I recently worked with a hiring manager who was having trouble with his job ads. They were not working for him. The ads were not screening out the more senior people. They were not screening in the more junior people.
As part of the problem solving, I asked him to send me the job analysis and the ad. When I looked at the analysis, I could tell why. He’d done a job analysis, but to me, it looked like a surface attempt.
We reviewed his job analysis and iterated on it. Armed with a more detailed analysis, he rewrote his ad, which is now running. I don’t have data yet on whether this ad is helping potential candidates screen themselves in or out. Certainly, the hiring manager will have be able to tell faster with his phone screens.
If your ads are not working for you, first look at your job analysis. Iterate on it. Ask other people to review it. See if it’s detailed enough for you to write a job ad from it. It might not differentiate the essentials from the desirables. It might not differentiate the levels enough. It might ask for too much in a junior level person, which is why more senior people are applying.
Remember, your job analysis is your user story for everything you do next. You don’t have to be right the first time. You do want to use the feedback of not-quite-right candidates to refine your job analysis and job ad. Take your time and make the analysis right. Iterate on the analysis. Then your job ad will work for you.