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6 key tips for upgrading your careers website

We were delighted to hear that the Northgate Careers website has been shortlisted for the Best recruitment website at the upcoming In-house Recruitment awards 2017.  Having worked as the RPO partner for Northgate since 2012, ResourceBank recommended a complete overhaul of the website in 2016.  The pace of change in website technology meant that we could introduce new functionality and create new content to attract and inspire prospective candidates and make their journey into the business as smooth and efficient as possible. 

The website has been a tremendous success for Northgate – and thankfully the judges have recognised this (and fingers crossed for the final awards ceremony). Using our experience of the Northgate project and of other new careers websites for Coats plc, Word Duty Free, Aliaxis and Wolseley, we have produced the following six key tips to help you with your own career website projects:

1. Understand your employer brand / EVP

Number one priority when developing a new careers website is to have a clear understanding of what it is like to work for your business.  You need to be clear what your Value Proposition is to new employees.  What is the working environment like?  What is the culture and management style?  If you currently run an employee engagement survey then you are a step ahead.  If not, run a feedback survey to find out the best (and the worst) things about working at your business. 

Be honest about the results.  There is no point in having a careers site which portrays your business as an entrepreneurial nirvana if you actually have quite structured management processes.  Even the little things matter.  In a video for the new World Duty Free careers site, current employees gave practical tips such as “Wear flat shoes”, “Leave enough time to clear security”, “You must like early starts” so that candidates have a clear view of the working environment.  A clear EVP ensures candidates who match your culture are far more likely to apply and join your business – resulting in more successful hires and less attrition.

2. Design your site for mobile phones

Research shows that 60-80% of job searches are now conducted on mobiles or tablets so your site must be designed primarily for mobile phones.  We recommend a “responsive” website design that automatically detects the device that a candidate is using and displays the optimum version – for either desktop, mobile or tablet.  You manage one set of content and the website works out how best to display it.  That doesn’t mean your site has to look basic.  Rich content – videos, interactive pages and quizzes – can all work brilliantly on mobile.   You just need to think a little bit about navigation and touch screen accuracy in your designs – and most importantly ensure that your application process is mobile friendly…

3. Make it easy to find, read and apply for jobs on mobile

Because 70% of viewers will be using a mobile phone you must make it easy for them to find suitable jobs and apply.  It’s not easy completing forms on mobiles so the ability to apply for jobs with “one click” functionality using LinkedIn or Facebook profiles, Dropbox CVs and “parsing” information are all huge advantages.  In addition, having a seamless integration with your HR/ATS (recruitment software) is a major advantage.  Responding quickly and effectively to candidates can make a huge difference and you must make sure that the whole recruitment process flows efficiently and seamlessly from the website. Applications to vacancies on the World Duty Free careers website jumped by 55% when one click application with mobile phones was introduced.

 

 4. Utilise rich media content and video

As we mentioned earlier, promoting an accurate EVP helps to attract candidates who suit your culture.  You need content on your website which portrays this EVP clearly, allowing candidates to decide “Is this for me?”   Text content is important but video, infographics and other forms of rich media are so much more engaging and appealing to visitors.  Being able to see the working environment and hear from current employees is far more likely to ensure candidates apply to your business.   There is such a wide range of options you can use including video interviews with current staff, blogs, clips of social and charity events and career roadmaps.  The Northgate website uses unscripted interviews with a wide variety of staff, which have clearly communicated the Northgate EVP. One candidate commented: “I looked at the careers website and watched Aimee’s video (Customer Service Advisor). She was so friendly and the atmosphere at the branch looked really nice so it encouraged me to apply and attend the interview.  I’ve been here for 3 weeks now and it is exactly how it appeared on the video – a friendly bunch of people and a busy interesting job.”

 

 5. Use engaging functionality

Website technology can really bring alive the features of working at your business. 
For example you can use interactive questioning to allow candidates to see where they could fit into your organisation (which is very useful for graduate/apprentice recruitment).   The Northgate website uses a benefits calculator which allows a candidate to see the full value of the reward package.  This calculator can be personalised by each candidate and has really improved the awareness and understanding of the very generous benefits package at Northgate.

Engaging functionality can also be introduced at other stages of the recruitment process.  Once a candidate has been offered a job with Northgate, they are given access to an online “Welcome Portal” which allows them to view and accept their contract as well as review all policies and commence their induction.  This functionality has improved retention, increased efficiency and saved thousands of pages of A4 paper!

6. Be available for contact

Modern website technology has meant that we are all used to using our devices to contact our favourite retailers or manage our bank accounts.  Real time chat facilities are becoming more and more used – and provide immediate help and support to online visitors.  Candidates are no exception.  As much as we try to make careers websites easy to navigate, and job descriptions clear, there are frequently questions that candidates will have.  A direct phone number to a recruitment help desk is prevalent on all the ResourceBank websites, and we also use a Live chat facility on the Northgate careers website.  This has allowed candidates to clarify information with our recruitment advisors, and we have been able to point them in the right direction to apply for the job most suitable for them.

So those are our six main tips for creating a great careers website. There are many other things you need to think about – such as getting your careers website well indexed by Google and job aggregators; using social media channels to engage and pull candidates into your careers website; aligning your employer brand to your company brand – the list goes on.   However, we think that if you focus on the six key points above, you are 90% of the way there (and then you can move onto the rest!)

And the good news is – recruitment websites are one of the most affordable technologies within the HR space – and can have an immediate impact on the efficiency of your talent attraction strategy.

If you want someone who can help you through the process, who has hands-on experience of developing new careers websites that work, then call Mike Ellingham on 07922 231023 or email mike.ellingham@resourcebank.co.uk.