The Do’s and Dont’s of advertising

Advertising on job portals or on your company’s website, is a great way of finding the correct candidates. There are, however, certain legal parameters around advertising that, if not followed correctly, can land you in big trouble with the law.

Did you know that according to South African Labour Law the following is not allowed on your job adverts:
• Age
• Gender
• Race (unless EE, employment equity, or AA, affirmative action, is stated)
• Any describing words that may discriminate.

However, you CAN include the below:

Requirements specific to the job which include:
• Education, experience, language/s and transport.
• Personality traits/ abilities.

Please remember to include the following in a job advert:
• Salary: This is very important as you could end up wasting the candidate’s time if the salary does not align with their expectations. It will also create realistic expectations for those applying and preventing disappointment. If you are unable to show the salary due to company policy of salary disclosure, be upfront with the applicants or ask them to submit their payslip with an application.
• Location: Include area and province to allow for more relevant applications.
• A short description of the job and what makes your company special. Aim this towards your ideal candidate.

Remember to include simple artwork with your vacancy when publishing online with simple job requirements and a contact email. This will allow people to save the image and spread it to friends easier. It will also be more eye-catching. A useful free online tool for adverts:

Always set a task with the application – have them use a unique subject line on their email, or answer a specific question along with their application. This will help you shortlist much quicker.
If you are expecting a large amount of applicants then include a simple stating “if you have not heard from me within [insert time period here], please consider your application unsuccessful.”

There is much more to advertising a vacancy, and creating a job advert is an artform. If you would like to leave it to the professionals then contact us on 031 265 2000 or email me at

Written By: Nicky Henderson