5 Things You’re Doing Wrong With Your Career Site

As complicated as the Internet is these days—and as intimidating as technology can be—the truth is that you can’t afford to ignore it. There will always be something newer, bigger and better coming along, and if you don’t keep moving with the tide, you’ll be pummeled by it. Of course, sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. I like to start with the “30,000-foot view” and work my way down, which is why I love this diagram:

I tend to think in terms of lists, and grouping my lists into bigger buckets helps me focus my energy in one area at a time so I don’t feel overwhelmed. This model can help you see how the pieces of your recruitment marketing efforts fit together, and how to adjust your planning and resources accordingly.

I could probably talk for hours about each of these three phases and how they impact the candidate experience, but for now, I am going stick to the middle step: your career site. So, what is wrong with it, you ask? Let’s talk.

1. You don’t have a career site.

I hear the same few excuses over and over for why people don’t think they need a career site, but you’re doing your company an injustice by not having one. Even in those cases where a separate career site is not a must, you still need to create a “space” where your recruitment message can live and breathe. We expand on this a little more in our post, Do You Really Need a Career Website?. But here’s the bottom line: you already know how a focused web presence can help sell goods or services and drive the success of your company. If a strong workforce matters to you, make the web a key part of your recruiting strategy, too.

2. You think your career site is fine, as-is.

Maybe you already have a career site, or a small career section on your commerce site. Perhaps it is pretty bare bones and you think that’s all you need. Or maybe you just spent $200,000 on a new design for your career site and you think you are good to go for the next three to five years. The truth is, there is always room for improvement—always.

This is a very good opportunity for some user testing or analytics to come into play.

User testing
I am not a fan of asking my “neighbor’s husband’s boss” for their opinion, but sometimes asking for comments from someone who is removed from the project can be the best and most cost-effective user testing.

Don’t simply ask for their opinion, though. Usually they will either pick your site apart with feedback that is neither accurate nor helpful, or they will say it is great, when in reality it isn’t. Instead, drop them in front of a computer with your career site pulled up in the browser, and ask them to do some simple tasks, such as:

  • Can you tell me what is important to our company, as an employer?
  • What do you think it is like to work here?
  • Does this look like a company you would like to work for?
  • Where would you go to find open positions?
  • Find a job in this state for this particular position.
  • Complete an application and rate your experience.

Be sure to document everything you hear and take it into consideration as you plan adjustments and updates to your website. Repeat this process on a regular basis and keep asking new people to participate.

Numbers don’t lie. Pull the analytics for your site and determine what seems to be working and what doesn’t, then make some slight adjustments accordingly. I say “slight” because when you make minor changes you can correlate them with resulting changes in your numbers. But if you start going crazy with big changes or several adjustments at once, you may not know what succeeded and what failed. Keep track of the changes you make and when you make them, and be sure to document your baseline analytic readings before you begin.

3. Your career site is not mobile-optimized.

Who doesn’t have a cell phone or mobile device these days? Most likely your candidates do. In fact, 45% of job seekers say they use their mobile device specifically to search for jobs at least once a day. And 72% use social connections to find jobs and visit career sites.

Those are some scary numbers if your career site is not mobile-optimized—and that’s just the beginning. Many search engine algorithms now favor mobile-optimized websites over those that are not, putting your hard-earned rankings at risk. And once a candidate drills down far enough to find your site, what kind of impression are you making? One survey found that 65% of workers who search for jobs via mobile devices will leave a website if it is not mobile-optimized. 40% walk away with a more negative opinion of your company.

4. You’re using your consumer brand instead of your employer brand.

Your consumer audience is not the same as your recruiting audience. Sometimes the consumer brand is a factor in attracting people to your workforce, but usually not. You need a separate message that tells people why they should work for you, not why they should buy from you.

How do you create a workforce-specific message that doesn’t conflict with your branding guidelines and marketing efforts? You build an employee value proposition that fits within your brand standards and accurately reflects your company’s culture. You know this strategy works for your products and services, so use it to market your company, too!

5. You’re not depicting your company’s culture.

In the days before I joined a team devoted to employer branding, I never thought much about the importance of a company’s culture. I sometimes asked myself, “do I like who I am working for?” or “can I see myself working here for a long time?” What I didn’t realize was how much the answers to those questions depend upon a company’s culture.

Not everyone is meant to work for your company, even if they seem qualified on paper. And though some can get the job done, will they truly succeed or see themselves staying at your company for years to come? By clearly communicating your company’s culture on your career site, you resolve so many things at once:

  • Candidates can self-select in or out of your company, which saves time for both you and the candidate.
  • You attract candidates to your company for all the right reasons.
  • Because the candidate is a good fit, they are already set up for success the moment they start onboarding.
  • You end up with a high-quality candidate that is the right fit for your company.

I said before that numbers don’t lie, so I’m going to finish talking about culture with a couple of statistics that really drive home the point. According to IBM Smarter Workforce Research Institute – 2014 WorkTrends ™ Data:

  • 61% of U.S. workers say fit with organizational culture was very important in attracting them to their job.
  • But only 26% of HR and hiring managers say they assess culture fit.

If you don’t have a well-articulated corporate culture message, it’s time to get one . And if you do have one, you deserve a great career site to tell the story. Get started today—you’ll be glad you did!

Learn how we can help reveal your authentic culture and connect with candidates through your career site.