Best Practices in HR

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Harini Praturi
  September 2, 2019

If You Want To Attract Talent, Why Is Your Careers Website So Complicated?

Having spent many years in marketing and technology, there’s always been one question to ask when trying to get someone to interact with a website, mobile app, etc What do you want them to do? And whatever that is, make it as easy as possible for them to carry out that task. 

By way of example, we look for 2 separate engagements with our referral solution. On the mobile app or desktop, we want employees to share jobs, so it’s designed to make it easy for employees to view their company’s vacancies and with one click share it through the social media channel of their choice. We even pre-populate the sharing message so they don’t have to do anything other than press send. 

Secondly, we need the referred candidates to apply, so again we make this a 30-second process of attaching a cv and providing their name & email address. The result? Higher job sharing, higher referral numbers and ultimately more referral hires. 

But when I look at many career websites, it’s almost like they’ve been designed to stop people from applying. Let’s go back to my original question – What do you want people to do? The answer must surely be to apply for a role they feel they have the skillset for. 

So here’s 5 ways to improve the results from your careers website: 

1. Avoid unnecessary clicks – I visited one website that took me 4 clicks just to get to the vacancies available in the company. Should it really be that hard to see what vacancies are available? When someone clicks on the vacancies/careers button on your website are they taken immediately to what jobs are available or to a lot of corporate fluff? 

2. Shorter Job descriptions – you could actually lose the will to live looking through some job specs! The candidate doesn’t need to know about every aspect of the job or every benefit. Use the mnemonic KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. As a candidate, the top 5 tasks of the role and top 5 benefits laid out in short or single sentences/bullet points is enough for them to determine if they wish to apply. Are your job descriptions succinct and to the point? 

3. Use video – a picture paints a thousand words, as will a video. A quick 30-second video can give more insights and provide more attention-grabbing information than any written job description. Plus it’s the number one way people are consuming information. Are you making the most of this medium? If not, why not? 

4. Application forms – So the candidate goes to apply and is immediately asked to fill in a form to register an account before even getting the chance to apply. Why? The only benefit of this is for the company to have some details in case someone doesn’t complete the application. If the action doesn’t benefit the candidate take it out. Yes, they can come back later and finish the application or apply for another role by logging into the ‘account’ they’ve created, but I would argue that if it takes that long to finish an online application, that you have to have the ability to come back to it, then it’s too long. When a person clicks ‘apply’ for a role, how quickly can they fill out your application? If it’s more than 1-2min I think you’ve added unnecessary complexity and need to strip it back. 

5. Mobile experiences – The average adult spends three and a half hours a day on their mobile phones and in the US 70% of applications to indeed.com came via mobile last year. This is an area where we spend a huge amount of time to deliver the successful referrals our clients need as part of their TA strategy – Looking at the best way to engage candidates and employees via their mobile phones. It should also be the focus for your careers website. It’s not good enough to provide a responsive website (one that adapts the view based on the size of the screen viewing it) you should now have a mobile-first engagement strategy – one where the experience of your careers website is built specifically for mobile with desktop as a secondary consideration and not the other way round. Do you provide an exceptional mobile experience? If not, you are limiting your candidate options. 

In an era when finding talent is extremely hard, creating barriers for candidates makes absolutely no sense. Your careers website should provide information about the company and the benefits of working for a great organisation, but first and foremost it should be the goal to move viewers of job vacancies to become candidates and ultimately your next hire. So always ask the question, what do I want job seekers to do next and spend time simplifying your process to make that action as easy as possible. 

Our award-winning referral solution engages your employees and candidates in a way that delivers significant hiring success. Want to find out more? Email me today gary.berney@hireuponline.com