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Chronicle

The nuts, bolts and woo-hoos of an amazing Career Site experience

Posted: 18 January 2017

The candidate experience has come a long way. We're all steadily leaving behind those cumbersome, off-brand practices and heading towards a time of excellent Employer Branding and all that comes with it. But the battle hasn't been completely won yet. Yes candidate experience as a whole has improved but there's still considerable work to be done when it comes to perfecting its many forms.

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When it comes to candidate experience and Employer Branding there’s one particular tool that needs to be in tip top shape - the Career Site. Luckily, we’re all coming to realise that you can’t just plump for a great brand website and think that your recruitment boxes are all ticked. If you’re looking to attract, engage and hire great talent you need a Career Site, it’s that simple. But with so many options, tools and resources, it can be tough to know exactly what your CS should and can be doing for you. 

What makes a Career Site experience great? Simply having one isn’t enough, today’s candidates demand more than swish graphics and boat loads of tech. Let’s get to grips with the real nuts, bolts and woo hoos of an amazing Career Site experience. 

The pillars and pleasers of a stellar Career Site experience. 

Trends come and go but you can’t replace the good old fashioned principles. That doesn’t mean you roll out a lifeless, brandless Career Site - it means you connect with what matters to your candidates and find new ways to really represent who you are and why they should care. 

  • Focus on their needs. 

Yes your Career Site should serve and represent you but not at the candidate’s expense. Really focusing on their needs and journey is key, and the only way to design a great CS. Before graphics and content even come into the picture you need to do your research. How will candidates access the site? Are you mobile-friendly? What will they want to do? Apply for jobs, find out more about your culture, browse current projects? UX can’t be ignored.

Go through your Career Site as a candidate, what niggles and unnecessary steps are there? Be the candidate and root your CS in their needs, not your own. 

  • Tell a story. 

It can be tempting to direct candidates directly to your company site if they’re after info on what you’re all about. But a Career Site gives you an opportunity to tell your story in a unique way so embrace it. People connect with stories and values so identify what yours are and design with them in mind. Have a close look at your content, this is the cornerstone of your experience. Can you say it better with a video? Would your employees be better at sharing info on culture? Your story is your Employer Brand in action so give it the centre stage. 

  • Stimulate. 

Don’t bog your Career Site down in click-heavy processes and complicated CTAs. Stimulate and excite, get creative and try and nail why people would want to work with you. It’s not just about what you say but how you say it so use this platform to showcase your appeal. Go visual and mix up your content, talk about your culture and give your employees a chance to shine. Yes a Career Site should be a solid practical tool but it needs to wow and woo as well so don’t let the practicality overshadow the personality. 

  • Perfect the process. 

Make the application process easy and simple. Ditch any long-winded forms and make it easy for folks to add details from their social accounts. Be on top of follow ups and replies by having an ATS that works for you and your candidates. Don’t rely solely on tech though, have a human presence on the site. Why not add a Live Chat option where candidates can connect with someone at the company and ask direct Qs to? If you have to make talent jump through hoops, they’ll jump ship. 

  • Give your CS its own identity. 

Your Career Site should look, move and feel like your other branding but it doesn’t need to be a cold clone. Give it a life and character of its own, a place where your bigger Employer Brand can be represented and engaged with. Make sure your signature brand assets feature (logos etc) so it looks and feel like you but add new features and take a more informal, community-centred tone. 

  • Pipeline it up. 

Always add an option to ‘Join your talent network’ or stay updated on opps and news. This gives you a lovely pot of folks to add to your pipeline but it also makes sure your candidates leave the site with a connection. Follow up on these and be sure to engage, rather than just bombard, your candidates with relevant content. 

And there you have it, just a few things that can make your Career Site experience sparkle. Some may be simple but the principles of good practice often get overlooked in favour of trend-driven tools and features. Root your Career Site in you, always tie your recruitment efforts together but don’t be afraid to use your Career Site to push the idea of recruitment. This is your space, your brand. Use it wisely. 

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 24,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox written by me! @markbevans