3 Mistakes That Could Make Your Jobs Page Look Like The D.M.V.

I look at a lot of jobs/careers pages.

So you can imagine my surprise when I was perusing the “Jobs” pages of the  Forbes Magazine Most Innovative Companies In The World —  and found that many of them are sub-standard.

In particular, some of these innovative companies have jobs pages that remind me of the experience I have when I visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) — like unnecessary questions/forms and waiting.

I don’t mean to pick on these Innovative Companies — many other employers make similar mistakes with their jobs pages — but I thought I’d use a few of these innovative companies and my view of their jobs pages as an opportunity to point out some mistakes we all should make sure to avoid.

Afterall, most employers won’t have “The Most Innovative” bragging rights to leverage for their recruiting.

Ok, here are 3 mistakes  I found some of the top most innovative companies made on their jobs page:

1) Don’t Make the First Thing You Ask for Trivial

The first field of information you ask a candidate should be critical to the job. Too many jobs/careers pages (like the one below from Intuitive Surgical (the #3 most innovative company) ask for a job or “REQ” number first — that doesn’t serve any candidate I can think of.

Most quality candidates do not know the "Job Number" so why make it the first field you ask for?

Most quality candidates do not know the “Job Number” so why make it the first field you ask for?

Make it easy on the candidate — start off by asking them for a relevant piece of information like keyword, skill or location (as part of a simple search for their job).

2) Don’t Push Candidates to Register

Some sites (like Apple (the #5 most innovative company) ask candidates to register before they can submit their resume.

Do you really want to ask a candidate to jump through the hoop of registering for your Web site in order to apply?

Do you really want to ask a candidate to jump through the hoop of registering for your Web site in order to apply?

What is the bare minimum information you the recruiter need from an interested candidate? You probably want their name, resume and contact information, right?

What’s super-strange about Apple’s approach is that they are asking candidates to make the same registration as they ask Apple product users to make (to get into iTunes and their Mac).

3) Don’t Ignore Design

A candidate interested in working for your company will likely value your careers/jobs page as much as your home page or any advertisement of your company they see.

So the design of your jobs/careers page should be given the same level of quality as your other key pages/collateral.

The jobs listed by Bharat (the #9 most innovative company in the world) below, for example, ignore some basic rules of design.

The design of your jobs/careers section should be clean and simple.

The design of your jobs/careers section should be clean and simple.

There are 4 simple principles of design that recruiters (and all business folks) should have a basic understanding of:

  1. Contrast
  2. Repetition/Consistency
  3. Alignment
  4. Proximity 

Check out this explanation of the C.R.A.P principles of design for a primer on this.

The jobs page above makes it hard on the reader/candidate to see the actual jobs (the items listed below “Current Notifications”). For example, the contrast of the job titles versus the details versus the way to apply are all given the same font/size/weight, etc.

If you can avoid these types of mistakes, you’ll improve your candidate’s experience and employer brand — especially important if you haven’t yet made your way onto the Most Innovative list.

Rob Kelly is a 4-time CEO, advisor and writer. He currently leads Ongig.com in its mission to make job ads visual, social and interactive. Before that, he helped lead Hot Topic Media (dating advice), Mojam (live music) and Topica (email marketing). Previously, Rob was a journalist at CMP Media where he interviewed such masters of their domains as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Julia Childs. Rob began his love of business early, attending his first shareholder/board meeting when he was 16 years old. Rob is the author of An Enlightened Entrepreneur: 57 Meditations On Kicking @$$ In Business & Life.

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