What a Beanbag Can Tell You About Your Careers Website

Go to made.com, search for beanbags, and you’ll come across the Piggy Bag. The product has 17 different types of content on the page designed to entertain and excite buyers using an empathetic approach to selling.

Why is made.com, a website selling a £79 glorified cushion that will inevitably gather dust in the corner of your living room, putting more effort into promoting a beanbag than its careers website does selling a major decision that will shape the course of someone’s life?

This is something we must address.

To do so, let’s explore the anatomy of an e-commerce product page versus a typical careers page, and find out why your careers site is in dire need of a makeover.

E-Commerce Product Pages

The aim of a modern product page is to build brand affinity through considered and thoughtful content, designed to elicit a genuine emotional attachment to what buyers are interacting with. In a world where great content reigns supreme, product pages have evolved into contextualized hives of information that jump off the page straight into the customer’s mind.

To empathize with the audience effectively, the best-performing brands use a full suite of content to maximize the customer experience factor. 

Made.com sets the gold standard for this. Its Piggy Bag product page incorporates detailed product imagery, product descriptions, information about materials, how-to-use instructions, and even a reel of photos from current members of the Made.com community showcasing the product in their homes. Factor in a full FAQ section with a live chat window, and you’ve got an outstanding experience capable of charming almost anyone into clicking “buy”. It’s this savvy combination of rational and emotional drivers that propels consumers on the path to purchase.

Emotion & EVP in Career Websites

Most careers websites are basic and boring. To engage with candidates in the same vein as Made.com’s product pages, brands need to put their employer brand to work and use emotive storytelling to unlock candidate engagement.

These features could include a live chat to ask questions, videos of line managers answering hot topics, or a video of the department head selling the vision of the business. These work on an emotional level because the candidate is triggered to engage and immerse themselves in the company’s offering.

It all centers around one focus — how can brands integrate and situate the lives of candidates on a careers page? Companies need to demonstrate how prospective roles would put certain skills to the test, enhance existing experience, and encourage growth. Stories and testimonials of current team experiences, achievements, and general satisfaction can also be an influential and informative tool in gaining candidate trust.

Use emotional triggers to pull candidates in and empathize with their situation. Make things clear, simple, and fun — human emotion will always play a dominant role in the application process.

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Imagine This

Careers websites that incorporate powerful emotional triggers must also convince candidates with concrete rationale. Brands need to think about the logistics of a new job and how best to outline these benefits.

Imagine a careers website that mapped your door-to-door commute, displayed the easiest places to park, listed the best local spots to eat and drink, or even detailed the most cost-effective route to work. These granular details not only show candidates that you care and think about their needs, but can allay fear of the unknown that often clouds the minds of prospective applicants.

Internal benefits must be addressed as well. Resource, equipment, and office environment are critical factors in a job decision. Above all, be clear about career progression and future opportunity. This means providing a full list of benefits, incentives, and pay structure. Candidates who feel well-informed and clear about the tangible attributes of a new job are much more likely to engage with a brand.

Becoming Candidate-Centric

Made.com’s customer product page should serve as a barometer for the level of depth that careers websites must reach. While customer-centricity echoes across the offices of brand-side marketing departments up and down the country, HR departments have yet to join the race. However, in-house recruiters can start by putting the candidate at the heart of everything they do.

Emotionally-stirring content and rational job descriptors create a full, 360-degree experience for the candidate. They answer questions, encourage engagement, spark curiosity, and make candidates feel more comfortable. Crucially, this content allows the candidate to really envision themselves in the role.

When brands identify the emotional and rational factors that drive candidates, it becomes much easier to design an effective careers website that not only dazzles applicants, but saves you money and finds you the best talent time and again.

Bryan Adams is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and founder and CEO of award-winning digital marketing agency Ph.Creative.

As a Top 50 UK Social Influencer (ranked by Brand Republic & Klout), he has grown Ph.Creative into one of the UK’s leading digital marketing agencies in a little over 10 years. Headquartered in Liverpool, Ph.Creative meets the global challenges of a shifting marketplace via offices in London and New York.

He helps brands like Dominos, MasterCard, Nationwide Building Society, Tesco, Virgin Media, and Vodafone map the candidate experience, increase candidate engagement, boost revenue and reduce cost/time to hire.

He travels the world delivering keynote talks on issues ranging from talent attraction, candidate experience to recruitment tech. When he’s not trotting the globe or winning new clients, he can be found watching films, writing screenplays and proudly supporting his favorite football club, Liverpool FC.

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