crumnplingRecently, I sat in on a TalentNet Interactive Radio show. The selected topic was Employment Branding, but much of what we talked about had to do with the candidate experience, and all that begins with the career site.

While blogs and micro-blogs, social recruiting and stealth sourcing, get all the attention, the career site (often the baby of HR and IT, maybe….marketing) that dominates much of the applicant’s brain space.

Attracting applicants is no longer about simply having a functional career site or portal. In a nutshell, the “if you build it, they will come” mindset, left a long time ago…

It used to be that companies needed to post a link to their openings and give candidates the opportunity to apply, but career sites have a higher bar to reach in today’s crowded market. Getting your career site together requires:

Simplicity rules: People know what they want to do and where they want to do it. The company homepage acts as a beacon to folks looking for a specific gig. If the homepage is where they naturally gravitate, you need to ensure that your careers page is front and center, figuratively speaking. If your careers page is tough to find or takes forever to get to, fuggedaboutit!

Get current: If your openings are out of date, your jobseekers will be frustrated. Period. Rather than put a generic email address out there or jobs that have long been filled, fill that space with consistent needs (evergreen reqs) and company culture promoting stuff. Then let candidates get to know the different departments before giving them the option of sending in their resume. And for heaven’s sake, make the openings easy to search by department, location and title!

Experience matters: With job titles a veritable morass of ego and culture-specifics duties, it’s up to the employers to make it obvious how much experience you need for a certain level of position. A director level in a startup may look very different even in a medium sized company. Make it easy for job seekers for figure out where they belong.

Invite them back: Making sure that you capture pertinent information when potential applicants visit your site is paramount. Hopefully, there are more than just current opportunities at your company and knowing where your talent pipeline is when the time comes to reach out will help both your applicants and your internal recruiting team.Many sites are using retargeting, talent community platforms and CRM to capture this information.

Make it a hub:  How do people find your career site? Do you advertise? Link to it from your job advertisements? Add it to your company LinkedIn? Think of the ways you can make the career site a central location from all other avenues to your brand.

Hello?: If you aren’t giving your applicants a way to reach you (meaning integrated email) you are missing out! Not only will it frustrate potential candidates, it will double up on work for you. Career sites and platforms that allow email integration are crucial to creating an efficient career site.

Go Mobile: If your applicants are users of mobile (duh, everyone is), you need to make sure that your site is responsive and offers a way to apply on the go. Many offer one-click apply by LinkedIn, but a link emailed to the email address on file is a way that the application can be picked up later from a desktop.

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