A hiring manager asks for some advice on job postings:

How can I write an effective job advertisement?  I am getting people who are really under qualified and really cannot do the job I need them to do.  This is a huge investment of time for little to no return.

We asked Lily Brewer, one of our temporary and contract recruitment specialists, to answer this one. As part of TempsAhead, Lily posts a high volume of job ads and her accounting roles always seem to stand out from the pack and get a great response from the marketplace –

I would ask you to pull up your last job ad that you wrote, or had written for you.  What was it really – a person description or an actual job description?  For example – do you need a candidate with 5 years’ experience in management experience and a CMA designation or is what you need a person who can spearhead your system conversion while keeping your day to day work running smoothly by effectively getting the buy-in from your existing team?  It really comes down to the difference of “Doing” versus “Having”.

Lou Adler, a veteran in the recruitment and consulting world, speaks about performance based hiring in his book “The Essential Guide for Hiring and for Getting Hired”.   In his book and online material, he urges his reader to consider what is more important – if someone has the credentials to do the job or if someone can actually do the job.

I have to agree, and I would say this process starts with the job ad that you write.  So when you write your next job ad, ask yourself – are you describing the person and hoping they can do the job – or are you describing the job in order to find the most qualified person?  The latter is a better use of your limited time and will help you build a more effective and dynamic team.


Lily specializes in recognizing top accounting professionals, understanding the motivation behind their search, and linking these top players to Edmonton’s most respected employers. She is truly passionate about finding the right fit for her clients and candidates and building long lasting relationships. As part of TempsAhead, Lily works solely in temporary and contract recruitment in the Edmonton area. Lily brings valuable experience in building and managing teams and businesses to her TempsAhead clients. In a previous role with a multibillion dollar global company, she proved to be an accomplished business builder and problem solver. In a short period of five years, Lily rose to lead a team of fifty individuals, opening a new business sector for the company.