Best Practices: Convincing Jobseekers With Your Corporate Careers Website

My last article for ERE, Best Practices: Attracting Candidates To Your Corporate Careers Website, discussed ways to attract corporate website visitors to your Careers section. Here we’ll focus on ways to convince a job surfer of the desirability of employment with your company, and convert the casual job surfer into a serious prospect. Driving traffic to your site is only step one; now consider your visitor’s experience once there. Know Your Audience Good recruiting ? like good marketing ? requires understanding the needs and interests of different segments of your audience. A college recruit wants to know different information than an experienced hire. Addressing the distinct information needs of college students with a dedicated section is one of the best practices for corporate website recruiting. You can use this section to publish a schedule of campus appearances, a description of the company, its internship and training programs, and the career tracks and possibility of advancement within the company. A recent study by Recruitsoft/iLogos Research, Best Practices for Fortune 500 Career Web Site Recruiting, found that 42% of the Fortune 500 have separate college recruiting areas in their Careers sections. Among industry sectors, 78% of Fortune 500 High Tech companies cater to college recruits with a separate section in contrast with only 29% of Fortune 500 Health Care companies. As cultivating this nascent candidate pool continues to gain popularity, more and more companies in all sectors will embrace this best practice and gain from tailored communication with this audience. Show, Don’t Tell Potential hires are concerned about compensation and benefits issues. When presenting information on your company’s benefits plan, show, don’t tell. Don’t merely say, “We have a competitive benefits package that includes health, dental, 401K and stock option plan.” Rather, exploit the Web’s ability to supply comprehensive information to your Career website visitor. A slim majority (55%) of the Fortune 500 (and a greater majority of the Fortune 500 Financial Services companies, 68%) include information on their benefits packages in their Careers sections. Hewlett Packard is an excellent example. HP provides full details of its plans, including starting dates, deductibles and the percentage of expenses covered. Most companies can post information about their benefits packages online based on information already prepared in an orientation package. However, it takes thought and understanding of the medium to translate this material effectively to the Web. Be Cultured In the current job market, in which a qualified candidate may have the luxury of a choice between several competing companies, candidates are looking for “fit” just as much as employers are. Job culture is an extremely important consideration in assessing fit ? and has tremendous impact on employee retention. Your corporate Careers section is yet another opportunity to reinforce your company’s employment brand. Virtual tours, “day in the life” narratives, and profiles of both key management positions and of typical employees convey to online job seekers a sense of the work atmosphere and corporate culture. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> 44% of the Fortune 500 (and an industry sector-leading, 68 percent of Fortune 500 High Tech companies) take steps to describe their corporate culture to jobseekers. Corporate culture depictions on the Web are usually not drawn from existing marketing material (which might explain the slightly lower level of corporate culture compared to online benefits information). If you have to start from scratch for material on your company’s corporate culture, consider seeking assistance from a recruitment advertising agency or multimedia agency. Beware of overdoing animation and videos ? your pages should load quickly and be compatible with the most common browsers and download methods today. Stop Describing And Sell Of course your best chance to sell a position to a potential candidate is your job description. Start with the job title, which must catch the eye and draw the jobseeker in. Too many job titles listed on Careers sections are the internal ones the company uses (like “Analyst II”) or simply repurposed print classified descriptions. Stand out from the crowd with an “externally focused” title. Instead of “Project Manager” try “Mission-Critical e-Commerce Project Manager.” The job description itself has to cover the basics, such as the requisite abilities, credentials, and past experience. But to convince your Career Web site visitor to take the next step, sell each position along with the company. Describe exciting projects that the job will involve, or the opportunity it represents for furthering skills or career paths. Best practices here include clear information on location, travel requirements, and salary range, so that jobseekers can self-screen. Excellence In Communication Some of the best practices outlined here may seem fundamental, yet many companies utilize them with a haphazard, rather than systematic, approach. In the tightest job market in a lifetime, recruiters can leave no stone unturned. You must make all efforts to execute a top quality marketing and communication campaign. This means, among other things, that you provide visitors to your Careers section with the information needed to make a fully informed decision about pursuing a career with your company.

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Alice Snell is vice president of Taleo Research. The specialty research practice analyzes the best practices and economics of talent management. Taleo Research focuses on critical issues and key trends in talent management that impact organizational performance. Taleo Research is the strategic research division of Taleo, which provides on demand talent management solutions for organizations of all sizes, worldwide.