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Amtrak Redoing Career Site, Analytics, Brand Message, and the Whole Candidate Experience

Todd Raphael
Apr 1, 2014, 12:02 am ET

After about a year of work, Amtrak will today relaunch both the front and back ends of its careers website, sprucing up the user experience for candidates, and moving to a new system for recruiters to manage those candidates.

It’s working on better analytics, more visuals, smoother ways of sharing job information on social media, a clearer employer brand, and an easier way for candidates to use the site from a smart phone (heck, those candidates just may be on a train).

Here's the previous version - what you got if you clicked on "careers" from Amtrak's home page.

Here’s the previous version – what you got if you clicked on “careers” from Amtrak’s home page.

Before now, if you went to and clicked on “careers,” you’d get a landing page that was up side-by-side with the train ticket-buying area (see graphic). If, from there, you clicked on a job search, you’d get a less-than-lovely job search page; there was also a page at that was ripe for revision.

No longer. keep reading…

Big Ideas for Recruiting Leaders — What if Davos Covered Recruiting?

Dr. John Sullivan
Mar 10, 2014, 5:58 am ET

world economic forumForward-looking executives seeking truly big ideas understand the value of the Davos World Economic Forum, where only thought leaders and the most senior executives at top global firms are invited to attend. If there were to be a Davos-type “big-idea session” covering strategic recruiting, this article covers the big idea topics that I would propose for the agenda.

The hectic world of day-to-day recruiting is often dominated by having to solve tactical functional problems like cutting cost per hire or identifying the correct recruiter req load. However if you are a recruiting leader who wants to make quantum improvements of more than 25 percent in your results, step back and focus exclusively on a few big ideas. Big ideas by definition are potentially high-impact strategic actions that are barely emerging, that are extremely difficult to implement, and that may become essential as the business or recruiting environment evolves and changes. Also because they require a dramatic change in thinking, almost all big ideas are instantly rejected by shortsighted individuals in recruiting.

The Top 15 Future-focused Big Ideas for Recruiting Leaders to Contemplate keep reading…

This Is What Iowa Looks Like

Todd Raphael
Mar 5, 2014, 1:34 pm ET

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 10.15.32 AMAn Iowa City company has put up two webcams to show potential employees that Iowa is a bit more than just cornfields. keep reading…

New Deloitte New Zealand Videos Use Humor to Stand Out in Competitive Market

Todd Raphael
Mar 4, 2014, 12:01 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 4.04.08 PMDeloitte New Zealand has been one to watch for some time, whether it’s taking a cue from Miley Cyrus on Facebook, or the 2013 intern and grad campaign.

That last one in particular got such good feedback, according to Deloitte New Zealand Talent Acquisition Manager Laura Wiltshier, that the firm “wanted to try something different but keep momentum building.” keep reading…

Amazon Midway Through Rollout of Careers Site, Game, Recruiter and Candidate Features

Todd Raphael
Feb 6, 2014, 12:08 am ET

Amazon is making significant changes to its careers website, changes that are about a year in the making. It’s also launching a short online game, built by TMP, to rev up interest in the new site pages.

Some of these updates are going into effect over the next few days, and other changes are likely coming around the end of Q1.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 1.40.45 PM

This is the previous Amazon career site. Notice that if you’re not paying close attention, you might think you’re searching for a job, but you end up searching for an Amazon product … something some at Amazon didn’t think worked too well.

With the previous Amazon career site (at right), a candidate found themselves on pages that felt similar to product pages.

The old site reflected the decentralized nature of Amazon. If a user came in through the Brazil marketplace, they might have a different experience than if they came in through the India marketplace, and that experience could be better or worse than the India marketplace job seeker.

The bottom line: there wasn’t one great, global place to find out about jobs at Amazon. keep reading…

New York Company Squarespace Playing Up Its Location to Design and Engineering Recruits

Todd Raphael
Feb 4, 2014, 5:22 pm ET

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 2.14.04 PMA SoHo company is trying to hire 30 engineers and product designers in about five or six weeks, and what it’s emphasizing to candidates can be summed up in two words: New York.

Squarespace has 260 employees, and hopes to have 450 by year’s end. Its career page links to a new microsite, one talking about the museums, dining, music and style of the Big Apple.

