You’ve heard about the importance of Candidate Experience and Employment Branding. The question is…what are you doing to evaluate how your careers site is performing on these topics.

In sales, it’s been said that 70% of prospects have already made their decision before talking to a human being about making the purchase. You should think about your careers site in the same way.

Here’s a few quick tips for rating the “attractiveness” of your careers site.

1. Google Search

Run a Google search of your company like a candidate would. Don’t assume they’ll be using macro search terms like “Enterprise Rent-a-Car Careers”. Candidates utilize Google Search 84% of the time, and the searches are increasingly granular. Acting like a candidate, try using micro search terms for your company to see what you find.

In the example below, Enterprise Rent-a-Car does a great job of serving up the specific content for a “Sales candidate in Chicago” search. The candidate will have minimal clicks before finding jobs specific to their location. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this a solid 9. Well done.

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2. Job Aggregator Traffic

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 10.56.00 PMAlso at the top of the Google Search results are results for Indeed. This is very common as Indeed is a top traffic driver to most careers sites. We recently noted that Indeed has passed the 140 million unique visitor mark per month. Indeed and other aggregators can lead to over 50% of careers site traffic going directly to your job descriptions. It’s important to think like a candidate by searching and clicking on one of your jobs on Indeed.

In this case, Enterprise performs okay. It’s not a negative experience, but I would rate this as a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. I rate it as a 4 because most candidates will be required to do more digging to understand if this job is the right fit for them. If they don’t, you may be getting a non-quality applicant.

3.  Referrals & Social Sharing

The holy grail of recruiting is referrals. CareerXRoads reports that 25% (and rising) of hires come from referrals. When looking at your candidate experience, you’ve got to assess how easy it is to share content that drives referrals. At the same time, you’ve got to evaluate the quality of the content you are asking employees and candidates to share. Will anyone want to share it? Will it attract the attention of your intended audience?

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Looking at Enterprise Rent-a-Car, we see a typical strategy for online referrals. The process is mechanical in nature as it captures basic contact information. There’s something missing here. The referrer has no clue what the person they are referring is going to receive. There’s also no easy way to share the job on a social network. Not to mention, the content may not be good enough for them to want to share on their social networks anyway. I give Enterprise a 3 out of 10, because the process is mechanical. The good news is at least they have the basic capture.

4. Engagement on Landing & Job Pages

You’ve spent money on videos, you’ve added widgets, and you’ve featured your social icons. But how do they convert? Are they helping candidates engage and become more informed and inspired to work for your company. The key is to not get too cute until you know what works. Many companies have approached their careers site with a checklist mentality. Got social, check. Got video, check. And so on. It’s imperative to know what your candidates are clicking on, and what they are interested in. It’s then critical to get them to the right jobs quickly.

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In the case of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, they’ve put a good amount of effort into the front page of their careers site. They’ve got nice images of people, and they are attempting to tell a story about opportunity, career growth, and hiring of veterans. The piece on veterans is commendable, and a great touch. Outside of that, they’ve loaded up on videos and social channels. On the surface it seems like the checklist mentality, so it would be critical to understand how each of them convert. In this case, I’m rating the front page a 6 out of 10. Telling multiple stories is the biggest positive on the page. The rest may come off as fluff to some top candidates.

5. Conversion on “Calls to Action”

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.04.07 PMThe most important buttons you need clicked are “Apply” and your talent community or job alert sign-in prompts. What percentage of your page views are clicking these buttons? Are the buttons easy to find on every page, on any device? Looking at the mobile example for Enterprise, it’s got good qualities. First off, it’s built with responsive design. That’s a huge plus for candidates.

The downside for Enterprise is that their brand is intertwined with Alamo and National. While on one hand it’s understandable, it may also confuse candidates from a brand perspective. I’ll give Enterprise a 7 out of 10 on their mobile careers site. They get the most points for being responsive and having ease of use. A few points come off for having the apply below the fold on the page, and the potential for a mixed message in branding.

If you want to dig deeper on your calls to action, determine which are your best performing job descriptions. Where are your best performing locations? What about your top converting traffic sources? This is critical information when rating the effectiveness of your careers site.

Where’s the people?

As a child of the ’80’s, I like to compare the old Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” campaign to careers sites. Candidates want to know more about the people they will work with. Period.

In today’s age, stock photos of people are not going to cut it. Even photos of real employees that are “over-glossy” can give candidates pause. Candidates can be skeptical. Especially the best ones, and they won’t simply take things at face value.

The bigger issue here is evidenced in the examples above from Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Out of the five separate pages featured from their careers site, there are people on one of them. The good news is that it is the front page. The bad news is that we know that the majority of candidates may never see that page.

To make your candidate experience more attractive, you’ve got to feature real people, and provide an ability to communicate. If you can do this at the job and location level, your candidate experience will be ready to soar. Every visit to your careers site should feature people in an authentic way.

Showcasing real people can exponentially raise the “attractiveness” of your careers site in the eyes of candidates.

by in Candidate Engagement