A recent survey from Beyond found that 75 percent of recruiters view today’s job seekers as unqualified. That’s simply not true.

What may actually be true is that 75 percent of the job seekers who visit today’s corporate career sites are unqualified. And there’s a reason for that.

Most corporate career sites have the look and feel of stores. It’s as if companies are shouting, “Hey, we’re a buyer of labor, and you’re a seller of labor. Let’s make a deal!”

It’s a very transactional experience. And it’s exactly what active job seekers want.

But that’s the problem.

Now, before you rise up in righteous indignation, there are obviously qualified candidates among the active job seeker population. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at any point in time, just 16 percent of the workforce is actively in transition. That means a corporate career site designed with the look and feel of as a store is basically irrelevant to more than four-fifths of the workforce. And simple mathematics should tell you there are significantly more qualified prospects in that much larger population.

So, how do you design a corporate career site for the 84 percent of the workforce who are not actively looking for a job? You give them the experience of visiting a farm rather than a store.

Transforming a Store Into a Farm

A corporate career site designed as a farm uses its content, features, and functionality to nurture relationships with passive prospects. It still offers employment opportunities, but those openings are presented in a context that is different from that of a store in two very important ways:

- First, visitors are treated as colleagues, not customers (or supplicants for work).

- Second, the focus is on helping visitors succeed in their careers, not simply apply for jobs.

How do you deliver the look and feel of a farm? You have to redesign your site to give it three key attributes:

1. Personalization

farmAvoid sending the subliminal message that you see all visitors as “generic candidates” by providing individual homes or specialized channels for each career field in your workforce. That way, when a prospect enters your site, they aren’t subjected to a boilerplate experience, but one that is tailored to them.

2. Career Content

Avoid treating passive prospects as job seekers – they aren’t. They are best described as career activists. Their goal isn’t to find a job, but to advance their career. For that reason, the content in each personalized channel should be written with the vocabulary and the interests of those who work in that career field.

Furthermore, the majority of the content should focus on the principles and practices of successful career self-management, not job search. Job postings should be written as electronic sales brochures, not sleep-inducing position descriptions.

3. Dialogue

Make sure your site doesn’t talk at visitors, but instead engages them in conversations.  These conversations can be developed using blogs, chats, discussion forums, and even question and answer features as long as the interactions give visitors the sense that they are actually dealing with another human, not some faceless corporate department or a machine.

For many individuals, their first in-depth experience with an employer is through its corporate career site. So, ask yourself this: Would you rather be greeted by a site that treats you as a commodity to be bought, or one that treats you as person worth getting to know?


TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions is the global trade association for the talent acquisition technology industry. Collectively, its members power or operate more than 60,000 sites worldwide and provide state-of-the-art products and innovative services for virtually every facet of talent acquisition. Join the dialogue by attending the TAtech Conference & Expo this fall. Connect with the real experts in talent acquisition technology and get your hotel room for free if you register by July 15th!

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