If you were to talk to the country’s CEOs about the biggest challenges facing their businesses, most would put the growing talent shortage at the top of the list. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies reported 7.3 million job openings at the end of June 2019.
For companies in many industries, the shortage is hampering growth, slowing innovation and hurting customer service. Manufacturing firms can’t find enough skilled workers to operate more complex machinery; technology companies compete fiercely to hire data scientists, development and operations pros, and AI (artificial intelligence) experts; and most retail and service businesses have permanent “help wanted” signs affixed to storefronts.
To attract top candidates, companies are doing everything from raising salaries, giving lucrative signing bonuses, sweetening benefits packages to ironing out the kinks in corporate cultures. Beyond these measures, however, there is another easy-to-address tactic that will help you attract, engage and motivate candidates to submit job applications: Your website’s careers section.
The ubiquitous website careers section, today more than ever, must be better and more compelling than your competitors to entice and lure the best applicants. Gone are the days where this area of your website was just a simple list of open jobs. Here’s a short list of changes you can make right now to level up its appearance and content, and help you outperform others in your industry.
Sell the Job
It’s paramount that companies quickly capture the attention of applicants. SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) says “effective careers sites need to convert browsing candidates.” Don’t write job descriptions like everyone else — cliché requirements, boring job duties and the requisite list of benefits. Have your marketing team write descriptions in a sales promotion style, keeping them concise and engaging. After all, you want people to “buy” by applying!
Promote your Corporate Culture
Provide your candidates with a view of what it would be like to work at your firm. Culture is a critical factor for attracting millennials, for instance, who “value innovation over anything else when it comes to choosing an employer,” according to a millennial survey conducted by Deloitte. Make sure you also promote how your company is giving back to the communities where you work—something most candidates care deeply about. SHRM also says that by providing candidates a view into your corporate culture “helps candidates pre-qualify themselves and help you avoid hiring people who are poor cultural fits.” Also, consider telling your company’s story through employee testimonials. Personal stories are incredibly effective because they’re objective and help candidates picture themselves working at your company, too.
Use High-Quality Images and Videos
To make your careers section stand apart from the competition focus on improving the user experience by adding high-quality images and videos, which improves overall engagement. The careers home page should be bold and colorful — featuring images of people at work. Throughout the section, try to use images of actual employees in the workplace, particularly if you have modern, collaborative workspaces with great amenities. Short videos (no more than three minutes) of employees sharing why your company is a great place to work is one of the most effective tactics for attracting applicants. For larger companies, consider including an employee video from each division or functional areas, such as manufacturing, engineering and finance.
Use Intuitive Navigation to Organize Everything
For larger careers sections, organize areas by subsections and intuitive titles so candidates can explore the content quickly by scanning. Depending on your site’s complexity, you could have subsections such as:
- Meet Our Talent
- Our Culture
- Find Open Positions
- What We Care About
- What We Do
- Why Choose “Your Company”
- Meet Our People
- Career Areas
- Inclusion & Diversity
- Employee Videos
How to Ask Candidates to Apply
How you ask job applicants to apply depends on the size and scale of your organization, and the nature of the work. Certain situations may call for a
simple integrated application on the page while others may need something more sophisticated to weed out unqualified applicants. The more professional the job, the more likely you’ll want people to send a resume via email vs. an online form. Furthermore, if you have a high volume of positions and applicants, you’ll want to connect your HR or recruitment platform directly to the website to streamline operations as well as the user experience.
Turn Visitors into Applicants
Think of your careers section as a window that applicants and candidates can peer into to get a 360-degree view of what it’s like to work at your company. In a business environment where hiring tends to consume senior leader time, you can’t afford site visitors who are “window shoppers” only. You need applicants today.