Careers Website Visitors: Just the Facts

Sep 10, 2001

The purpose of the corporate website careers section is to promote the company’s employment openings. It would seem likely then, that visitors to the Careers section of corporate websites would be actively looking for new employment ? i.e., they are “active” jobseekers. Not only might you think they are active jobseekers, you might also suppose they are mostly unemployed ? or at least unhappily employed. The perception is that only this highly motivated group will spend significant amounts of time online submitting job application information to pursue a new opportunity. And if this is accurate, it would follow that it is only active jobseekers who would be willing to expend the effort to answer prescreening questions. The Fact Is… The fact is, an iLogos survey of more than 1,500 visitors to the corporate website careers section of four Fortune 500 companies found that 72% of corporate careers website visitors are employed, and 21% are happily employed! Happily employed careers website visitors represent the elusive and highly desirable “passive” jobseekers. Great emphasis has been placed on methods to find them, including active Internet search techniques and the use of third-party recruiters. Survey results show that a significant percentage of the overall traffic to corporate career websites is made up of this sought-after group. The survey data discussed in the iLogos report Perception vs. Reality: Jobseeker Behavior Online also reveals that 58% of passive jobseekers are willing to spend more than 15 minutes applying to a job of high interest. To cultivate these desirable passive jobseekers, corporations can use best practices to attract them, convince them once on site, and efficiently capture and process their information. Apply the Best Practices Further data analysis from the iLogos survey shows that 40% of happily employed visitors (compared to 30% in the general population) arrive at the careers section via a link from the corporate website homepage or elsewhere within the site. Knowing this is all the more reason to follow the best practice to link the careers section from the corporate website homepage, and cross link to the careers section from other pages within the corporate website. In addition, a higher percentage of passive jobseekers (ten percent compared to three percent for active jobseekers) are also browsing the careers section for their friends. The best practice of having an “Email to a friend” feature available clearly applies here. It is also wise to engage passive jobseekers with an ongoing interaction such as an email subscription to a news update, or a jobs bulletin. Twenty-four percent of happily employed careers website visitors do not have an up-to-date resume ready. So don’t require all careers website visitors to be resume-ready to submit an application. Offer alternative means of capturing their information. Responses to prescreening questions alone can serve as a way of expressing interest in a job. Turn Visitors into Candidates Large companies are experiencing high traffic volumes to the careers sections, upwards of 250,000 individuals per month and growing. Certainly, a percentage of careers website visitors are anxiously pursuing a new job opportunity, and will take the time and make the effort to provide information requested by the employer. But in actuality, this is not fully representative of the demographics of careers website visitors. Understanding who is visiting is key to optimizing the communication and transactional exchange between potential candidate and corporate recruiter. Best practices provide a framework to ensure that these valuable visitors become candidates in the corporate candidate database pool. Corporate actions based on reality will generate success.

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