Work in Progress

Candidates Hate Your Lame Careers Site

Candidates can smell a phony company story a mile away. Have you reconsidered and revamped your career site?

Remember when all you needed to recruit effectively was a basic careers site that had a link to your applicant tracking system and a PDF of the overly aspirational company values designed by your founder that everyone you worked with loved to snicker at?

Bonus points if you had stock photos on that career site of a group of seven people (it’s a stock photo), all with perfect teeth and representing just the right amount of diversity as a group.

Remember those days? Me too.

The proliferation of transparency brought on by social media and workplace-centric solutions like Glassdoor means that candidates can smell a phony company story a mile away.

That means if you’ve still got the stock photos and old company values up, as well as offering visitors to your careers site nothing but a listing of jobs, you’re in trouble.

That’s why an emerging talent trend in 2017 is recruitment marketing, loosely defined as a collection of services and products designed to help you put your company’s best foot forward to candidates who might want to work for you.

Revamp your image using some of the tools in the emerging recruitment marketing suite and candidates will consider your company’s story as more real/authentic/desirable, which translates to increased candidate engagement as well as better conversion in the classic apply/interview/hire recruiting funnel.

If you’re new to the recruitment marketing game, here are the things you need to think about to upgrade your careers brand and keep up with the times.

Employer value proposition: You’ve probably got company values, right? Not enough these days. Candidates increasingly want to know “what’s in it for me” (the WIIFM) to work at your company. If you do EVP right, you’ll end up with three to five themes that answer the WIIFM question for your company, which provides structure and direction for where you go with your careers site. You get extra credit if at least one of the themes is borderline negative, because candidates love it when you can be self-reflective.

Career site upgrade: Your careers site probably sucks. To remodel, think about wrapping your open jobs with stories and real images from inside your company with laser focus. That focus should be on the aforementioned EVP themes as well as content focused on delivering candidates to your most difficult-to-fill jobs. HR and talent acquisition pros routinely struggle with this advice, but it’s critical that you become selfish related to the space on your careers site — it’s not HR, it’s marketing. The space and focus is reserved for your recruiting goals, which starts with the hard, not easy-to-fill positions.

business diversity

Your careers site probably sucks. Wrap your open jobs with stories and real images… not stock photos.

Content is king: The best careers-site strategies deploy a frequently recurring content strategy, meaning you must post a new piece of content at least once a week. That means you should have someone on your team that can interview and write quick-hitting features or find a partner who can. This seems like overkill to some, but stay with me because the careers site is simply where the focused content is stored.

Careers social strategy: Once you’ve got a refreshed careers site, it’s time to start thinking social. Many employers make the mistake of simply posting open jobs to social accounts, but that’s not enough. A real careers social strategy emphasizes audience building (gaining followers) and uses the growing social presence to share the fresh content with the world. An important consideration is whether to use the existing corporate social accounts or build stand-alone, careers-focused accounts.

Talent tools, email campaigns and marketing chops: Any deep recruitment marketing project undertaken by HR or recruiting is going to morph into things that look like pure marketing. Talent pools, regardless of how they’re captured, are nothing but focused “opt-ins” to give you the ability to communicate with potential future hires moving forward. Remember that focused content I talked about earlier? We’re doing that content not only to beef up the careers site and have something to share via social, but also to run email marketing campaigns with relevant content. A good email marketing campaign to a talent pool can have an open rate above 50 percent — something your marketing director would trip her grandmother for.

The simple plan of building a better careers site with content that cuts through the clutter, then sharing that content in a systematic way via social and traditional marketing techniques is at the core of any successful recruitment marketing strategy.

Do these things well and the candidates will reward you. Ignore the advice and they’ll laugh at your online recruiting brand as they close the window in their browser, never to return.

Kris Dunn, the chief human resources officer at Kinetix, is a Workforce contributing editor. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com. Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

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