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How to Optimize your Career Site into a Hiring Machine

Ioan Profiroiu


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Contrary to popular belief, digital transformation is less about technology and more about people and the adoption of smart, tech layers of intelligence that complement their work. When building talent acquisition processes, putting candidates first is the biggest competitive advantage you can get. And by putting them first, we should analyze the entire mechanism of candidate experience and user flows in order to design an engaging and desirable process that improves the huge current drop-off rates. 


Unfortunately, only a very few companies are paying attention to the first digital impression: their own career sites. A scary report tells us that around 75% of the candidates abandon the application process because it takes too long or it's overly complicated. Remember that we are referring mostly to candidates that we pay for through several sourcing channels or direct sourcing done by recruiters. 


Getting the best candidates interested in opportunities is just half of the battle; keeping them engaged is the other half - this is where a lot of companies fail. To excel at attracting and retaining critical talent, HR leaders must improve what we call candidate experience.


So, let’s start by analyzing what makes a great career site and what doesn’t. First of all, career sites are no longer just static pages with nothing but a list of jobs and some informative content. Your career site should act as your talent acquisition hub for attracting, engaging, up-skilling, and hiring talent for your employment opportunities. Here are some easy-to-implement steps:


Mobile Friendliness


Your career site must be optimized for the mobile, imagine that more than 60% of the internet traffic happens from mobile devices, which makes it critical for your career site to be mobile-friendly. A Jobvite study found that about 33% of millennials want to be able to apply for jobs right from their phones. Here is some food for thought regarding mobile friendliness: 

  • Make Your Website Responsive
  • Make Information People Look for Easier to Find
  • Ditch Text-Blocking Ads and Pop-ups
  • Make Website Speed a Priority
  • Keep Your Web Design Simple
  • Make Your Button Sizes Large Enough to Work on Mobile
  • Use Large Font Sizes
  • Don't Use Flash
  • Include viewport metatag
  • Regularly perform mobile testing


Company Culture & Values  


Jobseekers, and especially millennials, are looking for an inside scoop to see what it is like to work for a company. Real videos and photos provide a glimpse of your company culture. You can portray the general atmosphere through a video, but can also as content - share your company culture and values and the way you’re successfully implementing them in a tangible, visible, and meaningful way. 

Having a company culture is not about posting a standard mission-vision section on your website. It’s about the characteristics that are fundamental about your company - what preoccupies you, who are your people and their values, what you all believe in, and - most importantly perhaps, how are all these things shown through what you do every day?


FAQ Section


FAQs help you address some of the most common questions your recruiters are receiving. An FAQ on your career site will save recruiters’ time from answering too many of the same questions by displaying them all on your career site. 

Bonus - FAQs are a great way to get the conversation started and to optimize your interaction with potentially interesting talent. Make sure to be transparent, honest and to structure the information in a skimming-friendly manner. 


Flawless Application Process 


Unfortunately, here we have a big issue that causes a lot of candidates to drop off due to the long process. A lot of the ATS solutions offer career site deployments with old and incoherent interfaces that require a lot of fields to complete. Such poor experience for candidates from the beginning of the recruitment process can lead to a huge abandonment rate. 

We have devoted ourselves to providing our partners with the fastest application process by using a one-way authentication, allowing users just to drop their email addresses and check the terms and conditions to create an account. For effortless profile completion, candidates just import their CV where the parsing technology takes over, extracting all the data and mapping it on a standardized profile. This allows candidates to apply in less than 30 seconds, which greatly optimizes the drop-off rates.


Process Advancement 


The entire recruitment process is full of lag due to the lack of digitalization. For example, in most cases, candidates apply and wait until some recruiter provides them with the next steps. 

There are a lot of experts and senior talent who simply want to prove their skills and talk directly to the hiring managers because they tend to speak the same language. In order to not lose such valuable candidates, it’s important to have pre-assessments that candidates can pursue in order to advance in the process. For hiring teams, such systems prove worthy as they save a lot of their time by pre-qualifying candidates (reducing the ratio of nonoptimal interviews) and moving steps from the interview in a digital and automated way through multiple assessment formats.


