How to write a job advert for IT contractors

We could all probably have a go at writing a job advert for IT contractors, but to write a job advert for IT contractors that really entices such temporary professionals to come forward is much harder work, writes technology recruitment specialist Ian Storey, director at Hays.

State the pay; the location and then describe the work pattern 

A poorly constructed job advert can be hugely detrimental when attracting tech contractors.

My first piece of advice may seem obvious, but it is still sometimes overlooked by employers. And it’s this – ensure that you are clearly communicating both the day rate and location of the assignment.

Especially in a hybrid working world, it is important to clearly detail how frequently contractors may be required into the workplace, where the workplace is, or highlight that the role is completely remote.

If the role is hybrid working, we advise adding in how many days the contractor would be expected to come into the office.

If the role is largely office-based, make sure to highlight some attractive aspects about the location, or the office itself, with accompanying imagery.

Avoid ambiguity  

When writing up the day rate description, if you can, avoid a range and instead list the rate clearly. This specificity will help eliminate any confusion concerning seniority level and experience.

It’s also worth abiding by the following if you want the maximum response. Steer clear of not including a figure and opting instead for ‘dependent on experience’ to describe the rate. This phrase can alienate contractors, especially if they’re short of time when it comes to their contract search.

Main section: detail the day-to-day

Next, carefully consider the body of the job advert.

In my experience, it’s crucial to include as much detail as possible when it comes to the contractor’s day-to-day activity within the role.

For example, if you’re advertising for a project manager role, it’s fundamental to describe which systems the contractor will be using; whether any reporting or tracking will feature, if they’ll be working in a larger team, and so on.

Also in this main section of the advert, if certain technical skills are pivotal to completing the job effectively, ensure the qualifications required are clearly listed. This explicit labelling will eliminate those who may not be fully qualified for the opportunity.

Sell the culture and strategy

Next, think about how you want to position your organisation, and what role a contractor will have in helping towards your organisation’s strategy.

Contractors want to progress their skillsets and work on challenging or interesting projects. If your role fits this brief, shout about it within your job advert.

Where you do have gaps internally, don’t forget that a contractor could be your next full-time hire. That’s an extra reason to ‘sell’ your organisation well enough that it could tempt a contractor to stay beyond their original contract.

Final thought – take care with titles, or you won’t be found

Finally, make sure the title of the contract or role is as accurate as possible. A misleading job title may eliminate appropriate and qualified talent from applying. As the title of the role is normally no longer than three words, every word makes a difference when it comes to tech talent searching for a specific role, so choose your three carefully.

Tuesday 23rd Aug 2022
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Written by Ian Storey

Ian Storey is a Director at Hays, specialising in technology recruitment. Ian has over 20 years of experience running successful multi-discipline recruitment businesses across both the public and private sectors. Ian’s areas of expertise include data and advanced analytics, cloud and infrastructure, ERP, leadership and projects and change management.

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