cleaning upResearch tells us that employee referrals (underpinned somewhat by social networks) followed by job boards are the two most popular sources of hire by some distance, according to the CareerXRoads Survey – and, quite rightly, I have devoted a lot of my editorial time to talking about how recruiters can make best use of these two channels.

But, they are not the only two ways to hire, and in fact the CareerXRoads Survey tells us that the third most effective recruitment channel, used by 10% of employers to successfully source candidates, is the company career site. However, even though the careers site may not be the main source of hire, it is still pivotal to attracting talent, as demonstrated by the recent PotentialPark survey which found that the corporate career site is still the major hub for all off and on-line activity for candidates.

Even though career sites are not the most influential recruitment channel, they still have a key role to play in candidate attraction and employers should be careful not to neglect them and should still be working to maximize the effectiveness and appeal of their careers sites. And below, I have set out some tips to help employers to do this.

1. Ensure Career Site is Just One Click From The Home Page

A report from Taleo found that 73% of Fortune 500 companies have their career sections, just one click away from the home page – and this was regarded as a best practice. So, why not emulate the best here and ensure that you have a prominently positioned link to the careers section on your homepage? This will make it easy for active or passive job seekers to learn more about opportunities in your business.

Also, why not place more links and banners to your careers section in other high trafficked pages of the site, such as product pages, to drive incremental traffic to your career sites?

2. Install a Job Search On Your Careers Page

Assuming that you have more jobs than you can comfortably fit on a page, ensure that you make your career sites searchable as this is the easiest way for candidates to find jobs – and this will increase the chances of your vacancy being found by suitable candidates.

3. Build relevant and attractive job descriptions for all roles

You need to ensure that you prepare high quality and engaging job descriptions which not only talk about the job and personal requirements, but which also talk about the culture of the business unit/team and the personality and supervisory style of the line manager. The latter two elements are important as a survey by ICMA international has shown that a pleasant working environment and work life balance were key ‘pull’ factors for candidates, and a Kelly Global Services survey tells us that poor line manager relations are a key reason that people leave jobs.

4. Build Targeted And Attractive Careers Content

Research from CareerBuilder survey shows that jobs with video icons are viewed 12% more times than postings without video and experience a 34% great application rate. So ensure that your careers section includes a good quality corporate video showing just how great a place to work your business actually is.

And, in doing so you will also be showcasing your ‘best bits’ which will make your company seem a more attractive place to work.

5. Enable users to share your jobs with social networks

Another way to extend the reach of your careers section is by including share buttons to all the social networks, within each job listing, so jobseekers can refer your jobs to friends and colleagues, thereby increasing the reach of your careers portal. . As we know from the CareerXRoads Sources of Hire survey, employee referrals are the most common source of hire by some way, so ensure you maximize the use of this recruitment medium.

6. Is Your Careers Site Smart Phone Enabled?

The PotentialPark survey (which reviewed 30,000 job seeker’s world wide) found that while 81% of candidates wanted to use smartphones for career search purposes, only 21% of global top employers have a mobile site or careers based app. So, a clear tip here is that if you want your career site to be more attractive to the market place ensure your website is mobile phone optimized, by creating a dedicated mobile site or creating a careers related app.

7. Ensure job seekers can get quick answers to the questions that they have

The PotentialPark survey also found that jobseekers want to be able to get quick or even immediate answers to the questions that they have when dealing with an employer. In order to optimize your career site to meet this need for instant gratification, ensure there is detailed information about the company, benefits, terms and conditions, culture and interview process. As well as this, consider building chat functionality into the site so candidates can initiate immediate conversations with your HR team and have their questions answered immediately.

8. Include a Company  Blog

Include a blog on your site which enables candidates to engage more with your businesses and the personalities within your business. Encourage managers and HR to post articles in order that you can engage with talent and start building a passive talent community.

Final Thoughts…

There is no doubt that the role of the traditional career site is changing as candidates begin to engage with employers through the social media channels, meaning that careers site are not the universal source of company information any more.

The PotentialPark research shows that today’s millennial candidates expect employers to be social, that is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogs, but, they also expect that the employer’s on-line careers presence should be designed to suit each social medium and should not simply be a repetition of content, throughout each social social channel. Your careers site can no longer represent your entire online careers presence, but should simply be the heart of a highly differentiated wider social network based careers presence.

In order to stay relevant in this new world, career sites will need to adapt and become two way communication channels between candidate and employers, and allowing candidates to engage with other candidates and eventually becoming a social career presence in their own right.

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