Learning Materials Through Accessible Open Courses 


The talent shortage is one critical issue that most employers are facing and should do something about it in order to decrease its magnitude. Probably one of the most disruptive candidate experiences is when the company also offers learning materials and courses in order to help candidates become more employable. 

Companies should also use their career sites to upload open courses towards their most desired roles or skills. This leads to building sustainable upskilled pipelines and allowing companies to finally hire for demonstrated potential and eagerness to learn, while it gives all candidates equal chances to access any career they aspire to.


EVP - Create Or Define Your Employee Value Proposition 


In the current market, in most industries, it’s not enough to have a good offer. In order to overcome talent shortage, you have to position yourself as a remarkable employer. One proven way to do this is by taking the time to understand what it is that keeps your current employees motivated and engaged. 

Oftentimes, taking a good look inside the company, you can identify what it is that you’re doing really well and that sets you apart from the market category you belong to. It can be anything from transparent career paths to people-centric teams, you just have to assess it correctly in order to create realistic expectations and deliver once you’ve finished the recruitment process. This way, you can also improve attrition by making sure that your most qualified talent stays with the company. 

Additionally, you can also reverse this process by taking an anonymous internal survey about what it is that people think you should change when it comes to the company management - make sure your employees understand the assignment. Present it to them as the best ratio between effort and result when it comes to the things that matter most to them. 


Reward-Based Referral System


Allowing candidates to make referrals is a great way to expand your referral strategy, but it seldom generates referrals as candidates have nothing to gain out of referring their friends. In order to skyrocket your referral strategy, we’ve built a shop system within our partners’ career sites allowing companies to reward candidates or employees with gifts and experiences based on the number of relevant referrals brought that pursued the talent process.

Referrals are a highly valuable way of generating the basis of a solid candidate pipeline, especially if you’re happy with your existing employees. However, ’what’s in it for me’ is their first question, and you should make it obvious that there are substantial benefits associated with it. Especially since most of the people your colleagues will refer are generally proven to be qualitative, as it’s in our nature to hang out and to create a social life that’s similar to our interests, preoccupations, intelligence, and skills levels.  


State Your Perks And Benefits 


Perks and salary are still one of the top 5 information types the candidates look for. This indicates that you undoubtedly have to show off what kind of benefits your company is offering and what is your competitive edge compared to other companies. 

Bonus - if you operate in an industry where everybody offers different perks, make sure yours stand out. For instance, if you’ve got a very open WFH policy, don’t announce it as your main perk. The decision to work from the office or from anywhere else (when possible) should always belong to the employee. The fact that we’ve democratized it in the past two years makes it even more common, so do make sure to highlight the benefits that other companies may not be offered at first.


Testimonials from employees


Your career site is the place where you sell your job opportunities to potential candidates, so your candidates need social proof through your employees’ testimonials. Talent reads around 7 company reviews on average when considering applying for a job. 

If you’re already on Glassdoor, take your best testimonials and add them to your page. If you don’t have any employee reviews yet, email your staff requesting them to share their feedback on working with you. Don’t forget to fill in the best and most relevant reviews on your career pages.


SEO Friendly Content


If you’re new to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and you’re looking to learn more about the subject, we recommend reading Britney Muller’s recently updated article about SEO for beginners.

SEO is not a simple task, it’s an entire process that implies multiple strategies, both technical and content-driven - from finding the terms and phrases (keywords) that can generate qualified traffic to your career site to making your site friendly to search engines, to building links and marketing the unique value of your website. 

Regardless of how complex it seems to be, you should start by clearly structuring the career site in sitemaps, and understand the flow of candidates from the moment they land on the career site homepage to the moment they apply. Also, the art of organizing a site structure is also influenced by keyword targeting and research. Here is a great article to dive deeper into SEO recruitment.


The Bottom Line: 


Use these practices to transform your career site into a digital playground that can attract, engage, and hire top candidates, while saving precious time from the recruiters’ operational effort. 

We are aware that a lot of the strategies recommended above might take time and development effort, that’s why we at Jobful devoted ourselves to help more companies transform their career sites into conversion & hiring machines. If you’re interested in upgrading your current career site with any of the points stated above, feel free to contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to review your current website and generate sustainable solutions. 


Build a candidate smart experience

Transform your career platform into a digital playground that engages, up-skills, and qualifies your future workforce.


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