A long time ago in a job market far, far away, the candidate pool was plentiful, job seekers eagerly awaited the calls of search professionals, and there was greater balance in the universe. Fast forward to today’s war for talent and you will find many disciplines suffering massive global shortfalls of qualified professionals. Information security is one extreme example of the talent imbalance that exists in today’s marketplace. This specific skillset is expected to experience a global shortfall of approximately two million professionals by 2019 (UK House of Lords Digital Skills Committee).
What does that have to do with your careers site? Many employers are not reaping the benefits of this prime storytelling medium (their careers site). Some may integrate an applicant tracking system (ATS), post some generic copy, stock photos, and call it a day. The problem with this approach is what should be a powerful branding tool has left no impression on the job seeker. With no distinct visual identification, candidates will struggle to recall what generic stock photo they were looking at. There was an opportunity to impact every stage in the recruitment funnel, however this opportunity was sadly missed.
A great test to see if your site has limited distinctiveness, thus poor brand recall, is swapping out your logo for a competitor. Could you interchange logos with ease? If so, your site lacks personality and an identity of its own.
“Always pass on what you have learned” Yoda. Below you will find 10 tips for an EPIC careers site:
- Know your “why”– I often say, the foundation of your Employer Brand is your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Your career site is simply the paper (or kindle) to your Employer Brand story. (you can read more about this mindset here). If you don’t know your “why” and have carved out a comprehensive Employer Brand strategy, then you are missing critical foundational elements that yield trust, as well as an almost instant storyboard and natural flow of your site design.
- Lose the corporate speak– Do you sound like a corporate drone? If candidates wanted an executive summary, they would read your annual report or check out a press release. It’s time to speak “human”. The degree to which you “humanize” your careers site copy will depend on your industry and brand personality. Regardless of sector, the tone needs to be people centric.
- Be memorable and show personality- “In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible” – Seth Godin. Many organizations stay in a more neutral position for fear of making waves. Bold positioning does not necessarily mean being controversial. What it does mean is that you are more likely to have your message truly resonate with your target audience and push them further down the recruitment funnel. Take a stand, have a voice, wackiness and all. Show what makes you…you.
- No stock images– Since we are being so authentic, let’s use images of your actual employees. Not models or stock images that are as artificial as the tooth fairy (don’t tell my kids). There is a time and a place for stock photography. A careers site is not it. This is a human experience. Show your humans.
- Ensure responsive design– Did you know that 50% of smartphone job seekers completed their application on their phone? If you are not building responsive design into your plan, you are being short-sighted as this number will only increase.
- Consider single page scrolling vs a multipage environment– Single page career sites are great for storytelling and sharing the visual narrative. 37Signals found that a single page design led to 37.5% higher conversions. Applying the same logic to application conversions, one could argue the simplicity and “one stop shop” for candidates can translate into more submissions.
- UX leads to amazing CX– While that sentence almost sounds dirty, we are talking about candidate experience. A great candidate experience begins with a well-designed user experience, as the career site is a material stop on the candidate journey. Having a user centric approach to the design will help you to delight your user and continue the momentum as the candidate journey advances.
- Add a blog- Blogs are a great way to humanize the careers site if the content is employee generated. Blogs not only foster employee advocacy but also help from an SEO perspective. Each back end optimized blog post with keywords, tags, etc. amps up your SEO juice helping the site rank higher in searches.
- Integrate an Instagram feed– This adds instant humanization and spirit to your site. Integrating visual social feeds like Instagram provide you with instant and timely photos documenting the employee experience. They quickly build the “know, like, and trust” and it helps keep visual content current.
- Power to the people– Have your employees help with content contribution. Employee testimonials are powerful storytelling tools. Keep the quotes short (use long form content in blogs). Ask employees to share their favourite part of working for your company or a fun fact about their team. You will get a mixed bag of responses ranging from professional growth to a little-known competition for an ugly frog trophy. Share the spirit of the company, the rituals, and the wackiness. Place the content on a rotating testimonial carousel for added visual interest.
There are TALENT WARS out there. Your careers site can be your lightsaber, your most powerful and trusted tool.
Need help designing an EPIC career site? Let us be your Yoda. Hit us up at Powerhouse Talent Inc. www.powerhousetalent.ca
May the force be with you…