Your career site is a bit like the storefront of your company.
You want it to be attractive and enjoyable for window-shoppers, but also useful and built to target exactly the right candidates for you.
Being proactive is essential in a competitive talent attraction strategy, but you need something solid to point candidates back to after you’ve established first contact. The career page is a step in almost every candidate journey- it’s important to make sure you’re updating it regularly and keeping it aligned with the rest of your candidate experience.
Employer Value Proposition
The Employer Value Proposition, or EVP, is the first element to be defined in your career page design. It’s how you give voice to your employer brand using concrete aspect of the company life.
It can be displayed clearly in a section of the career page as a small paragraph, for example, or even just a few lines.
Your EVP could also be a full memorandum or a separate page with sections on different types of health, career, and social benefits. It can even simply be injected throughout the career page design, in the form of perks in the job descriptions, quotes or interviews with employees, or even statistics about positive aspects of the work environment, such as diversity, inclusion, community work, corporate responsibility initiatives, innovation…
The format is not as important as the message itself; as long as candidates coming to the career pages understand what advantages they would get from joining your company, the EVP has played its role.
[tweetery]“EVP is a unique set of offerings, associations and values to positively influence target candidates and employees.” -Universum[tweetery-end]
Job descriptions in the career page design
Some companies list job openings on the career site landing page itself, others put it in a different page or groups of pages. As long as they are organized and easy to browse, it doesn’t matter much, so how they fit in the nomenclature of your website is up to you.
However, as they are probably the most visited pages of your career site, their composition is extremely important. We’ve written a bunch on what makes a great job description, as the subject is worth a few blog posts of its own.
Components of a candidate-centric job description
Most job ads focus on what the recruiter is looking for: a job title, a set of skills and experiences, and maybe some information on tasks that the candidate will need to perform.
Candidates, however, want to see major projects, company culture, objectives, teams structure and reports. Align with hiring managers on the job requirements and responsibilities, but also on the aspects of the job that the candidate is interested in learning about, like what they will be working on, what teams they will collaborate with or report to, and the exciting aspects of the job.
Action words and gender biases
Use power words to convey the importance of the role the candidate will play: Learn, create, understand, improve, lead, spearhead… It makes all the difference in how candidates react to a job description.
Bear in mind that some words have masculine or feminine connotations, and can make your job descriptions gender-biased. There are language tools you can use to automatically scan your copy for such biases. Here are a couple that you can use for free: Kat Matfield’s Gender Decoder, and TotalJobs Gender Bias Decoder.
A recent study by LinkedIn highlighted that candidates give a lot of attention to a few key pieces of quantifiable information: salary and benefits, number of direct reports, performance metrics, and title. And yes, a clear title that pinpoints where they stand exactly on the seniority scale definitely counts as quantifiable.
A note on SEO
Many job searches start on a search engine. It’s worth making sure that your job descriptions, and really, all of your career site pages, follow some basic SEO best practices to ensure they pop up in candidates’ searches.
Do a quick survey of what keywords the competition is using to describe a specific job role. Ensure you’re using the most popular variations. Be specific about things like seniority level, location, full-time vs part-time, and industry.
Google launched its own job search engine, Google Jobs, and it filters jobs based on detailed information such as date posted, salary range and company type. Make sure to include those in your job descriptions as well when possible.
It is rare for a candidate decide to apply to a company right after first learning about it. They might come to the career site, read a few job descriptions, even click on an application link, but they will then leave, making a mental note to come back later.
But how long until they come back? What if they decide to go with another employer in the meantime? What if your page slips their mind? That is why talent networks are so important. They enable the recruiting team to stay in touch with visitors who were not quite ready to apply on their first visit.
Your career page design has to account for a call to action to subscribe to a talent network. Make the process intuitive and smooth, by allowing candidates to subscribe using their Linkedin profile, for example, and by keeping the steps and form fills to an absolute minimum.
The best applicants are not willing to jump through the hoops of a clunky and painful process just for the chance of applying for your company, not when they can apply simply by exporting their Linkedin profiles in other places.
To avoid applicants dropping off in the middle of an application, offer a smooth and swift experience with auto-filled forms, CV imports, a saving option, and friendly language throughout.
Make sure that you’re not making the process longer than it needs to be either; 70% of companies think it takes candidates less than an hour to submit an application, whereas it actually takes the average candidate 3 to 4 hours. A good gut check is to simply take the process yourself and multiply that time by 2, as candidates are likely to be at least twice as deliberate as you while filling out an application.
Candidates love hearing about the experiences of current employees, as they bring more color to their opinion of the prospective employer than generic job descriptions.
Current employees can give quotes or quick video testimonials explaining why they love working at the company. They can also describe some aspect of their current job, or share an event or project they’re working on.
Linking to the rest of your online presence
Make sure that every page of your career site links back to your social media pages with icons that are visible and easy to find.
Make sure to also include links to any external landing pages that might be interesting to candidates: Is the company sponsoring an event with a non-profit? Link to the event’s page. Has the business started a new community development initiative, or launched a new technology? Make sure that the career page design leaves space for links to those custom landing pages.
With these six building blocks, you are set to have a career site that covers all the essential bases. As with all your recruitment marketing efforts, you will need to revisit it periodically, to make sure it stays up to date and relevant. But if you build the career page design the right way to start with, even those updates will be easier and quicker to execute.