It Takes All Kinds

Oct 8, 2001

As a medium, the Internet has grown faster than any other technology in history, including the telephone, radio, TV, and cable. Traffic to corporate websites, and hence to adjunct corporate careers websites, is ever increasing. As the Internet matures, its demographics shed the homogeneity of its early days and become increasingly diverse. The volume and diversity of the Internet users brings attention to the importance of knowing your audience. It is essential that you take active steps not only to find out what is important to your audience, but also to ensure that your corporate careers website reflects what you have learned about this large potential candidate pool. Recently, iLogos Research polled more than 1,500 visitors to the corporate careers websites of four Fortune 500 companies. As described in iLogos’ Perception vs. Reality: Jobseeker Behavior Online report, a careful examination of the demographic results of the survey yields some valuable action items: among them, that the online candidate population can be segmented into various demographic profiles, each with unique interests and needs that must be addressed in a “Best Practices” careers website. High School or Technical Education Visitors to corporate careers websites show a wide range of education levels. Twenty-five percent of survey respondents do not have any education beyond high school. Twenty-two percent have completed a two-year college degree. Eighty percent of respondents with these two levels of education are currently in the workforce. In light of this data, the action to take is to post jobs of all types to the corporate careers website, including trade positions. Education level is not a barrier for Internet use. University Students College students have always been well represented among Internet users. In the iLogos survey, 11% of all respondents indicated they were still in college. College students in particular are looking for information that is tailored to their specific concerns and interests. Seventy-seven percent of those who responded as “still in college” ranked a section of information on college or entry-level recruiting as “Important” (29%) or “Very Important” (48%) in a corporate careers website. Clearly, this is a group that corporations want to cultivate. So develop content for the distinct student audience, to increase your reach, impact, and image with them. Experienced Candidates The iLogos Research survey found that 23% of respondents have five to nine years of work experience, and 44% have been in the workforce for ten years or more. With 67% of visitors having more than five years of work experience, there is a significant body of experience represented by corporate careers website visitors. The iLogos survey found a very strong correlation between a candidate’s work experience and the seniority of the position being sought, from entry-level staff positions to management and senior management. Thirty-fove percent of survey respondents indicated that they were seeking mid-management positions. Once again, this shows the broad experience range contained in the visitor traffic. Accordingly, post job positions for all levels of seniority and work experience. Professionals Eight percent of online candidates are seeking director or executive-level positions. A further analysis of the survey data from this group reveals, not surprisingly, that these candidates are highly educated and experienced. Though relatively small in number, this group of candidates does visit corporate careers websites. This data refutes the long-standing impression that no senior executives are perusing job opportunities online (and could only be sought through pricey third-party executive search services). The iLogos survey also found that one in ten executive-level candidates are concerned about anonymity, so include provisions allowing candidates to identify themselves only with an email address from Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail. Go ahead and post executive-level job positions to the careers website, and allow candidates to remain anonymous in the early stages of the recruiting process. Know Your Corporate Careers Website Visitors Use of the Internet has now become mainstream; users permeate all segments of the general population. Today’s careers website visitors range widely, from those with the least experience to the highest. With an understanding of the variety represented in the careers website candidate pool, corporations can provide employment information that addresses all audiences and post job positions that reflect the full organizational chart. Find out about your corporate careers website visitors. As survey data analyzed in the Perception vs. Reality: Jobseeker Behavior Online report shows, they are neither all homogeneous nor all unemployed. Fine-tune the message and functions of the careers website to reflect what you have learned about your audience. Use Web recruiting best practices to gather information on candidates’ level of education, work experience, and other career and lifestyle circumstances. With this information, and proper data management tools, corporate recruiting can start to engage in one-on-one relationships with candidates.

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