Four essentials for a world class career site
Building a career site that provides a world class candidate experience is about more than just technology. With these four pillars in place, you can create a site that brings your employer brand story to life using compelling content to convey purpose and meaning…
Sometimes, when starting a career site build project, either from scratch or as a rebuild of an existing site, we find that clients are, at least initially, somewhat vague about what they want the new site to achieve.
Usually, they will say they want more traffic, or a better content management system. But how much more traffic? And what does ‘better’ look like for your CMS (Content Management System)?
‘A faster site’ is another common request. But, again, specifics are important. We say the target for Page Loading Times should be no more than 3.8 seconds, but our career sites can give you load times of 1.2 seconds if you optimise the page correctly.
It matters, because if your pages do take longer than 3.8 seconds, it sends a signal back to Google and it can start to de-rank them because of poor Page Experience.
All of it counts because if you know precisely where you are going you are not going to end up getting lost. So, the first thing that needs to be agreed upon and the first pillar that must be in place to achieve any meaningful success with the site is the Objectives. When you agree on the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) required to classify the project as successful, then it becomes easier to focus on getting to that destination.
When we undertake to build a project, the first thing we do is create a document which we call ‘We Believe’ which asks the fundamental question - what does success look like? It is where we create not just a blueprint for the site, but an overall vision, if you will.
What do you envisage this technology enabling your team to achieve? Is it simply to display jobs? Or does it entail managing content within the platform?
Once we have agreed the objectives, we then set benchmarks. Comparing your current benchmarks with your new goals encourages continuous improvement in the quality of your branding, marketing, and messaging.
Another essential pillar.
Not every client has in place an established employer brand identity, which is not ideal when trying to map personas – the fictional candidates that might use your career website so we can map out a user journey.
You might have candidates in sales, development, or design, and they might each have different wants and needs. So, you must think about how the content and the experience of the career site can meet those unique needs, while also incorporating the employer brand messaging architecture, understanding the EVP (Employee Value Proposition) and so on.
Your employer identity. Now’s the time to re-evaluate your employee value proposition. Is it as strong as it could be? Does it truly reflect what it is like to work at your organization? Also, what key messages do you hope to convey to talent — both external and internal?
Using content and original imagery your careers site should accurately convey that employer brand, its authenticity, and the reality of the workplace experience through storytelling.
If you want to attract a more diverse workforce, for example, your imagery and video content should reflect that in an authentic and realistic manner. An audit of your content and imagery will show you whether you are truly reflecting the employer brand and what needs to change to meet the objectives that have been set out.
Technology is the enabler that will bring your talent attraction programme to life. What are the tools needed to complete the job? For example, what ATS (Applicant Tracking System) are we integrating? Are there any third-party products that we need to consider if it is a specialist sector like veterinary, medical, or military, like chat bots and so on?
Bringing these four elements together – Objectives, Personas, Brand, and Technical – creates a solid foundation to create a careers website that provides a world class candidate experience, from beginning to end.