Attracting candidates

Successful candidate attraction relies on effective measures being applied when advertising a vacancy. These measures are described below.

Please note the additional requirements if you are recruiting to academic appointments.


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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.

Downloadable guides available from the right-hand side of this page:

  • A step-by-step guide to drafting job adverts (PDF)
  • Tips on writing job descriptions & adverts (PDF)
  • Using external advertising sources (PDF)

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Where the job is eligible for a Tier 2 visa, to meet the Tier 2 visa requirements adverts must meet the Home Office advertising requirements.  Full details are available on the Staff Immigration Team website

Non-compliance with these requirements 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.

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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 (please refer to the HR Systems How-To guides). Further requirements apply to roles eligible for a Tier 2 visa - for details please refer to the Staff Immigration Team website.

Once the vacancy has been set up, email 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.

All jobs at grades 4 and above advertised on the University's jobs website (unless 'internal only') will be automatically placed on the 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.

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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 submit it to the Adverts Team at 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 ( 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
  • pay for clicks: £75 + VAT (an effective way to increase viewings of the role)
  • Full LinkedIn bespoke search: £1,500 + VAT (an effective way to reach out to potential candidates with personalised emails)

University Media Agency: TMP

Departments may wish to consider additional external advertising sources. For media advertising, eg specialist websites or magazines, the TMP advertising agency (with whom the University has a discount) should be used. 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: Abigail Smith, Client Service Coordinator, 020 8501 9722

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 or 01865 616022. 


CoreHR steps: 

Record any additional external advertising on CoreHR.


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CoreHR steps: 

Record the vacancy status and key recruitment events in CoreHR. Please refer to the HR Systems How-To guides.


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. The data is also used to support important institutional initiatives such as Athena SWAN.

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