Navigation is key to a successful Career Site

When building out your Career Site, it’s important to think about how candidates will navigate all the great content that you’ve created.  The strategy of “publish and pray” will do little to inspire candidates to apply to your organization and make the decision that they want to work for your company.

Just like any website, the Career Site can often become an albatross that can become unwieldy and unmanageable.  With much of the thought into information flow and site design going out the window years ago.

So let’s take a step back and evaluate the Career Site, the content that is currently available on it and how we would like candidates consume this information.  In what ways can you set up a navigation structure that improves the candidate experience and makes the Career Site more valuable to candidates?

Here’s a few things to think about as you take stock of your current Career Site navigation:

Process Flows: First and foremost, you need to account for the different process flows that candidates take on your Career Site.  If you have recruitment metrics, you should have a good idea today on how candidates visit and then interact with your Career Site.  Everything from what pages they flow through (and in what order) to what pages they spend the most time on.

Once you understand what candidates are doing on your site, it’s time to evaluate if their behavior is matching your intent on how the information flow should happen.  Is there a killer page that they are not currently visiting?  Are certain pages not converting candidates to apply?  Do candidates drop off at the same few pages?  Once you understand the results, you will be able to look into the causes of why things like above are happening and change your process flow to improve the experience you envision.

A good lesson to live by: if they have to click the back button, you’ve failed.

Landing Pages: While a number of your candidates will come in via your homepage, a good percentage will come in via other landing pages.  This means that you need to be aware of your page templates and include the right navigation properties to provide candidates with the content and information you want them to view.

Recommendation Engine: I assume everyone has used Amazon (or NetFlix) but one of their best features is the “if you liked this, you should check out this” or as I call it a “recommendation engine”.  Your Career Site should perform in the same way.  Whether it’s matching content with other relevant content or enabling candidates to find other relevant jobs to their interests, you should try and create a similar experience to make it easy for candidates to find content that fits them.

Social & Talent Network:  If you have a social recruiting presence, it’s important that you make access to it available on every page of your Career Site.  And the same goes for enabling candidates to opt-in to your Talent Network.  Please do not hide these on your Career Site instead make it a focal point on every page of your site and recruitment marketing strategy.

Job Search:  A standard functionality on all Career Sites, you need to make sure the job search works.  Make sure it’s easy to dive in and out and if you can add a recommendation engine to it.  Also important, ensure that candidates can subscribe to targeted job feeds that can provide them updates for when new jobs that meet their interests / requirements become available.

After Apply:  After candidates apply for a job, you have a tremendous opportunity to point them to the content you want to highlight in the confirmation screen.  Utilize it.  Point them to social profiles, great employer branding videos and other good content that provides candidates with information on the recruiting process and the company.  This should not be treated as a drop-off point.

Style Elements:  For this, just make sure your Career Site looks cleans and doesn’t confuse users on what they need to do next.  One big one to focus on is removing the iFrame on your jobs page.  The iFrame structure is outdated and can make navigation a huge pain for candidates.

Also make sure your branding on the Career Site matches your corporate branding.  You shouldn’t have a huge departure from one to the other to create a seamless experience.

Mobile Optimized: With the influx of web enabled smartphones, web surfing has become easy and the preferred method for many mobile users.  It's now important that your Career Site experience and navigation is seamless from a laptop to all mobile devices including tablets.  (Thanks to Greg Jackson for pointing out that I forgot to include this.)

Career Site navigation is important as this is the place where a majority of the interaction between your organization and the candidate happens.  If a candidate becomes confused or frustrated by not being able to access the right content at the right time, they can have a negative on their experience and lessen their perception of your organization.

Have any thoughts?  Send them to me on Twitter at @smashfly

Views: 285

Comment by Greg Jackson on May 25, 2012 at 7:54am

Chris, As usual, another great post.  The only thing I would add, although likely already implied, is to ensure your career site is mobilized - optimized for access by job seekers via mobile devices.  Keep up the great work.  Greg

Comment by Chris Brablc on May 25, 2012 at 10:39am

Greg - Thanks for the comment and you are absolutely right!  Having a Career Site that is mobile optimized is key in the hyper connected world we live in.

Thanks for pointing out that I didn't include it.  It's in there now!

Comment by Ron Webb on May 25, 2012 at 4:35pm

A good example of what you have written about here can be found at http://teameliteadvantage.com/

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