Best Practices: Attracting Candidates To Your Corporate Careers Website

Customers, investors, competitors, and active jobseekers alike all visit your corporate website–and present a ripe pool for recruiting. By optimizing the features and functionality of your corporate website, you can 1.) attract visitors to your Careers section, 2.) convince them of the desirability of a career with your company, and 3.) capture them as candidates with an exceptional online response process. This article focuses on the best practices for attracting corporate website visitors to your Careers section and gaining maximum exposure for your current and future job openings. Make It Easy As a marketing vehicle, the corporate Careers section should be designed and positioned to attract the right audience. A prominently positioned link or button on the homepage leading directly to the Careers section makes it easy for passive and active jobseekers to pursue job opportunities with the company. Many–but not all–companies take advantage of this. For example, 73 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have their corporate homepage one click from their Careers section (this and other statistics cited in this article are from the Recruitsoft/iLogos Research Report, Best Practices for Fortune 500 Career Web Site Recruiting). To maximize exposure, treat the link to the Careers section as a “top-level” navigation element, so that it appears on all major pages of your site, such as the “Investor Relations” section. Also, place additional links and banners to the Careers section from other pages within your site to drive traffic at a nominal cost. Make It Memorable Consider acquiring a customized domain name for just the Careers section, like “www.getacooljob.com”. Alternatively, assign a third-level domain to the Careers section, such as “workingat.xyzcorp.com”. Make sure the full Web address of the Careers section is easy to remember, like “www.abcinc.com/careers”. Mnemonic URLs leverage offline marketing efforts, such as magazine or billboard ads, to drive traffic directly to the Careers section. Nine percent of the Fortune 500 benefit from using a careers address; yet 59 percent use hard to remember Career section URL addresses. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> Make It Searchable Once you have a visitor in the Careers section, you want to guide them further toward your current job openings to get the exposure they need. A first-rate job search tool, enabling a search of open job positions by location, job category, and keyword, is the most effective and user-friendly way to have candidates view suitable open job positions. A searchable database–of any size–ensures that each job position has an equal chance of being seen by a targeted candidate. Back-end systems must, of course, be sufficiently robust to power this. If there are mission-critical jobs that need to be filled immediately, have them highlighted as “Urgent” to bring them out of the background of the general list of open jobs. This best practice, which helps focus the priorities of your recruiters, is utilized by a mere three percent of Fortune 500 companies today. Make It Work For You Candidates attracted to a company can stay up-to-date on new job openings of interest if your Careers website offers a Job Agent feature. The candidate can leave a personal email address to receive automated notification of future matching positions. Job Agents build ongoing relationships with jobseekers, stretch marketing budgets further and require no resource allotment from your recruiting staff. Currently, only six percent of Fortune 500 companies benefit from this powerful functionality, perhaps because their hiring management systems do not provide the necessary profiling and automation. Make It Network For You Another best practice for extending the reach of your Careers section is enabling your Careers section visitor to email job descriptions to a friend. The Email to a Friend feature taps into a site visitor’s referral network and effectively provides prescreened applicants at no sourcing cost. Although the efficacy of employee referral programs is widely acknowledged, an overwhelming 91 percent of the Fortune 500 don’t take advantage of this virtual “visitor referral program.” Conclusion Although corporate websites are quickly becoming the recruiting vehicle of choice for Fortune 500 companies, it’s clear that many of them still aren’t making the most of the functionality that can bring more and better candidates into the hiring process. The fact remains that there are a lot of effective and relatively simple ways to optimize your corporate website for maximum recruiting results. By building the best features into your company’s career website, you stand a good chance of beating even the best companies to the top candidates.

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Alice Snell is vice president of Taleo Research. The specialty research practice analyzes the best practices and economics of talent management. Taleo Research focuses on critical issues and key trends in talent management that impact organizational performance. Taleo Research is the strategic research division of Taleo, which provides on demand talent management solutions for organizations of all sizes, worldwide.

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