Corporate Career Sites: Watch Where the Money Goes

While time, money, and energy are spent on the videos, audios, photos, and blogs on corporate career websites, applicants sometimes are thinking, “Where’s that job I want to apply for?”

And, says Derek Gillaspy, that desire to simply search and apply is being overlooked by companies.

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Gillaspy and I talk about that in the video below, as well as:

  • whether companies should say more about the hiring process on their sites
  • CRMs and talent communities
  • advertising a company’s brand on social media vs. focusing on a company’s own career site
  • the letdown of a fancy career site that ends in a weak job description or job post


9 Comments on “Corporate Career Sites: Watch Where the Money Goes

  1. I don’t disagree with Derek, I also believe that this idea of great content video, white papers, blogs, social feeds etc should also live on the job page itself not just on the main site. I am personally amazed by how few ATS technologies allow extra content to be added into the job pages themselves. In my opinion every job page should be a landing page.

    1. Yep, you see it on consumer sites: go and buy something and you have blogs and guides about the larger idea. What I love too — and I know it’s difficult to scale when you have a gazillion applicants — is if you could find someone to talk to or email with about the job, like on a consumer site ( … scroll down to where it says “need help”) where you can do that.

      1. This is where we got talent communities really wrong. We captured them, but then just spammed them to death with jobs. I’d love to see SMS conversations that are computer – to – job seeker. With the computer sometimes being an actual recruiter, and sometimes an option to be a helpful algorithm like the lady that used to be on the site – the virtual assistant. She knew 70% of the answers to my questions!

    2. 1000% agree. Then you wouldn’t need 50 career sites tabs linking off in 100 directions. People want to see jobs. That’s why the search and apply buttons get all the traffic. Instead of making those buttons hard to find and “hoping” that your site visitors see all of the videos, etc. Place them right next to the job itself, where all the eyeballs already are.

      There is a reason why these sites are uber successful at conversion and advertising effectiveness:

      When you go to those properties, you get exactly the content that you want FIRST, and you don’t have to work hard to get it. Only then do you see ads and “sponsored” content.

      Give the job seeker what they want, and then tell the story along the way instead of forcing the story on them to the point that they can’t find what they came there to find – the jobs!

  2. There are lot of ‘fancy’ sites that are a waste if time, I agree entirely – but there are also sites that communicate well, encourage engagement and offer additional information not available elsewhere. Good digital providers understand THE USER JOURNEY and their user’s priorities – i.e. finding jobs in many cases and make sure users can get what they want.

    For many employers particularly in the last few years, the use of interactive content is not about getting more candidate but about getting THE RIGHT candidates. The careers site is often a place to CONVERT not sell.

    The selling phase is what attraction and the Employer brand does – the website provides the opportunity to share values and for candidates ‘self select’ as you said in the video. Assessments cost a lot of money – candidate’s getting a view of the organisation’s values through strong content and deciding it’s not for them is costly but has a far less negative impact on the how the candidate feels about the brand – very important when your candidates are also your potential consumers.

    You’re also right about the disasterous impact of a poorly configured and badly set up Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and the content that appears there – you so often see that horrible disjointed experience where a nice front-end moves to a ‘database style’ ATS.

    The majority of ATS providers have been very, very slow in adopting technologies (APIs) that allow for a better candidate experience. It’s not always an option to change the ATS to make the JD’s video based or simply do create good content for the job descriptions. Often employer have their hands tied in this respect or have given up trying.

    Understanding the candidate’s desire to move back and forth from Job descriptions to company information is also key to facilitating the candidates experience too – often forgotten as the application process is viewed as linear. Which, if you ask anyone involve in website design – is simply not the reality of what real careers site users do.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. You nicely summarized exactly the point. CONVERSION. Love that you emphasized this. There are too many other places to get ‘trusted’ information before deciding to apply. It is not at all wrong to tell some of the story on the career site, but putting expensive videos and $250,000+ career site projects ahead of lower hanging fruit (as you said clunky DB ATS) is exactly what I’m talking about!

  3. Really interesting conversation Todd/Derek but I do take a different POV when you say “The site is no longer the place to sell.”

    IMHO the site is absolutely the place to sell – it’s a great place for people hearing about opportunities through recruiters, social and/or employee referral efforts. It’s proven that landing pages with content about career development, benefit and culture get a lot of traction. I also agree with Scott about the importance of Employer Branding (surprised?) and Chris about the benefit of all the content and links living on the job pages.

    I’m looking forward to talking more about this during my Career Site ERE Webinar on June 3d. For those who want to be part of the conversation, take the Career Site Survey.

    1. I think Derek sees a career site kinda like an Amazon. When you get to Amazon to buy your toaster, you’ve already decided you want a toaster, and the reviews are likely to confirm what you already know. You did your research elsewhere. I think there’s some truth to that, and that often what you find on the third-parties like the Glassdoors of the world is a little more candid than what you find on the company career site. However, that’s partly, in my view, an execution error. On some sites, you can indeed learn something new and useful that could help weed you out or draw you in. If you go to the U.S. Army’s site today, you see a story about being a respiratory therapist. An 18-year-old wondering what to do with themselves and wandering around the Internet may not have known that this is an organization that they could join and take a respiratory therapist’s job.

      1. The context of the discussion is important, and I don’t think we framed that in an easy to understand fashion. The client situation that prompted me to speak out about this topic was the following:

        1) Many jobs had little to no applicants
        2) Many jobs had large numbers of highly unqualified applicants

        [Basically, high numbers of Job #2 & #3 from this post: ]

        3) Client looking to improve #1 & #2

        The client said, “Before I think about CRM, talent community, or any sourcing tools, I need to get these videos done!”

        Here’s the flaw in the logic: The wrong people are coming to the site today (per the customer). So, one of two things is true:

        1) the perfect people are already coming to the site and need a better story to convince them to apply when they get there.


        2) the wrong story is being told in the wrong places “OFF property” and thus is drawing little to no qualified applicants.

        The reasons for #2 are many, but stick with me for a just a bit. If you believe #1, then implementing videos and/or a new site would yield tangible results.

        I’m not disagreeing with you philosophically (videos are bad or not useful), but I am disagreeing with spending precious few dollars on videos when a customer isn’t drawing the right crowd in the first place.

        I often ask people, “Did you visit Hilton Careers today?”
        With a confused look, they say: “no, why did you ask a weird question like that?”

        “Because they spent $x00,000 on a new career site!”

        See the dilemma? This customer needed reach to new audiences, not fancier messages for the audience they were already drawing. A simply talent community would have also highlighted another 400% of people that were not apply in the ATS – could there be some good ones in there?

        There is a “minimum viable product” for a basic career site – I won’t disagree with you there. Going overboard and re-creating youtube and complex navigation structures is not what job seekers are looking for.

        This client was “sold” in the classic sense by a great sales rep with an emotional message that from my experience (200 career sites and counting), doesn’t usually have a data story to back it up. If “feels good” and it “looks good” but does it “convert good?”

        I’m not saying never has a data story, but I am saying not very often.

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