We often get asked how to develop an engaging careers site. We believe that your employer brand and careers site are your top recruitment tools and that investing in one without the other will limit your recruiting success.
Success is different for every client. Drivers can include a reduction in time or cost per hire, a more efficient recruitment process, and implementing a direct resourcing model. None of these can be achieved without effectively communicating your employer brand and providing a great candidate experience.
So with that in mind here are the top ten things we think you should consider when developing a new careers site:
1. Start with the end in mind
What do you want to achieve? How will you measure success? Who are your audience and what do they want? The best careers sites we’ve created have been created as the result of careful scoping and deliberation on strategy. Understanding what you want to achieve and why give you a much better chance of success.
2. Content planning and site structure
Once you understand your audience, plan content they want to engage with and structure it with them at the front of your mind. This will help you plan your site structure and focus it on the audience’s needs rather than your own. What will engage them? What will they share and refer to others? What will convince them you’re the employer they’ve been looking for? What will help unsuitable candidates self-select out of the process?
3. Bring your employer brand to life
If you haven’t defined this yet, then start here. You can do research with your employees to understand what you offer them and ultimately define your employee value proposition (EVP) and employer brand. Once defined, this needs to be brought to life though copy, design and features. Bespoke photo and video shoots can really help deliver your message and make the site feel like an extension of your culture, people and work environment.
4. Let your people do the talking
You can create content about what it’s like to work for your organisation but nothing you say will ever match what your employees say themselves. In an era of social media, where employees can have their say and be heard, make sure you use your people to tell your story and bring your employer brand to life. This can be through image and text profiles or via video - it’s a must.
5. Make your content accessible to everyone
Every careers site - well, every website - should now be built to work well on all devices whether that’s phone, tablet or desktop. We should be focused on providing an engaging experience on all devices. Accessibility is a key consideration too, ensuring that the content is optimised for all users.
6. Make them stay longer and engage more with video
Video - whether cultural films, a values piece, an animated film, a day in the life or employee profiles - is proven to increase a user’s time on site. It’s also a great way to bring your messages to life and convey information in a more engaging way.
7. Bring your culture to life
Whether by people profiles, infographics, image galleries, video or cultural quizzes, ensuring candidates understand your unique culture is key to attracting the right candidates. It can be a great way of helping candidates self-select in or out of your application process, ensuring that you get the best quality and cultural fit from your candidates.
If you are using social media channels as part of your recruitment strategy - or have corporate channels you think candidates might want to engage with - bring the content into your site via feeds. Allow users to share your content on their favourite social media channels too to increase reach and find new audiences. You can also add news and blogs to your site to engage candidates and ensure you’re keeping the site alive with a programme of high quality, audience focused content.
8. Make it intuitive
Creating content and linking to related content is important. Don't make users search for information, show them more content which relates to what they are reading. Whether that’s people profiles of those working in the same department, live jobs in the same team pulled from your applicant tracking system or benefits and training information specific to that role type, keep it relevant and easy to find.
9. Seamless integration with your applicant tracking system
Your careers site and applicant tracking system are usually two separate websites - but candidates shouldn’t know that. make the integration as seamless as possible, retaining the branding and navigation from your careers site on your candidate focused applicant tracking system pages (job search, job details, application). You can also leverage massive SEO benefit by bringing your job specific content onto your website. It can be a more in depth process but the potential rewards are huge.
10. Get found
So you’ve invested your time and money into developing a new careers site - make sure it gets found. Structure page titles, taxonomy, URL and on page ranking factors around what you’re trying to achieve and importantly what your audience is looking for. Then submit your XML sitemap to Google and other leading search engines so you get indexed. Keep adding new relevant content via pages, news, blogs and features in line with a content calendar to ensure you’re providing the best experience you can.
Finally, measure everything. Use free tools like Google Analytics to understand where your traffic comes from and what they read, interact with or watch with to help you understand how your candidates engage with the site and plan for the future.
Want to see more? Check out our careers site case studies or take a look at a few of the careers sites we’ve built recently: