the potential to indirectly discriminate.
  • Employers may be liable for the discriminatory actions of third parties, who are advertising on their behalf.
  • Employers must not put pressure on third parties to discriminate in the recruitment process.
  • Employers must provide temporary agency workers/fixed term employees with information on relevant job vacancies.

Recent developments 

International Women’s Day, 8 March 2022

The government has launched an initiative aimed at levelling up employment opportunities for women, by improving pay transparency in the recruitment process. Employers participating in a government pilot scheme will be asked to include salary details on job adverts, and stop asking about salary history during recruitment.