Pictures Dominate New Careers Site From London Travel Company Thomas Cook

Todd Raphael
Feb 3, 2014, 1:53 pm ET

Careers_Website_High_ResOut of the UK, Thomas Cook is out with a new corporate careers site aimed at desktops, tablet computers like iPads, and smart phones. It’s heavy on video and visuals, lighter on words. keep reading…

You’ve Got 6 Minutes to Capture People on Your Career Site

Todd Raphael
Jan 21, 2014, 5:54 am ET

We’ve taken a look before at the days of the week desktop and mobile users are most likely to search for jobs.

New data from Peoplefluent shows how much time people spend on career sites.

Let’s take a look. keep reading…

Unless You Segment Your Recruiting Messaging, You Won’t Attract Top Performers and Techies

Dr. John Sullivan
Jan 20, 2014, 5:45 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 10.35.36 AMUnless you tailor your bait, you’ll never attract the very best prospects

It might sound silly on the surface, but fishing and recruiting have a lot in common. Any seasoned fisherman or woman would tell you without hesitation that the same bait that effectively attracts small fish simply would have no impact on attracting the harder-to-land big fish.

In recruiting, the need to match your “bait” or attraction features to your target is no different. The job and company features that would attract the average Joe to a job (I call them “paycheck jobs”) would barely get the attention of top performers, techies, and innovators. For example, the average Joe might be excited about the fact that you have good benefits while an innovator may be more interested in how often you take risks and fund innovative ideas.

There lies the problem in corporate recruiting. Almost all the information provided by corporate recruiting is designed to be general to meet a larger audience. But unless there is a separate message on your site or external to it that has “bait” that is tailored to attract this more desirable and harder to land target, they will never view your firm as desirable. keep reading…

Employer Branding: Don’t Get Taken in By the Waffle

Nick Leigh-Morgan
Dec 26, 2013, 6:35 am ET

bpEvery few years our business lexicon gets invaded by a new cliche. Management speak like “big data” and “social hiring” … vague terms that no one can really define but are liberally trotted out typically by vendors, consultants, and conference speakers trying to impress you. The king of the management cliches at present and one that makes my skin crawl is employer branding. There. I said it — well wrote it — but I was cringing when I did.

If you ever hear someone wittering on about employer branding I dare you to interrupt them and say, “define employer branding.”

I bet most won’t give you a very good definition and will be suitably aghast that you even questioned one of recruitment’s current sacred cows, but challenge it you must. Prick the pomposity bubble that we get sucked into. I read one article recently that urged all companies to create a “compelling employer value proposition.” There were few details on what that meant or how to implement it. In short it was just waffle. Companies spend fortunes and waste thousands of hours (I know, I was part of one) designing internal value propositions to allow company recruiters to become “front-line brand ambassadors.” This is nonsense. Stop wasting your time and money.

Let’s examine what exactly people are referring to when they talk about employer branding. Let’s cut through the waffle and look at some specifics that you can actually do to boost your organization’s perception among job seekers. keep reading…

7 Questions About Your Career Page

Raj Sheth
Dec 12, 2013, 6:00 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 9.59.31 AMThe career page is such a huge opportunity to show candidates exactly what you want them to see. This is the one corner of the world wide web where employers have complete control over their brand, image, and message. A career page that simply displays job listings is such a wasted opportunity.

The career page will usually be the first real impression of the employer that the candidate will get. This page should be engaging, easy to navigate, and full of information. With a little love and a lot of care, your company career page could become a powerful recruiting tool. keep reading…

Company Career Sites Have Come a Long Way, Baby

Todd Raphael
Nov 20, 2013, 1:23 pm ET

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 10.13.49 AMScreen Shot 2013-11-20 at 10.16.10 AMMark Mehler and Gerry Crispin, through their CareerXroads firm, have analyzed company career pages for years, and they’ve generally been a tough crowd.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 10.14.22 AM

So when Mehler and Crispin say things are getting better, that’s good news. And in their latest report, which I’ve embedded below, on the career pages of the Fortune 500 in the U.S., CareerXroads has at least some good news:

  • “Less than half the firms in 2006 had links or content for college students — the largest pool of talent for many companies — compared to about 75 percent today.”
  • In 2006, “it was more difficult to find the button to the careers pages and took more clicks to find a job. Thirty-five percent of the time it took five or more clicks, while today it only requires that many clicks about 15 percent of the time. “

That’s not to say CareerXroads is giving companies an A plus. keep reading…

A San Diego Consultancy Pulled This Site Together for a Couple Hundred Bucks

Todd Raphael
Nov 7, 2013, 5:14 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 3.11.18 PMCumming may have only 255 employees, but its new website looks like one built for a company a bit bigger, all for a budget of a couple hundred bucks. You’ll be disappointed if you want slick career-site pizzazz, but not if you’re happy with fairly clear messages, a simple look, and some symbolic art of a tree with fingerprints.

