Seven Steps to Building a Successful Career Website

Your career website presents a gateway to a world of potential candidates. By providing visitors with a complete representation of your company in an interesting and user-friendly format, your site acts as a branding magnet. A successfully implemented career site appeals to more visitors, broadening the possibility for a greater number of applicants from a wider pool of browsers. Your site should maximize a potential candidate’s browsing time, provide them with a way to directly engage and interact with you – and most importantly, present your company's merits and the benefits it can provide for their professional careers.  

A good career site needs to accomplish two main tasks: maintain a high volume of visitors, and then increase the conversion ratio between the number of visitors and actual applicants.

There are seven essential elements that your website must have.

1.      Updated Job List 

We can't stress enough how important it is to update the job list as soon as a position is filled. Many companies leave old positions posted on their websites for months, without bothering to remove them. This only confuses potential applicants, because they do not know which are the relevant positions. Applicants are valuable – top talent even more so. If you establish a pattern of not updating the list, you devalue the function of your site, and there is less of a chance that you will receive applications for other positions.

If the job is taking a long time to fill, update the post date so that applicants understand that it is still available.

2.      Simple Search Engine

On that note, the internal search engine by which visitors browse open positions should be easy to use and all-inclusive. Enabling visitors to search by geographic location, job category or a simple keyword increases the possibility of drawing more qualified visitors who may otherwise have been turned off by a wordy and convoluted process. If you are racing against the clock to fill certain positions, consider posting them on your site's homepage next to the search engine box in a 'Hot Jobs' list – this will attract immediate attention, both to the critical openings and to the search box.

3.      Easy Application Process

In order to appeal to more top talent, the applicant procedure needs to be a simple, no-frills affair. No one wants to have to muddle through multiple webpages just to submit their resume, especially not passive candidates who are not on the job war path and who are less motivated to jump through hoops just to apply. Providing applicants with a one-step process means that you will receive more resumes, resulting in a better talent pool for you to sift through.

4.      Clear Candidate Value Proposition (CVP) and Employer Branding Message

Your career website is sometimes a visitor's first encounter with the employment opportunities at your company. It is therefore imperative that the site represents a complete array of employer branding content. You want to use this chance to emphasize your candidate value proposition, and make it clear how your company can advance their employees’ professional careers.

The most effective way to utilize employer branding is by using your employees as positive representations of your workforce. As everyday witnesses to your company's corporate culture, your workers are an objective and honest source. Methods include posting interesting videos of employees explaining the professional achievements they are able to reach at your company, write-ups of particularly impressive success stories and an employee blog.

At the end of the day, you want visitors to gain a precise understanding of what your company is all about and why they should want to work for you. Apart from providing descriptions of the employer benefits, make it clear to potential candidates that you want them. Every webpage, link and video clip should personify your genuine desire to guide your audience through the recruiting process.

 5.      Touch Points

Along with highlighting your CVP, you need to make sure that potential candidates can easily interact with representatives from your company. Include contact details of your company's recruiting team with their direct phone numbers and links to their e-mail, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles. This tactic may work best when trying to appeal to passive candidates – since they are not actively looking for work and can be more picky, they may first want to contact the recruiting team to ask questions about the company and the position before they actually apply.

6.      Talent Community

Only 1 out of every 8 visitors actually submits resumes through career websites. And this isn't necessarily preventable – the fact is that not everyone who enters your site is actively looking for a job. Indeed, it can be assumed that the top talent is already employed in comfortable positions. While the employment branding and CVP tactics serve to attract these visitors, you should be proactive in creating a database of this prospective candidate pool. Providing those interested-but-not-ready-to-apply individuals with the option to register for your talent community ensures that your company has aprepared list of qualified candidates. You can then source for future positions within this already-compiled database, as well as keep the candidates in the loop about the latest goings-on at your company.

7.      Visual Presentation

It’s equally important that your website has an inviting and cutting-edge visual layout which emphasizes the most important sections of the site. Face it - a boring black and white website that reads like a college thesis won’t draw in an audience. Understanding the basic psychology of what makes people naturally gravitate towards something is key. Collaborate with your website designer to create the perfect graphic layout for your needs.

In conclusion, these seven components can help you take charge of your career website, increase visitor traffic, represent your branding message, and motivate more top talent to submit their resumes. Think of it as your sourcing storefront, where you have an opportunity to directly connect with potential candidates.

Have you had success with other career site features? We’d love to hear your suggestions!

Views: 492

Comment by Alasdair Murray on March 21, 2012 at 3:36pm

"Collaborate with your website designer to create the perfect graphic layout for your needs" - no mention of the importance of getting the overall message right? Good quality copy throughout is key. Pretty designs alone are not enough. In an ideal world, you crack the message first then worry about the design

Comment by Assaf Eisenstein on March 25, 2012 at 3:35am

Hi Alasdair,

Thanks for your commment. You're absolutely correct - and a definitive, clear CVP and employer branding message (#4) are also fundemental aspects of the site. 




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