Recent research shows that going into the autumn “the UK jobs market remained tight in September, with candidate shortages impacting recruiters’ ability to fill jobs.” Facing a likely economic recession in the coming months, some people have been reluctant to move job roles. Skills shortages and a low unemployment rate have been fuelling the problem too. Finding ways to stand out from the crowd to attract potential recruits is increasingly important, and one good way to go about this is through the careers site.
A career siteare no longer static pages for candidates to go to view open roles. Instead, a well-rounded and functional career site can instead act as a hub for information candidates are seeking about a company and the compelling reasons why a company is a great place to work. It’s the place for engaging and interacting with this prospective talent to showcase a company in the best light.
However, this does not always happen, leading to candidates finding such sites unengaging, difficult to navigate, and even difficult to find opportunities on. There are numerous ways to improve the careers site so that it works well for the business. These improvements should be made to ensure potential candidates are able to engage in easy ways and able to learn high-level information about the company.
Below are four key areas to think about when improving a career site.
1. Make The Careers Site Appealing
First impressions really count with careers sites. With most websites, companies have between 10 and 20 secondsto capture the attention of the visitor before they click away and go elsewhere. This means that sites that are drab or unengaging may result in losing potential candidates before they have even seen or understood what the opportunities might be available for them.
There are lots of ways to avoid this happening. Take time to create a variety of eye-catching, interactive media options to convey the company’s personality. A creative way to do this includes a short video that helps the potential candidate understand what it might be like to work at the organization. Photographs of the environment and the people that work at the company can also help to bring opportunities to life.
Candidates are more likely to trust what an employee is saying, so ensure to include employee testimonials and videos! This not only is a great way to highlight a company’s benefits, but can be used to showcase a company’s ambassadors. This can help humanize the company and give a more human touch to the website.
Also, reams of text not broken up are off-putting for potential candidates, so it is good to keep any written content short and to the point. Every word counts, so it is best to choose them carefully! The content included should be authentic and not too staged, as potential candidates will quickly see through this. Companies can explore visual job descriptions or job images, giving each open role its own visual identity.
Tip: Make sure all content on the career site is keyword friendly, to help search engine optimization (SEO). This can help draw passive job seekers to the company’s site by opening up an opportunity for organic web traffic.
2. Personalize Communication
Personalisation is extremely important in attracting potential candidates. Ninety eight per cent of marketers say that personalisation advances customer relationships. While potential recruits are not “customers” per se, they still want to have their preferences met and see content that is applicable to them, rather than generic text and communication options. Allow candidates the opportunity to customize the content they receive to ensure they are receiving relevant information about the roles they’re interested in, and the ability to engage with someone at the company based on their role type. This can be done with things like custom job alerts, exactly matching the candidate's preferences – putting them in charge of their inbox.
It is also worth providing candidates with various different options for communicating with the organisation. These might include signing up for email updates or staying in touch via social media platforms. The careers site should make it easy for potential candidates to navigate either of these options. Another possibility is by providing candidates with options for joining the company’s talent community, without necessarily applying for a position. This gives the potential candidate the advantage to become engaged with the organization in the event that there is no position available for them at the time they look for one.
Once the recruitment process is underway, it is important to keep candidates in the loop on how it all works. This requires focus on communication at all stages of the candidate journey. The amount and type of information the candidate receives will feed into the decisions that they make. Keep communication honest, open and transparent at all stages for the best results.
3. Offer A Seamless Application Experience
People are busy and increasingly want convenience in all areas of their lives. This includes when they are applying for a new position. Keeping the process transparent is key, as is ensuring that the experience is personalised. This is why it’s important to ensure that the careers site and application process is integrated seamlessly with the applicant tracking system. This will help ease the job application process for the candidate and ensure a logical flow.
Critically, the careers site should be intuitive to use. If navigating around is not straightforward, potential applications will be lost. Making it simple to search for job openings and other key information about the company and the role will help ensure that potential candidates do not click away. Again, to be sure that the careers site is easy to use, regularly test the application process to identify any roadblocks or possible issues that might be putting potential candidates off.
Tip: About 60% of job seekers don’t complete an application because it takes too long, which is why making the process fast can help increase application conversions. Companies should consider asking for basic information from job seekers at application time, since hiring professionals can always follow up to gain more information from promising candidates later.
Ensure that the careers site works on a variety of different screen sizes for mobiles, tablets, and on laptops. This is an area where some careers sites fall down. It can be frustrating for potential candidates if a website does not work properly on their mobile or tablet. The majority of jobs are found online these days, and with almost 60% of people using their mobile devices instead of a desktop, it is critical that the recruitment experience is designed from the ground up to work optimally on mobile.
Also, websites that do not work well on different types of devices may be penalised by search engines – Google generally crawls ‘mobile first’ and marks down poor performance here. This is problematic because it means the careers site may not even be easily found by potential candidates in the first place. This obviously leads to the business losing potential applicants before they even get to the careers site. Be sure to test on different devices to enhance the candidate experience and reach a wider audience.
4. Highlight The Company Culture
Culture is a competitive advantage, including for recruitment. Research shows that 77% of adults in the UK, France, Germany and the USA consider the culture of a company before submitting an application to work there. In fact, more than half of adults rate culture as being more important than salary for job satisfaction. This is more important for millennials than for those over the age of 45, but it is nonetheless important for many applicants regardless of age.
Company culture forms an integral part of the employee value proposition and is an intangible benefit for the employee. Prospective candidates want to know whether they will be a good cultural fit for the company. Firms also want to be sure to attract those that will be a good cultural fit because the costs of getting it wrong can very quickly add up.
This means that company culture should be showcased on the careers site. There are plenty of areas to think about in doing this. Questions to think about might include:
What makes the organisation’s culture unique?
What are the values that employees are proud of?
What is the company’s mission and vision?
What is it like to work at the company on a day-to-day basis?
This is not a definitive list but it does give some ideas to start thinking about when weaving the company culture into the content, videos, and photographs on the careers site. This will help to bring the company culture to life, engaging those that are most likely to be suited to working at the organisation.
Tip: Glassdoor shares that 75% of job seekers are likely to apply at a company that actively manages its employer brand, meaning that it’s important to make a good first impression by updating your career site! Remember, the career site is many candidates’ first impressions of a company, so use this site to highlight the employer brand.
The recruitment market in the UK is challenging to navigate. To attract the top talent, companies need to use every means at their disposal. The careers site is a great place to start, making sure that it is fit for purpose in engaging with potential candidates and encouraging applications. This also means keeping the career site fresh and engaging should be top priority, and hiring professionals should take time periodically to ensure the content is fresh and relevant.
Following the four steps highlighted will improve the careers site, ensuring that it works for the organisation. Making the site visually appealing will increase the likelihood of engagement and making it easy to use on different devices will help to ensure that potential recruits do not simply click away. Keeping it seamless, transparent, and personalised will aid the application process, helping to ensure candidates do not go elsewhere. Drawing attention to the company culture helps to understand how they may fit. All of this will increase the likelihood of attracting top talent.