Optimizing Your Career Site with the Candidate Experience in Mind

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Swedish recruitment market research firm PotentialPark’sannual survey, confirmed a trend that has quickly crept up on the recruiting industry: candidate experience. Although this survey, in particular, is from the perspective of recent graduates and college students the same holds true for most job applicants. They want tailored and digestible information, quick answers about available jobs, insight into the employer and brand culture and multiple channels to communicate.

The survey found that 86 percent of young job seekers make use of company career sites, more than half (56 percent) expect to find a company on Facebook, and 69 percent expect you to be on LinkedIn. What we must consider, as recruiters, is that hiring professionals from a range of ages, skill sets and geographic locations can only be achieved by a targeted and positive candidate experience.

Despite the findings about applicant expectations, when PotentialPark audited the corporate career sites of almost 500 U.S. firms they found that only 57 percent link to their Facebook page and 79 percent connect to LinkedIn or some other professional network.

Many career portals, an important foundation for any talent acquisition strategy, lack the information and interaction that candidates desire. So what do candidates look for when visiting a career site? According to the research, they want:

  • 61 percent want to get in touch with recruiters
  • 50 percent want to find interesting jobs
  • 55 percent are looking to build their professional network
  • 51 percent want realistic insights and interesting background information

You know that tried and true expression, “Carpe Diem”? Well every day that an employer’s career site fails to capture the interest or meet expectations of its target audience, opportunities are lost. Here’s how you can seize the day and start to optimize a career site to capture the top talent that every organization is after:

Start with a clean layout. There are more than 500,000 applications available in the iPhone App Store, Facebook has more than 900 million users, and a handful of websites are vying for our attention with an engaging UI and delivery of information or services. A career site should be no different.

A career site should have consistent branding, an entry page that can easily direct candidates to information like current jobs or contact information and have an updated look and feel.

Build in ease-of-use features. Search functions are important to help quickly move candidates to content that is tailored to their role. Build job-type specific landing pages for each type of role and include jobs specific to that function (i.e. marketing, engineering, etc.). Consider the bells and whistles like a blog post from the hiring manager or video of a project that department has recently wrapped up to really rope candidates in.

Use the social tools at hand. Candidates expect you to be on social platforms, so don’t make them work to find it. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all good places to market the employer brand and maintain an engaged talent community that will either apply now or later.

Aside from providing widgets so that candidates can easily connect to these networks, they can also be the panacea to the dreaded, time-consuming process of filling out an application. With the social apply function, candidates can start an application process with pre-populated information from their LinkedIn or Facebook profile – no username or password necessary. This makes it easier and quicker for them, and reduces risk of bounce rates for the employer.

There are many tools at our disposal to improve the success of your talent acquisition. What features and remedies do you find create the best candidate experience possible?


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