Seinfeld. “The Hamptons.”
Carol enters the Bay-bee’s room with Elaine and Jerry.
Elaine: Oh, he’s a cute little shnugly baby.
Carol: Isn’t he gorgeous? (Elaine looks at baby, only to be frightened and turn away)
Carol: Is he gorgeous? (Elaine + Jerry looking away)
Elaine: Oh, gorgeous, yes.
Jerry: So very gorgeous.
Cut to Jerry and Elaine gasping for air outside after they just left the baby’s room.
Jerry: Is it me or was that the ugliest baby you have ever seen?
Elaine: Uh, I couldn’t look.
Jerry: And you know, the thing is, they’re never gonna know, no one’s ever gonna tell them.
Elaine: Oh, you have to lie.
Jerry: It’s a must lie situation.
So, is your career site an ugly baby? Do candidates struggle to keep their gaze fixed on their screens, only to turn away in horror? If you asked your colleagues and co-workers about your career site would it be a must lie situation?
In so many words (minus the Seinfeld reference) that’s what Tom Steele, Manager, Product Marketing, Jobs2web said at the recent Minnesota Recruiter’s Conference held at the corporate headquarters of General Mills.
“About 80% of career sites are about the company, not the candidate,” says Steele. “Make your career site all is about the candidate; simply, why they would want to work for you. Then provide them easy accessibility to open jobs. The number one reason people go to a career site is to apply for a job. After they are selected for an interview they can come back to learn more about the culture and the company.”
Every recruiter or HR or staffing pro is no doubt conscious of the fact that a career site is an obvious touchpoint. But do you think of it as a means to provide a brand experience for job candidates? Does it represent both organizational needs as well as provide easy candidate navigation?
“Think of every page on your career site as a home page,” suggests Steele. “A better and branded search provides an enhanced candidate experience. You want to drive and build your talent community with your career site, so make sure on every page a candidate has the opportunity to connect with you.”
Steele has some more suggestions:
- Always be aware of three key things – speed at which your site loads (no flash), ease of navigation, relevant content
- 85% of web users don’t scroll down below the fold, so make sure your entire career site is viewable without scrolling
- Count your clicks; if a candidate can’t take action in three clicks you are going to lose lots of them
- Think of a job description as telling a candidate what they need to get the job, and a job profile as a description of the actual job a candidate is going to do
- Make sure you are capturing passive candidates; let candidates know you hire for certain positions even if you don’t have a job opening, then have them fill out a form so you can email them when jobs in their category come open
- Re-market to candidates who don’t complete the application
- Have someone who doesn’t work for your company go to your career site and apply for a job and have them rate the experience
- If you use a Taleo or Brass Ring talent management software system make sure it is still branded with your logo
- Have some branding and graphics at the top of the page but don’t overdo it
- Give your “search jobs” button high visibility right in the middle of the screen
- Use video; pictures may speak a thousand words but videos speak a million
- 90% of people who go to your website to apply for a job aren’t interested in the company culture at the time they apply
- Track the number of visitors to your site versus the number who apply for a job, as well as all other elements of the application process
- Make sure your career sites are mobile enhanced and optimized
- Use target landing pages; they are the new “visit my career site”
One of the cool vendor tools that Steele shared with the conference attendees, and seemed to pique lots of people’s interest, is a mouse click heatmap from a company called ClickTale. It enables you to see everywhere your visitors click anywhere on the page, whether it’s links, images, text or dead space. You can find the obstructions in your conversion funnels by seeing what images and links aren’t getting enough clicks, and what call to action buttons are being ignored.
“People’s eyes tend to go to photos, not links,” Steele stated. “I see on lots of career sites these stock photos of smiling employees, but when candidates go to click on the images, they’re dead. So take a look at what your candidates are clicking on and make sure that it takes them somewhere of value.”
So what’s next for career sites? Steele cited Pepsico as an example of what he says is the next generation of career sites. It features top level domain support, rich media plug ins, global language support, integrated job searches, job profile marketing, videos, etc.
However, as the above laundry list of suggestions illustrate, there are plenty of smaller, less expensive and more immediate steps you can take to improve your career site.
“Recruiting is a competitive enterprise. Finding better people is the key to winning. By capturing the opportunity of the web, it opens powerful new channels for you to find better talent, and for better talent to find you.”