Examining the Online Experience of Job Candidates

A recent CareerXroads study, which examines the staffing pages of Fortune Magazine‘s annual list of America’s 500 largest public corporations, includes a “mystery shopping” job-search. Twenty unemployed HR volunteers applied electronically for an administrative assistant position (under the assumed name Ted E. Baer) on each of Fortune Magazine‘s list of America’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.?

The report provides a thorough analysis of what is working and what could be improved.? For example, the report says that both Kodak and Johnson & Johnson build extensive themes that appeal to specific prospects.

Another company, Enterprise, which is not listed among the Fortune 500, engages prospects with its statement: “It’s About What’s Important to Me,” the report notes.

In addition, the study reveals that 67% of the Best 100 companies to work for acknowledge resume or profile submission; 50 firms or 10% of the Fortune 500 offer some indication of their hiring process; and most firms have inadequate staffing privacy statements.

The report also lists its opinions of the top-25 corporations that provide the “Best Candidate Experience,” including Agilent, Bank of America, Bell South, C. H. Robinson, Capital One, Federated, Ford, GE, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, HCA, Intel, Kodak, Lilly, Merck, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Proctor & Gamble, Sherwin Williams, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Target, Texas Instruments, Whirlpool, and Xerox.

What Do Recruiters Think?

Along a similar line of thinking, ERE recently asked readers what they believe is missing on corporate websites’ staffing pages. In that poll, 31% say accurate information about what a candidate would do in the job is the most-lacking element on company sites. Coming in second with 25%, voters say company sites often lack a compelling reason to work there in the first place.

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ERE member Matt?Martone thinks career sites could be improved with the addition of job blogs, which would sell the organization as an “employer of choice” by revealing life at that organization.

ERE member Martin?Burns agrees, noting that his revamped corporate blog is intended to “open the company up to the outside world, letting them in on our struggles, achievements [with the] idea being that people are a lot more interested in reading about that than they are our latest press release.”

Burns also says companies need to incorporate more engaging copy to “communicate the culture of your company through an interesting voice.”?

Rounding out the poll, 21% of the vote feel companies need to include more effective contact information for actual recruiters; 16% feel corporate sites lack an efficient process for applying; and coming in last, 7% of voters feel that information for different audiences, such as veterans, college students, and minorities, is the most lacking element.??

For more information: Jim Stroud brainstorms on how to leverage web site statistics for sourcing passive candidates in his new podcast.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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