Enhancing the candidate's overall experience can prove advantageous for any organization, regardless of labor market conditions. Nevertheless, when operating in a candidate-oriented market, ensuring a smooth experience is of paramount significance. Candidates function as both B2B and B2C customers, and more than half of them (54%) affirm that their candidate experience plays a crucial role in their decision to buy a company's goods or services.
According to the BLS, the number of job openings is 9.9 million. This environment is prompting companies and recruitment marketers to evaluate their recruitment marketing efforts thoroughly. All the company’s marketing efforts need to point to the "WHY" candidates should work there on a career site. It's essential to consider how the company presents itself to candidates, shares information effectively, enables job search and navigation, and enhances the application process.
This article will cover what companies need to do when establishing or updating career sites, including proper management and oversight, regular updates, and incorporating the latest technologies to help keep these sites accessible and engaging, thus ensuring a steady flow of quality talent.
Creating a Positive Candidate Experience
Candidate experience on the career site can make or break a campaign and can determine the overall success of an organization’s recruitment marketing efforts. For some candidates, the career site is a candidate's first impression of an agency or company – and it’s up to recruitment marketing professionals to ensure that it’s a good experience.
Putting oneself in the candidate’s shoes and considering their experience as they navigate the career site can help recruiters answer these key questions:
- Is the site designed to be as simple and candidate-friendly as possible?
- Is the site intuitive?
- Is it difficult to search for job openings or other information (e.g., too many clicks to navigate, or results that aren't relevant to candidates)?
The careers site should prioritize ease of navigation and intuitiveness. While it's tempting to lament the impact of technology and culture on attention spans (studies show a 25% decrease from 2000 to 2015), the reality is that this is a genuine phenomenon. Additionally, job seekers are now more selective than in the past, regardless of the industry. As a result, it's crucial to recognize that if the career site is excessively complicated or poorly organized, the organization may miss out on top talent.
Fostering Positive and Ongoing Engagement
For most candidates, the career site is a candidate's first impression of an agency or company – and it’s up to recruitment marketing professionals to ensure that it’s a good experience!
Here are some key areas to consider when building out or updating the careers site:
- Creating relevant and engaging content helps showcase the company culture, employee benefits, and answer questions.
- Is the site mobile-friendly? Well, at this point, it had better be! According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 85% of Americans now own a smartphone, up from a mere 35% in 2011.
- Does the site effectively showcase the company’s culture? Studies have revealed that job seekers and workers place a premium on company culture and working for an organization that imparts a sense of purpose.
- Is the marketing media current? If it isn’t up-to-date, candidates may dismiss the company out-of-hand for being “behind the times.”
- What media types are being employed? Today, more and more companies are using recruitment videos, since these foster far more engagement than just copy.
- Is the search function performing properly? Few things are more frustrating to job seekers than search functions that aren’t properly fleshed out on the back end.
Enhancing the Career Site
Careers sites are often the primary destinations for job seekers searching for employment opportunities. Therefore, it's critical to appropriately enhance the career site to attract high-quality traffic.
Making the careers site accessible is the key aspect of optimization. This involves ensuring its functionality and considering various criteria for attracting talent, including the needs of all candidates (such as those with disabilities). If there are diversity initiatives in place, this is one area in which the organization can walk the walk by ensuring equity for all candidates visiting the site.
It's crucial to consider elements such as the coding of media like images and videos, page headings and markup structure, and navigation. The career site content should be accessible on all devices, and all features should be usable through a keyboard in addition to a mouse or mobile scrolling.
To determine how effective a company’s recruitment marketing efforts are, measuring the career site’s performance is essential. The analytics on the career site can provide a wealth of information based on job seekers’ behavior while they’re on the site. As many aspects of job seeker behavior as possible should be examined to understand how the site might be improved. Key metrics can help recruiters effectively analyze the story that the data tells. All of this can help recruitment marketers track the candidate’s journey on the site and clarify where and why candidates drop off.
