Why a Good Career Site is Important and What Makes One Great

If your career site is tacked on to your company website as an afterthought, or if it looks like you designed it in 2000 and never revisited it, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to sell your company to potential candidates. The Talent Board’s 2015 Candidate Experience Research found that 64% of candidates consider career sites the most valuable resource when researching new opportunities. Further, according to Bersin by Deloitte’s 2015 Talent Acquisition Factbook, company career sites drive more hires than any other source.

Career Site OptimizationHow your career site presents your company to candidates matters. It can mean the difference between sparking the interest of a potential future great hire or being written off. “Your business website is the face of your company” says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, President of Human Resource Solutions. “Now is the time to refresh your look to maximize the efforts you are putting into your recruitment process.”

Your career site should be designed to have a lot of impact in a short amount of time. "Our research shows that the average candidate will spend less than 60 seconds on a career site before deciding if they want to pursue a job with that company, so it’s important that a career site be strategic and impactful," says Jason Berkowitz, vice president of client services at Seven Step RPO. To engage potential candidates quickly, make sure your career site is great.

What Makes a Career Site Great

1. It’s SEO-friendly.

Your career site should be littered with keywords. Make sure that you don’t go overboard and that the keyword use feels organic, but remember that a potential candidate must first find your career site before s/he can be wowed by it.

Nick Leigh-Morgan, CEO and founder of iKrut, also recommends taking advantage of your open jobs list to give your site a SEO boost. Each open job in the list should be linked to a separate page, where the job title is included in the URL. This makes it easy for search engines to index that job posting.

Similarly, stick to transparent job titles. It’s fun to assign creative titles, like Queen of Smiles or Head Happiness Agent, but search engines won’t know that you’re referring to a human resources manager position. Don’t sacrifice SEO, and therewith the likelihood of being found, for an opportunity to show off a fun company culture. Don’t worry, there are other, better ways to show off your company’s culture (starting with #3.)

2. It’s mobile-optimized.

Mobile Career SitesOne of the main things to consider is that almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays” says David Goldin, CEO of Capify. “Is your site mobile-friendly? If not, you've already lost a lot of candidates." He’s right.

According to research by iCIMS, 70% of people have used their smartphone to search for jobs and 65% of job searchers using mobile devices will leave a company’s site if it isn’t mobile-optimized. Of those 65% who leave, 40% view companies more negatively when their career sites aren’t mobile optimized. Don’t put off great candidates - mobile optimize your career page.

If you need another reason to get with the times, Google punishes websites that aren’t mobile-optimized. On April 21, 2015 Google changed its algorithm so that mobile-friendly sites rank higher in the results of mobile searches. With 70% of people doing at least part of their job search online, you want your site to be findable.

For an example of great mobile career site, check out Marriott International. Marriott International’s career site is streamlined so that it’s small screen-friendly, but still shares the information that candidates need to know.

3. It uses high quality, original photos.

Photos humanize your brand by showing candidates a bit of your company and some of the people who may be their future colleagues. Of course, this only works if the photos are actually of your company’s current employees "We always recommend our clients use photographs of real employees on their career site instead of using stock photography” says Berkowitz. “It's easy for a candidate to tell one from the other and real employees are much more authentic than stock photos.”

Hire a professional photography to come to your office and take photos of your employees at work. In addition to happy, engaged employees, the photos should ideally show a bit of your office space and your employees’ work spaces. Photos from team outings, lunches, and volunteer days help paint a more complete picture of your company.

4. It uses high quality, engaging videos.

Ideally, your career site should feature a few high quality videos, as well. You can feature employees working, employees enjoying company outings together, or employees talking about their jobs and why they love working at your company. Videos are the best low-contact way to give potential candidates an inside look at your company and a feel for your company culture.

Keep videos short, engaging, and true to your company. For examples of great career site videos, check out Apple and Lyft.

5. It sells your company.

Recruiting is like dating. If you want to be successful, you must remember that you’re being screened for fit just as much you are screening the candidate for fit. Don’t make them guess why they might want to work for you. Tell them!

Deloitte’s career site is a great example. The site includes the top 10 reasons to join the firm, listing detailed benefits, work/life balance, perks, and opportunities for advancement.

6. It doesn’t confuse perks with benefits.

You should absolutely list your company’s perks, whether that’s free meals on the job or customizable work stations. But don’t forget that perks and benefits are not the same thing and that candidates, who are trying to form a complete picture of working for your company, will want to know both.

"By all means, emphasize your perks -- if you have free food, foosball tables, flexible work arrangements, casual dress -- but make sure that's not the only thing you say about your culture and your purpose” says Sarah Nahm, CEO of Lever. “If you value a flat organization, if you believe in letting employees set their own hours or book their own travel and expenses, that says a lot about trust and independence." Don’t just tell potential candidates what you will give them, tell them how you will treat them.

Enjoyed this? Read the full article on the Happie blog for the other five tips!

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