Career pages have an important job to do. Why do firms set them up to fail?

B2B career pages
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OK, marketers, what are the saddest pages on your website? The ones nobody likes. The ones that almost never get updated. The boring, not sexy, get-it-over-with pages your developers and agencies hate working on? Probably the Terms and Conditions page. That’s not fun. Ditto the Legal page, the Privacy Policy, the copyright notifications and the one about accessibility.

We don’t lose a lot of sleep about those pages, do we? Nobody goes there, the UX is not going to make or break the brand or sell more product. But there’s one, sad page that we should not be ignoring, and that’s the Careers page. Yes, that one. No, it’s not HR’s problem; stop pointing. It’s your problem.

It’s your problem because it’s probably one of the most heavily trafficked parts of your website, particularly if you’re growing, or if you’re a well-known consumer brand or local employer. Inside that problem, however,  is a giant opportunity to do a bit of lead generation and some serious brand-building.

Consider the following:

  • 60 percent of candidates visit company career pages to look for jobs, compared to a little over 30% who look on LinkedIn or job boards.1
  • 56% of candidates consider your company website a top source of information about your employer brand, and 21% say the career site is a top place to learn about it.2
  • 78% of candidates who have a good experience will share that with their networks; and half will share it publicly. On the other hand, if you give them a poor experience, 65% will let their networks know and 35% will tell the whole world.1
  • Even people who don’t get hired (28%) are likely to expand their relationship with your brand if they have a good candidate experience.1
  • But 12% of North American candidates resent their poor experiences enough to sever their relationships with the brand.1

Leaving Revenue on the Table

So if your company had 1,000 applicants over the course of the year, and of the 990 you didn’t hire, you pissed off 12% enough to walk away from you, what is the revenue per person you just threw away? I will leave that with you to work out.

Beyond building a great looking page with the right content, we need to apply some other web marketing basics to this poor page. I’d start with offering to get visitors onto your mailing list. If they’re interested enough to check you out as a place to work, they’re probably open to getting on your marketing list.

Are you a charitable organization? Then go ahead and add some donation-generation content, and a really easy way for visitors to throw some money into the coffers. Just because they’re checking out your Careers page, doesn’t mean they won’t donate.

Here are some other ideas

  • Ask visitors to rate the page – you do it on your product pages, why not here?
  • Build an opt-in list for candidates to get text notifications about new openings.
  • Serve up some coupons or offers to get visitors to engage with your brand as a customer.
  • By the way, if you’ve got a robust customer site, you should be cross-promoting your openings on these pages.
  • Do you have one of those carousel banner things on your home page? Why not offer a position on that for recruiting? Or have a spot in the right or left rail for the job-of-the-week.
  • Make it stupidly easy for visitors to share job listings and company information with their networks. Make sure there’s a great visual, too.
  • Do you hire in specific locations? Turn on tracking and let visitors opt-in to share their location. This is seriously good data for the recruiting team, and it may help you, too.

Speaking of data, make sure you’re capturing all the same metrics for your career pages as you are for your other pages: search strings, page views, unique visitors, time on page, location, IP address, browser, transactions, traffic sources, bounces, etc. Oh, and share that data with your recruiting team.

If you’re having trouble convincing yourself to pay some attention to the candidate experience, here’s a great case study about how Virgin turned a terrible recruiting process that cost them $6-million a year into a $7-million revenue stream.

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Elizabeth Williams
Elizabeth Williams is the President of Candler Chase Inc., a consulting firm specializing in employee communications and branding. She is a survivor of more than 20 years in the telecom, financial services and technology sectors, and can often be found blogging about brands and speaking at conferences. She keeps meaning to write a book.