Comic PopThe Must Haves of Today’s Career Pages

Your corporate career page is the first and sometimes only opportunity to make a lasting impression on a prospective employee. Career pages that work inform, convert, and make an impression.

Your career page answers the following questions:

  • Does this employer value their employee’s contributions and ideas?
  • Does this employer embrace diversity and inclusion?
  • Will I have work life balance?
  • Will I enjoy working here?
  • Will I have future opportunities and career sustainability?

Notice that “What will I get paid?” is not listed here.  Employees aren’t just looking for the highest salary as proved by study after study.  They are looking for a job that they love waking up for, a job where they can keep challenged and inspired, and a team that they enjoy working with. Remember that people are looking for meaning and value in their lives. Work is a big part of that.

Creating a career page that really pops and creates a bond between you and your potential employees is a great first step to attracting top talent.

Here are some suggestions for having pages that POP:

  • Highlight Your Cool Jobs: Dedicate one section of the site to cool jobs or jobs where employees are in high demand.  Create a “hook” to get people to check out the site.  An interesting and creative example is on Amazon.com’s career page: they have a section for Code Ninja’s.  They are always competing for software coders and developers, so creating this hook which is engaging and shows the fun side of working for Amazon is a good way to compete against Amazon’s competitors like Facebook and Google.
  • Keep it Real: Etsy’s career page has this great video soliciting applications for web developers. It’s a spoof that contains scenes of “punch dancing” and “arm fighting.” Someone also puts an iron into a microwave.  You don’t have to be a comic or make everything funny, but you should speak in real language and keep things honest. They also write: “Here’s a list of our open positions. We pay top dollar for top talent, and everyone has a stake in our success.” It’s plain language that is authentic. However, make sure you’re honest – if your employees don’t have a stake in success, don’t say they do. Just say what you mean and what’s important to your company in clear language and you can’t go wrong.
  • Deep Dive Into Your Benefits: A list of your benefits is boring.  An interactive description of your entire benefit package including pictures and links will keep future hires on the page and help them to start envisioning themselves working for your company and using those benefits.  Make sure to really highlight some non-tangible benefits like charitable donation matching, or volunteer programs that you sponsor along with employees, these are the cultural type benefits that employees today are looking for. Put your boring list somewhere on the site for reference, but feature images – people want eye candy. For example, if you have a gym membership reimbursement, show a picture of some of your employees running a track, etc… Do something fun and show, don’t tell.
  • Get People Talking: Add a blog, imbed a Twitter feed, link to Facebook and LinkedIn.  Encourage and moderate any discussion boards and make sure that people’s questions get answered.  This will give you great insight and help to blast out messages to large groups of people about hot job postings you have coming up.  Talk about more than just job postings on your blog and social media pages.  Discuss current events, ask open ended, thought provoking questions; the goal is to keep people talking and engaged.
  • Highlight Happy People: Show pictures, offer biographies, and even videos of happy employees talking about what they love about working for your company.  Show a broad range of people across various age groups and ethnicities, as well as individuals who have transitioned from military careers, stay at home moms, or independent business owners.  Fora  reference, Google does a fantastic job of highlighting their broad range of employees.

What to avoid on your career page

There a few key mistakes that many employers make on career pages that can really turn prospective employees off.   Avoid these pitfalls:

  • Any negative talk or directives: Employers often write “Don’t email unsolicited resumes they will be discarded” or a generic apology that recruiters will only be contacting qualified candidates.  Both of these statements are arrogant dream killers, and you can bet they will turn potential candidates off. Those unqualified applicants that you’re talking to won’t listen to you anyway.
  • Any BOLDED STATEMENTS: These types of statements assume your site visitors are idiots and need to be shouted at in order to get the point, again a turn off
  • Bad search tools: It’s 2012 people, your search process needs to be easy and intuitive.  Candidates should be able to search by key word, specific location, or a geography within xx miles from a city or zip code
  • Registration required before you can search for a job: Registration to apply for a job is understandable, but make the password requirement loose (It’s not such personal information that a highly complex password is required) and ensure your system is easy to understand. Be sure that you walk through the process yourself to see what people go through. Be sure that searching and other common functions don’t require registration.
  • Broken promises: This is of course often inadvertent, but make sure that you aren’t promising something to candidates that you can’t deliver. If you say “Someone will get back to you shortly,” well, someone had better get back to them shortly. You can easily create expectations that are important to candidates – be sure that you meet or exceed every one of the promises that you make to them.

Lastly, make sure you always solicit anonymous feedback from candidates and employees on your website, because they are the ones that will know.  Technology is quickly evolving and Ye with the best website always wins….errr….hires the best candidates! You can’t really keep up if you’re not always trying to improve every aspect of your career site – feedback is essential to the process. Happy recruiting!

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