The Bridge of Career Sites
Long gone are the days where websites were used primarily to push information out into the world wide web. Nowadays engagement is key in every candidate relationship – including the interaction with a company’s career site. Instead of viewing the career site as yet another recruitment channel or static website that once set up will generate applications automatically, it should be seen as a central touch point that candidates will keep returning to throughout their application journey. The role of career sites in talent acquisition thus is not simply to act as shop windows in which companies advertise their products and services but to engage, inform, and interact with talent.
On an integrated career site job seekers will not only find information about job openings within the company but also get a peek behind the curtain gaining insights into the company’s culture, values and mission. Including this information on the career site as well as giving potential candidates the opportunity to apply through the career site not only streamlines the candidate journey but also allows for the company to gain data-driven insights into the recruitment process, which can be used as the basis for informed decision-making. For a deep-dive into integrated career sites read our article “The Strategic Advantage of an Integrated Career Site: Streamlining Talent Acquisition”. So besides just offering information on open positions within the company, here are 5 essential functions that make the role of career sites in talent acquisition a vital one.
1. Aiding Talent Discovery
As in every other aspect of our lives, job seekers frequently use online research to find a suitable job. One-third of people aged 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 year-olds as well as 19% of 35 to 45 year-olds have relied on the internet in their search for a new occupation. Not having a career site means potentially losing this talent to a competitor whose site is found when searching online. Yet, simply having a career site is not enough. An easy-to-navigate design and engaging content is just as important for job seekers to interact with your employer brand. This includes a mobile-friendly website that potential candidates can discover on the go. By designing a career site that job seekers can navigate intuitively to get to know the company and learn about job opportunities, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners have cut down their application time by a third.
One such way to facilitate navigation around the career site are job recommendations as a personalized feature which helps candidates find relevant positions easily. Based on their previous website behavior, job recommendations are curated for each job seeker and present them with open positions at just the right time. After browsing through the career site and getting to know the company and the culture, when job seekers are ready to take the next step in their candidate journey and look for job openings in your company, job recommendations make it even easier for potential candidates to find just the right job for them. This streamlines this stage in the candidate journey and facilitates the application process, making job seekers more likely to apply for a job, thus increasing your application rate, and aiding you in discovering new talent.
2. Presenting the Company Culture
When it comes to filling the career site with engaging content, it is important to present the company culture authentically. Presenting the company’s culture, values and mission to job seekers will enable them to engage with your employer brand and evaluate their personal cultural fit. Employee stories and user-generated content in the form of blog articles, videos or other interactive content are a great way to engage talent and give them an understanding of what it is like to work in the company. Audible, for example, increased its awareness as an employer by having employees tell their personal Audible story as brand ambassadors, thereby strengthening the company’s employer brand. The 100% increase in organic visits to the career site via Google confirms the success of this strategy.
Presenting the company culture authentically and giving potential candidates a look behind the scenes not only attracts talent but ultimately also increases employee retention in the long run. Since candidates are giving insights into the company’s values, mission and culture, they themselves can evaluate whether they fit the company and vice versa. Before even entering the application process, potential candidates whose values do not align with the company’s can already decide to not pursue this job opportunity further. While this might seem like a negative outcome, it does have its advantages. When unsuitable candidates decide to not apply for a position, companies need fewer resources to sort through applications. Additionally, there is a lower chance that candidates will decide against an offer from the company because they already know about their own cultural fit before applying and won’t experience any negative surprises when starting the position. Ultimately, this will increase employee retention.
3. Attracting Top Talent
A company’s career site is a blank canvas that can be adapted to and filled with content that attracts just the right talent. Whether it be through employee success stories, company event stories or department introductions, a career site can showcase a company’s specific strengths and employee value proposition (EVP). By strategically developing the EVP and understanding its strengths as an employer with the help of current employees, companies lay the groundwork to attract the right talent. When being presented with the EVP by the company, the right talent will be attracted to it and engage with the company, increasing brand awareness as well as traffic to the website. Just like in marketing, it is important to understand the target audience and create a career site that appeals to them, pushing just the right strengths that will encourage them to apply for an open position. With a clear understanding of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) strengths that their employees had, we created an engaging employee value proposition. By pushing it on the company’s career site job seekers engaged with the website, increasing the traffic by 700%.
4. Simplifying the application process
By integrating the career site with the applicant tracking system, companies not only streamline the application process for themselves but also for potential candidates. Lowering the threshold to apply for a job for potential candidates is one of the main objectives of user experience. Imagine a job seeker finding a company’s career site, engaging with it and building up a desire to work at that company. When looking up open positions and finding just the right one, they want to apply immediately. However, the company requires applications to be made via email, including a CV and a letter of application. This would entail potential candidates to have these files on hand. With some job seekers looking for jobs on the go using mobile devices, this might be a challenge big enough to get discouraged and not apply after all. So in order to not lose top talent, reducing barriers in the application process is vital. It should be low-threshold, if not even enjoyable, to apply for a role. That includes a carefully thought-out user experience on the career site and a hassle-free application process. Creating a simple application process will increase application rates, helping companies find just the right talent for their needs.
5. Delivering Data-Driven Recruitment Insights
With every click and every second spent on a specific page, job seekers leave a trail of valuable data for companies on the career site. Analyzing this data means leveraging the data-driven recruitment insights to further optimize the career site, the candidate journey and talent acquisition strategy as such. Although experienced recruitment specialists’ gut feeling might be on the right track, companies should always account for data-driven decision-making. Understanding which content job seekers engage with and which steps they take before applying aids talent acquisition teams in making informed decisions on how to adapt the recruitment process to better fit the target candidates’ profiles and journeys. Ultimately, this will optimize the recruitment strategy and the career site in order to reach the company-specific recruiting goals.
The role of career sites in talent acquisition is much more than just being a place to publish open positions. Rather, it is the space where job seekers engage and connect with your company. The space where they go from being job seekers to candidates and future employees. Thus your career site fulfills a number of important functions: it aids your company in being found by talents and presents your company culture attracting the top talent. Later, it streamlines the application process both for you and your candidates. Using the data-driven insights gained through analyzing your career site is the base for optimizing your recruitment strategy.
Career sites play a vital role in talent acquisition, connecting job seekers with your company. From Hi to Apply, applicants return to your career site throughout their candidate journey, looking for further information. Don’t let this central recruiting tool be a weakness in your talent acquisition strategy. Find out how you can use your career site’s full potential by contacting us via email@example.com.
 Statista. 2022. Share of people in selected European countries searching and applying for jobs online 2019, by age group. Accessed on November 6 2023 from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1244216/europe-internet-users-searching-jobs-application/