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NC Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Human Resources


Recruitment Strategies

Advertising Tips

Internet Options

Options for internet advertising range from profession-specific niche web sites like external link to posting boards like external link and external link.

Prices vary greatly, but usually internet ads provide unlimited word count. Although each site offers many different features, benefits, and restrictions such as:

  • the addition of your logo is sometimes priced separately;
  • direct communication between the job seeker and the ad placer may or may not be allowed; and
  • advertising edits and changes may or may not be permitted once it is has been posted.

It is easy to locate occupation specific sites by posing as a job seeker and conducting a search. Simply go to the search feature of your browser (or use or one of the other search engines) and type in the occupation you are seeking, like "nurse." You will see the links to many sites including job boards that advertise for nurse positions. We also have an extensive list of occupation specific posting sites.

Print Options

Professional journals are another good advertising resource. They will capture an audience of a specific profession and are not available to the general public. This provides a select audience and the assurance that your ad will be read by people who have an interest and/or training in this field. Typically an ad will be priced and run in the publication for one issue. Some professional journals will also have a web site where you can place your ad, often for a longer period of time and at a cost that is less than the print price.

Newspaper Ads

Advertising in print publications and in newspapers is expensive since these publications charge by the space an ad occupies. Display ads are larger than column ads and usually give you options to make your ad more eye-catching.

Most newspaper ads will run only on Sunday, but some offer more options. The "News and Observer" in Raleigh runs its ads in local weekly publications for a few dollars more and puts their ads on their Internet site,, for one week longer than the print ad.

Check this listing of major North Carolina newspapers outlets.

Since print publications essentially charge by the word, it is vital that you convey the main points of your job concisely and clearly. You may also want to include your web site address so that the applicant can get online applications and information about the application process.

Although you have some flexibility in how you word the ad to save money; at a minimum, we recommend that you include the following information:

  • Position Title (or a working title)
  • Salary range (full range or the hiring range)
  • Job Requirements (minimum Training and Experience [T&E] including essential knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies)
  • Contact information (may include website URL, e-mail or fax number for applications)
  • Application information (how to apply, where to find the state application form)
  • EOE/AA (may use this abbreviation which stands for Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action

Legally Defensible Language

All print or internet advertisements should contain legally defensible statements. Make sure that you use language that supports fair hiring practices and would not cause discrimination complaints. The following are examples of some phrases to avoid and better ones to use:

  • Avoid: "Recent high school graduate"
    This implies that you want someone young. Rephrase your ad and delete this phrase since the age of the individual must be irrelevant. Also, a high school degree is not a requirement since our employees may have a GED. Rephrase your ad to say "high school or GED" for example.
  • Better: "High School or GED"
  • Avoid: "Hispanic"
    You may need someone who speaks Spanish; however, they do not necessarily have to be Hispanic. Rephrase your ad to say "Must be fluent in Spanish."
  • Strong: "Must be fluent in Spanish"


Think carefully about whether you need to list certain types of job requirements that may be very specific to your work unit or to state government. These types of exact requirements could discourage qualified applicants who have similar experience from applying. The following is an example of a phrase to avoid and a better one to use:

  • Avoid: "Requires knowledge of BEACON and NCAS"
    These are state-specific web applications. Using these acronyms implies that only North Carolina State employees should apply. If you want a broad pool of applicants and these are skills that can be learned within a reasonable amount of time, then do not list them as requirements of the job.
  • Better: "Knowledge of PMIS and NCAS a plus"

Limit Acronyms

In all of your print or internet advertisements, do not use acronyms (e.g., HCT for Health Care Technician) that an average applicant would not understand.  If you must use an acronym for some reason spell it out the first time it appears (or put the full wording in parenthesis). You can then use the acronym in the rest of the advertisement.

Inclusive Advertising

Does your workforce consist of a diverse representation of people? If not, use your advertising strategies to attract a diverse workforce that incorporates various genders, disabilities, races, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds. Your Human Resources Representative will also tell you if your position is targeted for a particular gender and/or minority based on the the Department's annual EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) plan.

The IM Diversity web site has information on recruiting a diverse applicant pool. There are many ways to target certain populations. The Division of Human Resources has a Minority Recruitment Guide published for the DHHS web site annually which lists historically black colleges and universities in North Carolina and surrounding states, minority organizations, and minority publications.

Resources Ready NC Connect NC