Hiring isn’t getting any easier. Today’s talent acquisition teams must do everything they can to attract candidates, convince them to apply, and keep them engaged until they show up on the job. In a competitive marketplace for talent, a strong employer brand is an essential component in your talent acquisition strategy – and that includes your career site.
Here at SmartRecruiters, we have a team of employer branding experts who work on our SmartRecruiters Attrax career site product. I sat down with Warren Davidson, Client Services Director, to get the scoop on how companies can improve their employer brands on their career sites.
“You can have the most beautiful employer brand in the world, but if your career site is dreadful, it’s going to undermine your employer brand,” Warren said. As an expert in career sites and with deep experience in marketing, Warren believes in a candidate-centric approach. The candidate, after all, is your prospective customer. “Your employer brand is intrinsically linked to the candidate experience,” he explained. Warren identified the key aspects of ideal candidate experience.
Personalized, Contextually Relevant Content
“First, they should land on a job that’s relevant to them,” Warren said. “And then they should see a piece of content that reassures them that the company is DEI-friendly, or has great benefits.” He recommends content that brings the workplace to life, such as employee stories that focus on topics relevant to candidates of all kinds, whether they’re parents or from diverse backgrounds. The SmartRecruiters Attrax system uses automation to ensure relevance and personalization. “Relevant, personalized content drives better quality candidates,” he said. “It should also improve your hiring velocity.”
Organic Traffic from Google
Google visibility is a key piece of the candidate experience that many companies miss. Google is one of the most popular places to look for jobs – and it’s free to get your jobs listed there. By adding structured data to your career website, job seekers automatically find your listings when they search. If your career site is hidden behind the wrong URL and lacks structured data, you end up paying aggregators to get listed on Google. Organic traffic from search engines to an SEO-optimized career site and job listings is a gift that keeps on giving.
Easy Application Process
Many companies lose candidates to a difficult application process. “If they get presented with a login screen, application rates drop off right there,” Warren said. A one-page application with a resume/CV upload from the cloud increases the number of applications. For jobs that are particularly hard to fill, “we have some customers who don’t even ask for a CV anymore,” he said. Candidates can indicate their experience by answering a series of pre-configured questions, which is effective for many types of roles.
The Power of Branded Experiences
These elements add up to a big impact. “If you have Google visibility, personalization on your career site, deliver contextually relevant content, and a good application process, the ultimate upshot is that when a candidate hits the website, they feel like they belong to your organization. They can see themselves working there,” Warren said. That relevancy drives self-selection, and the ease of the application process prevents the right candidates from dropping out.
Sounds amazing, right? I took a look at some of the results from SmartRecruiters Attrax implementations. All of them had stats such as:
- Increased career site traffic
- Increased candidate engagement (more pages viewed)
- Increased number of applications
- Decrease in abandoned applications
- Increased organic traffic from Google
- Increased traffic to employer brand content
- Decrease in the source of hire from job boards and recruitment agencies
- Increase in the source of hire from organic career site visits
The Art of What’s Possible on a Career Site
Like a lot of things companies struggle with, legacy technology holds them back from addressing the needs of the current marketplace. Updating a career site may require the work of an agency or IT team. The application process required by the current ATS may be turning candidates away. Warren said, “When it comes to career sites, a lot of companies don’t know what’s possible.”
What is possible? An SEO-optimized career site that delivers personalized, relevant jobs and content to candidates, integrates seamlessly with an ATS, and can be updated by anyone, not just website specialists. Not only is a career site a place where the visual and creative aspects of your employer brand can shine, but also it’s a place where your employer brand comes to life by facilitating a stellar candidate experience.