With the advances of technology, recruiting has changed dramatically. That’s no secret. Employers can quickly reach a worldwide audience through their company web site. They can promote and sell services while using the same web site to recruit and sell the company brand through a robust company career section.
But despite these advances in technology, many small businesses fail to leverage the company web site as a tool to attract and recruit candidates. They also fail at selling the company brand, which can hurt the company when job seekers are considering applying with your company. If your company is not putting the time and resources needed into developing a web site with a career section that sells the company as a great place to work, frustrated job seekers will look to competitors who provide more detailed information and better resources on their web site, as the place they want to work.
“Your corporate career website is the place where you can differentiate your organization from that of your competitors and really sell the company as a place where potential employees may want to work,” says Stephen Harrington, a recruiting consultant who blogs about online recruitment strategies and best practices. “This is your brochure and should work to compliment your efforts in social media and other recruitment strategies.”
Even if a company doesn’t post open jobs on their company web site – something rare with even the smallest of businesses these days – a career resources section can be the place to provide more information about company mission and values, benefits and perks, employee testimonials, awards, news and information, blogs and access to company social media profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, YouTube).
A stagnant career page/section with dated job postings, dated content, broken links, old news and/or little recent update or content can result in good candidates quickly leaving the career site, moving over to your competitor in the process.
Nick Leigh-Morgan is the managing director and founder of Zodo, the company behind iKrut, a free applicant tracking system. In an article titled The 12 Ways You Can Improve Your Corporate Careers Site, Leigh Morgan says: “It’s amazing how many companies say that ‘people are at the heart of our business.’ Oh really? So how come so few employers bother to really develop their careers site to try to attract absolutely the best person for the job? How many bother to develop it beyond a simple list of current vacancies?”
For understaffed and overworked HR staffs, small businesses with no HR department and business owners, their business is often everything but managing the corporate career section. That’s IT’s responsibility. That’s the web team’s deal. That’s only needed when we have a recruiting push or a big announcement. Whatever the reason this is avoided, they are typically not good ones.
You don’t need a large team of IT professionals or a content marketing team sitting down and planning a complete web site overhaul to brand, sell and promote your company career pages. Using these 10 tips can help your employee career site go to work for you, so people will want to go to work with you:
1. Create a plan and point person: Develop a plan of how you want to use your company career section. Is it to post jobs only? Do you want to add a company career blog, produce video testimonials with current employers, discussing why they working with your company? What type of content do you want? Do you use social media? If so, include the social media links/icons so people can connect with you and follow you even if they don’t have to go to your career pages. That being said, use social media to direct people back to your company web site. What other information do you want? Perhaps sections for college/university candidates and one for experienced candidates? Information on campus recruiting visits or when the company will be at job fairs. What about a message (video) from the company president? Perhaps you want to add information on employee perks. What about any YouTube videos highlighting the company services and a great place to work. Sit down and plan what is important and find a person who can be a point person for managing the content/development and updates to the site. It will help things get organized and stay on task.
2. Speaking of social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are inexpensive and easy ways to connect with future candidates. They are great places to share company success stories, promote the company brand and sell the business as a place to work. Use these resources to your full advantage. If this is a task that is too big for current staff, consider hiring a social media intern to help assist with this implementation and development.
3. Find the fight mix of content, visuals, and video: A combination of content-driven marketing and career information, videos, blog and graphics – whether photos, images or infographics, can help your site look up-to-date and appeal to a large audience of visitors who all crave content in different ways.
4. Make it so people can find you: Don’t rely on people simply coming to your site. Develop SEO-friendly content and career pages that are optimized for finding the audience you want to attract. Social media is one way but be sure people can find you through Google, Bing or other searches.
5. The little things count: Many company leaders, especially those who are not web-savvy, think a complete overhaul, change and web site relaunch is the way to drive traffic. They want to spend money on a new site, promote it via a press release and make a big announcement. That might work in the days surrounding the launch, but there is no need to spend a large amount of money – and time/resources – when simply providing regular updates through the steps mentioned above. Engage your audience over time, not with one big marketing push.
6. Lists. Everybody loves lists. Leigh-Morgan mentioned this in the ere.net article: Have a “5 Reasons to Join Us” Section. “It could be 10 reasons to join, but create a separate section and list all the unique features that will appeal to a job seeker,” says Leigh-Morgan. “Ask existing employees if they had to sell the company to a friend of theirs what they’d say to impress them. We’ve doubled headcount in the last 12 months. You can work from home two days a week. You get free childcare. We have a team night out every month. We’re the market leader. We’ve just opened three new offices/sites in the last two months alone. Get creative. Remember you’re selling to them as much as they are selling to you.” People are often concerned about benefits, career advancement, training, and industry reputation.
7. Show diversity: Make the careers section feel welcome for men, women, entry-level employees, experienced employees and people of all backgrounds. In other words, make it so anyone who comes to your career site feels welcomed and like they would fit in.
8. Give them information that can help them help you: Your career site should provide information on how to apply for jobs, what the standard process or protocol is and how you want to best hear from job seekers. This can save your already-thin HR staff from getting emails, calls or communication/questions about how to best apply for jobs. And it can save from job applications that are poorly done.
9. Think short and long term. Those who come to your company career section may not be looking for a job at all. But they may learn something new about the company, or get more information that could lead them to coming back when they are looking for a job. Make it interesting for current job seekers and intriguing for future job seekers.
10. Compare competitors: Look at what your competitors are doing. Do you see something you like and could incorporate onto your web site? Do you see something presented in a different way you don’t like? How can you do it better or different? What can you add that can keep you on track with competitors, or give you the edge?
A study titled Best Practices for Fortune 500 Career web site recruiting published on HR.com discussed the purpose and value of company career sites.
“The behavior of individuals who cruise the web is such that they are, for the most part, not specifically looking for a job,” said the survey recap. “Therefore, by using your website as a recruitment tool you gain exposure to an audience who otherwise would not have found out about your career products.”
It went on to reference how a good company career web site can lower recruitment costs and increase the quality and quantity of the applicants to your organization.
How often do you have to revamp your corporate/company career pages? Only with a complete web site overhaul. How often should you update or manage your corporate career site? Regularly. It doesn’t have to be a major change or overhaul, but by following these tips and outline, small businesses can best use the corporate web site to their advantage.
An advantage that can help separate them from their competitors and sell the company as the place where top talent wants to work.