We have established over and over again in previous articles that recruiting top talent is a sales and marketing effort. Therefore, the product you are selling (your careers) needs a shop window just like anything else that you would sell. Not having a dedicated website to sell your goods or services would be crazy. So why expect this to be any different for your recruiters?
How would you expect your sales team to perform without a website? Without sales brochures? Without case studies? Without demos?
We have looked in quite some detail at branding and how to make it stronger and more appealing to both customers and potential employees. We know that the branding for customers should be different to that for your talent community. We know that any company that wants to succeed over the next 20 years needs to prioritise attracting and retaining the top talent. We have looked at different ways of making this happen. Above all, though, there needs to be a tool that brings all of your efforts together in one place. Once you have this tool, it can be the place where you publish your content, advertise your jobs, communicate your passions and generate the next pool of applicants for any future vacancies you generate.
The place where all your content, your goals, your ideas and your inspiration should sit comfortably together is your careers website. Large companies have a careers website that sits alongside their corporate website and their company website to talk about all things careers. The successful ones contain all kinds of different things that can make their company relevant and engaging. You need your careers website to speak to your audience of potential new recruits in a language they understand.
Your careers website needs to feel relevant. Clicks through your website by people who don’t stay or don’t return are actually counterproductive. With a new visitor you will in all likelihood only get one chance to convert them into a regular reader. This means that your careers website needs to be immediately engaging. Visitors need to sign up and opt in to your talent community on their first visit. Time is such a precious commodity, and your visitor will not appreciate theirs being wasted.
If your social media promises a careers website that will make a difference, you’d better deliver it! You only get one chance to make the perfect impression so that takes the perfect website. The content needs to be useful to the reader. Too many careers websites are useful to the employer but not to the reader. Be different. Make your careers website do what the reader wants it to do.
One area that is now an absolute must is making sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Many websites are accessed on smartphones and your website needs to look its best on all devices. It is essential that the mobile website experience is as good as the desktop website. Don’t forget that today's candidates are really adept at technology and will look once and disappear from your view forever if you don’t give them what they want.
Your careers website should be a single place where you can pull together all aspects of your recruitment efforts. Far from being about recruitment and nothing else, it should be the home of your visions and goals when it comes to recruiting top talent and then getting them to stay with your company for the long run. It needs to sing and dance the values that your company holds when it comes to employment. It needs to let the employment market out there know why you are so good to work for and how you can make the employment dreams of the reader come true.
It can contain hints and tips about how to become a better applicant. The company that gives an idea of their ideal applicant will be more likely to attract their ideal applicant. If people know in advance that you are looking for a certain skill, a certain character, a qualification or experience then they can go out and make that happen. Today's candidate thrives on accurate information and the incentive to achieve, so if they can find out what you want from them some time before there is a position to apply for, they will go out and make things happen. Information is the key to a successful careers website and the more relevant information you can upload the better it will be received and understood.
Your careers website is a great place to house the content that we discussed earlier in the book. Your content will get your careers website seen and your careers website will get your content seen. As you write and upload relevant and interesting content it will rise up the search engine rankings and take the whole website with it. You will gain readers and followers and they will return regularly to read what you have to say. As you become an authority in your particular field of work, this will bring visitors to your careers website. While they are there you can attract them to vacancies. The higher number of quality applicants you can attract to your careers website on a regular basis the better chance you have of attracting a quality applicant and filling your vacancy with someone who will take your company forward in the future.
The way in which your company looks after its current employees is a strong indicator of how it will look after new recruits. Don’t be afraid to include some case studies from current employees so that potential new recruits can see the human side of your team. It is all well and good for people to read about job specifications and ideas on what makes the perfect applicant, but there needs to be a human side to the story. Your current team can be great ambassadors for your company and will help to recruit new members of the team with their enthusiasm and positivity. You can extend this to your own careers website by getting your existing team to tell people what they love about their job and this will attract new talent that have a similar interest.
The specifications of every job should be searchable on your careers website. You will have many visitors, especially if you get all of the above right, so you want them to find something relevant to their life and their career. If you have career choices that people naturally gravitate to, you will want these career paths publicised on your careers website. You don’t want a visitor who is looking for something to spark their interest to find nothing suitable. This would be even more heart-breaking if it turned out you did have career options that suited this visitor but didn’t have the information on your site for them to make that connection. Information is king. Make sure that you have all the relevant information on the site. It may make the difference between gaining new members to your talent community or losing a visitor for them to never return.
Your careers website pulls everything about the recruitment process together. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is just a place for people to search for jobs and upload their CV in application. It must be a vibrant, energetic place where people can read the latest news from your industry and find out what you are looking for in a future applicant. It should be somewhere that your employer brand lives and breathes. Your careers website needs as much investment in terms of time and money as your other websites. Your employer branding dictates the reach that you have in the employment market and gives you the opportunity to get better applicants more quickly and at a lower cost. It is key to attracting and retaining top talent.
Top tips for creating a functional careers/recruitment website that gets results
- Follow the AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) principle.
- Follow the ‘8 Second Rule’ (This is the amount of time you have to engage visitors), engage quickly with a compelling Value Proposition Statement.
- Integrate your email marketing by offering value to your visitors in exchange for contact details.
- Showcase a blog and publish relevant content regularly.
- Include recruitment gamification platforms.
- Optimise your website for use on all devices including mobile & tablets.
- Integrate a functional and searchable job board to showcase live roles.
- Include engaging video content.
- Ensure that it’s visually appealing and functional from a design point of view to your specific target market and that the user experience is perfect.