How is Your Career Site Doing?

As you look to grow, nurture and maintain your organization’s career site, the following are examples of some of the more essential questions that are important to understand in this area, from a marketing perspective:

  • Is your career site updated on a regular basis?
  • If so, how often is content refreshed, to what level, and under what circumstances?
  • Who’s the person or team responsible for keeping your career portal updated?
  • What is the approval process?
  • Does this person or team understand and embrace your employer branding objectives?
  • Is your career site’s messaging to potential applicants and candidates part of an overall employer branding strategy or messaging framework?
  • How is your EVP (Employee Value Proposition) articulated and illustrated on the site to potential applicants and site visitors?
  • How engaging is your site’s content and features to your target market candidates?
  • How easy is it for candidates to search and apply for a position?
  • If you have many locations in various geographies for positions – does your site provide users an interactive map that makes searching for positions by location easy for the user?
  • Is your employer branding communicated at all points on the career portal as well as throughout the application process?
  • Does your site adequately communicate and provide relevant information (and links) to existing employees?
  • Is your ERP (Employee Referral Program) or access to it communicated to existing employees?
  • Does your site contain employee testimonials as well as any Realistic Job Preview videos (RJPs)?
  • If your organization has won any “Best Company to Work For” awards, are they prominently illustrated (with their logo or endorsement)?
  • Have you actually searched for jobs, registered and signed-on as a prospective candidate, as well as going through the entire online applicant process and experience?

Simple, But Important

This last question area (listed above) can be one of the simplest but most important checks to make with your career site. It reminds me of a talent acquisition engagement we had with one of the country’s largest retailers. When we did a UX (user experience) analysis of the company’s career site for part-time store-level positions, we found out that their online process was very problematic.

It took us, on average, over 4 hours to complete the entire (initial job search to final submission) online application process. And that was just for part-time jobs!  Additionally, applicants’ were required to go through over 120 pages of content in order to facilitate the online candidate process.  Even though they had strong website traffic (due to their size and well known brand) they had substantial user abandonment issues.

The real question facing them was:  How many qualified applicants did they lose due from the poorly designed career site and their cumbersome online application process?

In knowing how much your career site can impact your overall talent acquisition success, it’s important to make sure you incorporate some the basic elements of checks and balances.  That way you will be in much a better position when it comes to properly tending to your career site “garden.”

Are You Treating Your Career Site as a “Store Front?”

With company career sites being reported as the leading source of hires, the question is:  Are you allocating adequate resources and attention to this critical candidate pathway?

Two interesting stories from and Forbes cite findings from a recent study by Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software provider SilkRoad which reveals just how visible and important career sites and employee referrals are to talent acquisition success.

According to the “study finds nearly two-thirds of recent hires actually found their positions through such internal sources as company career sites and referrals.”

This information might make paid job boards a bit nervous, not only from the source of hire data, but also given the fact that the study additionally reported that job search engines, like Indeed, yield superior results over job board providers, such as CareerBuilder or Monster.

Data From Nearly 100,000 Hires Discloses Key Finding

Forbes reports that SilkRoad’s data was obtained from their OpenHire ATS platform and “didn’t include anecdotal responses, subjective filtering or any measure of post-hire evaluations, but it did give insight into 222,308 job postings, 9.3 million applications, 147,440 interviews and 94,155 hires.”

Furthermore, the study, entitled: Recruitment Marketing Effectiveness: Meaningful Metrics Straight From the Source, cited the following key finding from their study:

Company career sites are the No. 1 online recruitment source based on interviews and hires.

“The most important part, in my opinion, of any recruiting strategy is a career site that not only posts your job openings, but powers them with content to really engage candidates and ensure you’re finding the best talent. We can guide candidates to companies all day, but if the content and experience are not there, you’re wasting your recruiting dollars, as career sites have become the new storefront,” stated Thomas Boyle, from SilkRoad.

What This Means For Your Talent Acquisition Efforts

Knowing that an organization’s career site provides the greatest basis of interviews and hires could mean that these digital assets are much more valuable than previously thought.  The candidate UX (User Experience) is something that should be evaluated and managed from established marketing criteria.

Marketing professionals have long known the importance of keeping websites, online portals and microsite pages aligned with proper brand communications as well as site user expectations.  They typically rely upon a bevy of tools, techniques and resources to ensure that their respective web properties are properly aligned and managed.

In other words, they know that it’s critical to tend to their, so called, web “gardens.”