Attracting candidates

The objective of any recruitment exercise is to attract, identify and hire the best-suited candidates into posts. Successful candidate attraction relies on effective measures being applied when advertising a vacancy. These measures are described below.

Please also see the additional requirements for academic appointments.

1) Write an engaging job advert

The aim of the job advert is to attract appropriate interest, communicate the essential (appealing and relevant) aspects of the job efficiently and clearly, and provide information about how to apply. It should sell the aspects of the post that are going to entice candidates to apply. A job advert should not contain information that is not included in the job description. Key search terms must be included in the first few lines to ensure the job is found by job seekers. The job title should also contain searchable key words.

Please follow the Job adverts: step-by-step guide (150kb) when drafting job adverts, and the additional guidance below.

2) Tier 2 visa advertising requirements

Where the job is eligible for a Tier 2 visa, to meet the Tier 2 visa requirements adverts must clearly state the following seven points:

(1) job title; (2) work location(s); (3) salary package or range (including allowances); (4) main duties of the role; (5) qualifications required (if you state 'must have PhD' a Tier 2 CoS cannot be issued unless the chosen candidate holds a PhD, so you should consider using 'hold or be close to completion' instead to allow greater flexibility); (6) skills and experience required; and (7) closing date.

Adverts must appear in at least two suitable locations for at least 28 days; normally the University's own website and jobs.ac.uk (see section below 'Place the advertisement'). In addition, all except research or academic roles must be advertised on Universal Jobmatch*.

Copies of the advert must be printed on the first day they are published (screenshots are not permitted), which include the date of printing and the URL. This provides evidence of following the above requirements. For full details of how to comply with these requirements please see: 'Advertising requirements' and ‘Employers’ responsibilities’.

Non-compliance with the above is likely to lead to having to re-advertise the role, in the event you wish to recruit a candidate who needs a visa. Common errors include: not advertising for a long enough period; missing information; adverts not being posted in accepted locations; and not printing the advert on the first day it was published.

If you require further advice or would like to have your adverts checked before posting, please contact the Staff Immigration Team.

*Adverts placed on Universal JobMatch must be printed directly from the Universal JobMatch website and not from BusinessLink, the hosting website through which jobs are posted onto Universal JobMatch.

3) Place the advertisement on the University Jobs website

All University posts must be advertised on the University’s jobs website.

Departments should consider advertising the post as an ‘internal-only’ vacancy in the first instance, especially where it is likely that an internal person could have the right skills and experience for the job, and as an opportunity to advertise the post to all priority candidates from across the University.

How and where to place the advertisement:
Vacancies should be set-up in CoreHR, to appear on the University jobs website (see section 1 of QRG: REC01 Creating a Vacancy (Recruitment and Personnel) (517kb)). Further requirements apply to Tier 2 visa eligible roles - please refer to the guidance above for details.

Once the vacancy has been set up email adverts@admin.ox.ac.uk to request authorisation, including the authorisation email from the Reward team. The Adverts team will check compliance with key University requirements, and will notify you when the vacancy has been authorised, or if any amendments are necessary.

Departments may wish to consider additional external advertising sources, such as specialist websites. For media advertising (eg specialist websites or magazines) the TMP advertising agency should be used. Please see the guidance below for further information. See also:

All jobs at grades 4 and above advertised on the University's jobs website (unless 'internal only') will be automatically placed on the jobs.ac.uk website by the Adverts Team. This site is an international job board for jobs in academic, research, science and related professions, in the Higher Education and related sectors.
steps: Record where the post has been advertised. See section 2.1: REC01 Creating a Vacancy (Recruitment and Personnel) (517kb) for guidance.

4) Using external advertising and recruitment search

Use of University LinkedIn Account

Departments wanting to optimise recruitment, particularly for hard to fill roles, can use the University LinkedIn account. To request an advert, please complete the LinkedIn job posting form available online at Templates and Forms and submit it to the Adverts Team at adverts@admin.ox.ac.uk. A two-week job advert is available at a cost of £100. Please note that the number of advert spaces available is limited.

To recruit effectively, make sure your job will be found by candidates by using key words in the title and opening sentences of the advert to optimise searches. E-Recruitment Specialist Richard Bunkham (richard@totalcareersolutions.com) can provide the following recruitment services to University departments:

  • Review and edit adverts for search engine optimisation and promote the job via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as appropriate: £120 +VAT
  • indeed.co.uk pay for clicks: £75 + VAT (an effective way to increase viewings of the role)
  • Full LinkedIn bespoke search: £300 + VAT (an effective way to reach out to potential candidates with personalised emails)

University Media Agency: TMP

Departments wishing to use additional external advertising for their vacancy should use the University media advertising agency, TMP, with whom the University has a discount. TMP can advise departments on appropriate media for different roles and will provide circulation figures and cost estimates. You are advised to confirm any additional costs for this service with TMP on a case-by-case basis. Departments will be invoiced on a monthly basis via email or by post, according to individual preference. The full guidance is available in a PDF pack below:

TMP can also produce management information reflecting the feedback from each media used showing which was more effective in targeting the required audience. This may help inform future decision-making about which media to use for specific posts.

If you have any further questions, please contact:

External Recruitment Agencies

The University has agreed capped fixed price fees with both Perrett Laver and Saxton Bampfylde executive search recruitment firms. For further advice or information on these agreements, please contact the Purchasing team at purchasing@admin.ox.ac.uk or 01865 616022. 

The respective contacts for the executive search recruitment firms are:

Naturejobs.com

There is an automatic feed from CoreHR to Naturejobs.com, a leading careers website for science and technology jobs. Any vacancy in CoreHR with the tag “naturejobs” will be linked to this external website. Please note that job adverts published on the University’s website between the hours of 7am and 6pm will appear on the Naturejobs website after 10am the following day. For further information, please contact the HRIS Support Centre at  hr.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or by phone at 01865 (2)87900 

5) Monitor the recruitment progress in CoreHR

The status of the vacancy and key recruitment events must be recorded in CoreHR. This helps the University to continue to carry out its equal opportunities monitoring and reporting, and ensures the recruitment process is properly managed, eg by enabling reporting on the success of advert placements, production of recruitment correspondence, etc. See: QRG Recruitment Statuses and Events (102kb). The data is also used to support important institutional initiatives such as Athena SWAN.