Scott Weaver, who manages the four-person talent acquisition team, walked into the marketing department about a year ago with some concerns. keep reading…

SEO in 2014? Your Career Site Needs to be a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for Candidates

Larry Engel
Oct 31, 2013, 6:42 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 9.38.59 AM2013 has proved to be an extremely turbulent year for search engine optimization professionals. Google has made more significant search algorithm changes in 2013 than at any other time in its 15-year history. Last month (September 2013) Google announced that it had not only updated its search algorithm, but also completely revamped it. The official word from Google is that this new algorithm, called Hummingbird, is already affecting 90 percent of searches.

Google continually makes changes to its algorithm in an effort to serve up the most relevant and useful webpages based on the query. The new search algorithm is just the next natural step in its evolutionary process — a way of adapting to changing behaviors, as users become more mobile and users voice search more often.

What This Means for Recruiters keep reading…

Mystery Job Shopper Survey: Not Much Improvement From America’s Best Companies

John Zappe
Aug 7, 2013, 4:54 pm ET

CareerXroadsIf God hadn’t promised Noah to never again flood the planet and start all over, most of America’s best companies to work for would be moving to higher ground about now.

After 10 years of CareerXroads reports, the launch of the Candidate Experience Awards, and untold conference workshops about the damage the resume black hole does to an employer brand, 75 percent of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” are still leaving applicants wondering what happened to them. keep reading…

Hilton Launches New Global Jobs Site

Todd Raphael
Aug 7, 2013, 1:05 pm ET

hilton_logo2Hilton Worldwide’s new careers site, mobile optimized and months in the making, is aimed at the 90 countries the hotelier is operating in worldwide. keep reading…

How the Role of Corporate Recruiter Is Evolving

Nick Leigh-Morgan
Aug 1, 2013, 6:09 am ET

Calling yourself a recruiter doesn’t do justice to what “recruiters” have to do. Here’s a quick overview of where the role was, where it is now, and where it’s heading. keep reading…

An IT Tech’s Blueprint For Hiring Talent Like Him

John Zappe
Jul 31, 2013, 5:27 am ET

How does a team of technical co-founders recruit a top notch designer?

Maybe they realized it; maybe not. But whoever posted that question to Quora asked what every recruiter on the planet has wondered at one time or another: How can I recruit the best candidate for my job?

It’s a simple question, yet one to which there is neither a simple answer nor even consensus about just what combination of characteristics, background, skills, experience, personal traits, and so on make someone “the best candidate” or even a “top notch” candidate.

Yet right there on Quora, amidst the predictable suggestions about searching GitHub and hitting the networking circuits, is a blueprint for building a recruiting program to attract not only a coder-designer. but an entire team of tech talent. keep reading…

Chase Rolls Out New Site for Its 4,000 Openings

Todd Raphael
Jul 22, 2013, 2:34 pm ET

ChaseLike the Saks Fifth Avenue site I mentioned here, a new careers site out today from JP Morgan Chase leans to the polished and corporate side — think blue oxford shirts and ties. breaks little new ground. But it’s simple, navigable, and gives you at least a sense of what the application process is like.

Chase has about 160,000 employees, 5,600 bank branches, 18,700 ATMs, and about $2.4 trillion in assets, with operations in more than 60 countries.

DaVita: We’re a Community First and a Company Second

Todd Raphael
Jun 24, 2013, 6:45 am ET

careers at DaVitaDaVita will be rolling out a new career website this week, one that’ll showcase its workplace as a very strong community, not just a company.

As I said when DaVita was named an award finalist this year, DaVita, in the kidney dialysis field, is in the Southwest Airlines genre in that it has a super-strong culture. It ended up winning that award, for military talent, and was honored as the recruiting department of the year in 2009.

Anyhow, on to DaVita’s new site. keep reading…