Article originally published in South Africa's leading HR publication, HR Future where Brett is an International monthly columnist on employer branding.
Could this be your most undervalued talent attraction asset?
With the global population estimated at over 6.8 billion people, it’s staggering to learn there are nearly 2 billion people internet users around the world. What is even more staggering is that the fastest growing region in the world is Africa with over 2,300 % growth in users during the period 2000-2010. Compare this to around 145% growth in North America during the same period and it is clear to see that Africa is getting connected!
Developments in internet technologies to support talent attraction efforts have also been rapid during this period. The use of the internet for activities central to the recruitment process has shifted the paradigm of traditional paper based methods. The recruitment process is now being supported by rich media, videos, social media, RSS feeds, podcasting, blogs, and applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Google’s keyword tool says there is an average of 506,000,000 searches per month using the keyword search ‘jobs.’ Jobseekers are no longer just interested in finding a job; they are becoming more particular in gaining a better insight into a company’s culture, values and employment benefits before joining. A company’s employer brand rates highly on a job seekers list and one of the most effective ways to communicate your employer value propositions (EVP’s) and provide an insight into, “what it is like to work here,” is through your careers website.
In most cases, the information on careers sites is simply a replica of the "about us" section of the main corporate website. It’s boring and does very little to engage visitors to your site and may actually be doing your employer brand damage.
The purpose of your careers website should be to:
- Provide an overview of the history of your company and insights into your culture,
- Communicate the range of employment benefits on offer (e.g. training and development, diversity, salary, parental leave, etc),
- Act as a communications vehicle to promote your employer value propositions (EVP’s),
- Provide candidates with an indication of what it would be like to work for your company,
- Provide links to your social media sites and encourage two-way communication between the community and your recruiters,
- Provide testimonials from current employees to endorse the benefits of working for you and showing insights into ‘a normal day on the job’.
- Act as an enabler for the online recruiting process
Your careers website should be a communications vehicle and process enabler. Your site development strategy should begin with defining your objectives, scope and resources available to build and maintain the site. Your site will evolve as your track and measure the success of the platform in recruitment and talent community building initiatives.
A well designed careers website will not only deliver process and sourcing cost savings, it will also improve candidate quality and opportunity cost savings by reducing the time of unfilled positions through a higher quality, targeted recruiting process.
Some of the pitfalls to avoid when building your website include:
- Dismissing your branding style guide when designing your site, align your site with your corporate and consumer branding guidelines
- Treating your site as a one-way corporate communications brochure
- Writing site copy in a linear style, full of ‘corporate speak’
- Failure to undertake continuous research to determine the needs of site visitors
- Failure to put in place a system to measure the effectiveness of your site
- Updating your site and then thinking the work is finished until the next major review!
World’s best practice
When I wrote the Career Websites Global Best Practice Publication (www.collectivelearningaustralia.com) I defined a list of features and functionalities of world’s best practice sites. Check out the list and consider how does your career website measure up?
Below is a list of features and benefits you will find on world class career websites.
- Detailed site map
- Aligned with recruitment strategy
- Extensive screening and testing functions
- Staff blogs/chat rooms
- Segmented job positions – graduate, experienced hires, MBA’s
- Alumni section
- Links to company social media channels
- Case study simulations
- EVP clearly defined on site
- Highly interactive
- Applicant tracking system
- Recruitment process overview, FAQ and tips – interview, resume, cover letter, etc
- Links to relevant sites – e.g. immigration
- Two way communication – e.g. online chat, live Q&A, feedback blogs
- Games and competitions
- Dynamic pages and interactivity
- Online job screening
- Invitation to post a profile
- Up to date job information and detailed job descriptions
- Multi-media e.g. podcasts, videos, etc
- Automated response to applications
- Detailed company information – culture, diversity, benefits leaders, rewards, etc
- Branded design
- Staff profiles, testimonials in video and text
- High level of functionality and usability
- High level of analytics
You should think of your career site as a social network. Provide candidates a variety of ways to engage with your company and your recruiters. One of the reasons why social media has become so popular is because of the real-time conversations happening there. Think about ways that your career website can support these conversations.
Conducting a self audit
Take a short test to see how your career website measures up. If you score less that 8 then it’s time to start reviewing your career website strategy – it will be well worth it in the short and long term. Just ask Adidas, Microsoft, Sodexo, Starbucks, Philips and Procter & Gamble.
- We have developed a site map for our careers site
- Our site is consistent with our branding style guidelines
- Our site contains details about the history of our company
- Our site is integrated with our social media platforms e.g. facebook, twitter, linkedin
- Employee benefits are profiled on site
- An overview of our recruitment process and FAQ’s is detailed on our site
- We use an e-recruitment tool to manage our online recruitment process
- Our site contains web 2.0 features e.g. videos, podcasts, RSS feeds
- We use analytics to measure the effectiveness of our site
- Our site contains a contact email or phone number(s) for prospects to contact for further information
For further information about the Career Website Global Best Practice Publication please click here>
Have you read Brett's new book "Employer Brand Leadership - A Global Perspective?" For full details please visit the publisher's website click here>
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