The analytics dashboard helps recruiters, hiring managers, and HR teams understand every aspect of the hiring process. A good analytics dashboard will provide data on the level of interest job seekers have in working for the organization, how many candidates are moving through the hiring process, and their behavior as they do so. It should also include data pertaining to where candidates are coming from, by sources – if it doesn’t provide this data, some investment may be in order!
By developing candidate personas, hiring teams can gain a deeper understanding of the skills, experience, and traits that are necessary for success in a particular position.
One of the main benefits of creating candidate personas is that it enables organizations to tailor their recruitment strategies to reach the most suitable candidates. With a clear picture of the type of person they are looking for, companies can tailor the career site to attract the candidates they are seeking. Creating candidate personas can improve the candidate experience by ensuring that recruitment efforts are more personalized and relevant.
This allows hiring professionals to tailor the content they create and ensure it’s what the candidates are looking for. Personalized and customized content on career sites and landing pages also allows candidates to connect with and individualize their experience with a company. Ensure to personalize the experience by including:
- Company culture
- Ease of apply flow
By highlighting the company's brand on the career site, organizations can communicate their values, culture, and mission to potential candidates. In addition, showcasing the company's brand can help to build a positive reputation in the industry. When potential candidates see that the company has a strong brand and values, they are more likely to recommend the company to others and speak positively about their experiences.
Tip: This is a great area to also talk about the EVP, going in-depth about the benefits and value the company brings to their employees. Some content to help with this is creating day-in-the-life videos, highlighting why current employees love working for the company.
Pointers for Optimizing Technology
The effective utilization of technology is crucial to the success of the organizational mission. Therefore, it's vital for organizations to adopt technology that improves the job application process and employee engagement. This can be accomplished by incorporating features such as chatbots, text notifications, or live chat. It's also essential to ensure that the technology and platforms remain up-to-date and seamlessly integrate with other tech platforms such as CRM or ATS.
To ensure that all of this high-quality content recruitment marketers are generating gets exposure, optimizing the career site and individual job pages for on-page SEO (search engine optimization) will also be necessary. Locking SEO and content marketing properly can help recruiters optimize job board spend and source more candidates organically since they will primarily engage with the career site.
The Application Process
As organizations strive to simplify the application process for candidates, it's important to consider that today's job seekers demand a rapid and seamless experience – and optimizing technology is a chief route toward accomplishing this.
73% of candidates abandon an application if the process takes too long, and 42% say they would give up an application before submitting if it is difficult or confusing to complete. This highlights the importance of ease in the application process.
Proven Strategies for Success
It’s become clear that job seekers today expect more than a list of jobs and contact information from company careers pages. The career site must serve as a hub of information for the audience, so it’s far better to have one that’s creative and engaging.
Some tips and best practices for optimizing the careers site include:
- The career site should target both active and passive candidates, giving passive candidates a reason to come back and look at the website when they are ready. Ensure that media is easy to engage with! For example, applications must be accessible across the most popular browsers.
- Implement an omnichannel approach: Omnichannel strategies are beneficial because they help bring candidates back to the career site to learn more about open roles.
- Ensure that all content on the career site is keyword-friendly, to help SEO.
- Focus on communication at all stages of the candidate journey.
- Provide candidates with options for joining the company’s talent community without necessarily applying for a position.
Tip: The company’s social media recruiting efforts are an excellent method to leverage this!
A properly designed, well-thought-out career site should be essential to any organization’s branding strategy. In order to create a successful career site, always keep in mind that simplicity, inclusivity, consistency across all channels, and effective engagement of the current technology are the central components of the formula in our current recruiting environment.
For more information on supercharging your careers site, feel free to reach out to us! By leveraging our iON platform, our career site solution provides a rich and robust candidate experience, while also seamlessly integrating with the industry's top ATS and recruitment marketing software systems.