I need you to do a little homework on my company’s website before we talk about yours. The purpose of this exercise is for you to gain some perspective on the transition we’ve made from a product-focused site to a people-focused site.
Clicking on this link  will take you back to my company’s website circa 2006 before we revamped it to focus on attracting new employees rather than solely promoting our products. Now go to Jameson Publishing  and check out its people-focused design.
Designed for prospective customers, our old site was all about our products. Our new and improved site still serves customers, but its main purpose is to inform and entice prospective candidates.
Implement these eight techniques to ensure that your website attracts candidates:
- The home page should loudly promote your people and your company’s achievements. In 2009, Publishing Executive magazine listed Jameson Publishing among the “Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For” in the United States. To ensure that every candidate who visits our site knows we’re a top employer, that honor had held real estate on our home page for almost four years. That placement works. One candidate mentioned to his buddies during a poker game that he was interviewing with us. His friend looked up our site the next day, called the candidate, and asked, “Did you realize you’re interviewing with one of the best companies in America? Don’t blow it!”
- Don’t make candidates jump through hoops to contact someone. From any page on our site, visitors can click Contact Us to obtain our phone number and office address. The Contact Us section also has a prominent Submit Your Resume link. There is zero ambiguity regarding how a candidate can communicate with us.
- On nearly every page, include photos of smiling employees. What does a proud parent do when you meet them? They show you pictures of their kids. If you’re proud of your employees, show ’em off. Hire a professional to take posed photos — it’s worth the couple hundred bucks — plus grab your digital camera to snap casual photos of employees at company events. Not only will the photos make your company appear more personable to candidates, current team members will be happy to be featured on your website.
- Be clear. Eliminate jargon and industry-specific acronyms that could confuse a potential candidate. Ask friends who know little about your organization to identify terms, phrases, and concepts that aren’t 100% clear.
- Don’t be shy about selling site visitors on why they should work for your company. We created a page titled Reasons You Should Work Here. It afforded us the chance to talk about our world-class employees, friendly work environment, company stability, superior compensation, premium benefits, professional growth, and comprehensive training programs. Some of our sales reps earn more than $100,000 a year. Why should we keep that a secret?
- Spend a little money to ensure that your site is professional. If you know how to turn on a computer, you can launch a website. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Don’t cheap out and save a few hundred bucks by anointing yourself company webmaster. Find a competent partner to help you launch a professional-looking site. Choose a Web platform that gives you the ability to change the site as necessary so you don’t have to outsource updates to a third party.
- Keep your website up to date. In my company, an employee reviews specific pages on the site each month to ensure that the data is accurate. The area I’ve seen most neglected on company websites is the list of current job openings. Open jobs aren’t listed; filled jobs are still being promoted.
- Proofread your site. If a co-worker doesn’t have this skill, find a low-cost, highly skilled proofreader online. Nothing screams second-rate company more loudly than “Qulaity Is Are #1 Goal!”
The goal of these recommendations is to ensure that visitors to your site not only are aware you have job openings, but believe you are a desirable employer. Within 60 seconds of landing on your site, every visitor should feel genuinely excited about becoming part of your team and your unique culture.