#120 The anatomy of best careers sites to convince and convert talents

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Best careers sites convince and convert your company’s ideal passive and active job seekers.

What you put on your careers page and in which order has everything to do with whether the career site visitor stays or leaves.

Most companies that care about their website tend to care too much about the website design at the cost of delivering the intended messages through copytext and visuals.

Your careers site must work for you (that is your business).

Having a pretty website without powerful messages doesn’t help you to build your employer brand or convert your employer brand audience into your recruitment funnel.

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I talk about the anatomy of the best careers sites that convince and convert not just your ideal active job seekers but also your ideal passive job seekers.

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The anatomy of the best careers sites

Let’s dissect a great careers site.

#1 You have main careers page, like careers home.

The main careers page is equivalent to the home page of your entire website.

This is the general landing page for those website visitors who land on your company website and look for your career content.

At this point, you can’t tell if they are looking for a job or are simply checking you out for the first time.

Careers home? What am I talking about?

I’m talking about catering to active and passive job seekers and not assuming they are looking for the same information on your website.

The main careers page on your overall careers site is the careers home, your entrance, your hallway, where you direct your visitor to what they came looking for.

Sometimes your career site visitor randomly enters your career site and isn’t looking for anything specific. You can either lose them immediately and possibly lose a lead or convince them to stay and look around more.

Imagine yourself as a real estate agent, and you have an open house for a property you want to sell. Anyone who walks in that front door – as in enters your career’s home – is a potential buyer.

At this point, the world is both of yours, oyster. Anything is possible! 

This happened to my husband and me in our last house:

My husband had seen this beautiful house during the construction phase and then, one Sunday, noticed the house had come to the market. We went on a very innocent Sunday drive and popped in during the open house.

The minute I entered the house, my heart was filled with happiness, and within seconds, my brain decorated the house with our furniture, and I saw myself raising our family there and living a happy life. I was sold and convinced my husband we needed to get this house and move.

We had no previous intentions of moving anywhere! Yet, about four weeks later, it wasn’t my brain decorating that house; it was us decorating it. We’d sold our home, bought that dream house and moved in. 

I never underestimated what a powerful entrance could do for an innocent, curious visitor without alternative motives.

Imagine if your career site convinced AND converted your ideal passive job seekers like that.

The main careers page needs to speak to your relevant talent audiences

Your relevant talent audiences must get an instant vibe about whether your company is an ideal workplace for them or not.

You need to understand that all this happens almost unknowingly during the very first seconds as your main career page visitor is browsing through this page.

During these critical first seconds, your career site visitor must:

  • Sense through your images, communication style and the words you use whether they feel you align in culture and values, but also whether your professional interests and choices match.
  • Very quickly understand your special and unique offer for them.
    • In my Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ (Vaikuttava TyönantajabrändiⓇ for my Finnish audience) the unique offer refers to the Better Life Promise™️.
  • And finally, get a very clear call to action from you to help them understand the next steps you propose for them. This is the conversion part on your careers site.
    • You need to understand that not all your career site visitors are ready to convert to job applicants, so the best careers sites cater for both active and passive job seekers.
    • That’s why you use landing pages designed for specific purposes and audiences.

I have a blog post about using a website grunt test to evaluate how effective the first impression is on your career site if you are interested.

#2 Open jobs page 

The open jobs page is very important on your overall careers site.

The best careers sites treat the open jobs page as a sales page.

But only active job seekers are interested in this page in ways that lead to the conversions you are looking for.

When you browse through an online shop for something without any intention to buy, or even any possibility to buy, you can still look around, but you are not the ideal audience entering the shop. The shop needs to focus on converting ready-to-buy visitors into customers.

This means that the best careers sites optimise the recruitment area for those ready to act. 

Instead of just listing your open vacancies, this page needs to cater to a job seeker’s needs.

Here are some tips what your open jobs page should include:

  • Ability to search for relevant jobs and locations. (No brainer, really).
  • Possibility to get those (most frequently asked) questions answered that job seekers wonder about before they decide whether they apply or not. These answers should be tailored specifically for people ready to apply.
    • It could be a simple FAQ page, cheat sheet, instructions, chat window, or a new website feature called VideoBot, which my Finnish entrepreneur friends recently innovated.
  • Contact people’s names, contact details, faces and LinkedIn profile links because your recruitment team are your salespeople.
    • Imagine if you wanted to buy something expensive (which a career move is), and there was no way for you to talk to or email a salesperson. Would you continue with that company? Probably not. Unless they had an appealing brand and the trust was already there.

#3 Specific landing pages for your key employer brand target segments

You also need to cater for your key employer brand target segments, which should mostly be talents who are currently passive job seekers or not pressed enough to start applying for jobs.

They are kind of on the verge of activating, but nothing is pushing them, and they are more like window shopping for future reference and needs.

Suppose you don’t know what your key employer branding target segments are. In that case, I recommend you listen to episodes 83 and 84 to learn more about who exactly are your employer brand target audiences are and what the most common mistakes when choosing your employer brand target audiences. 

Episode 83: Who exactly are your target audiences in employer branding?

Episode 84: Choosing talent target audiences for employer branding? Avoid these two mistakes.

These are target segment-specific landing pages you use in your employer brand marketing and also in your recruitment campaigns.

All the content and messages on these pages are tailored and designed to convince and convert ideal and relevant talents from that specific segment to:

  • Start paying attention to you.
  • Follow you, learn about you and connect with you.
  • And eventually, when the time is right for them, convert into your recruitment funnel or [convert] directly as a candidate to an open recruitment process.

#4 Careers blog

The best careers sites have a blog to host an array of content tailored to grow awareness, build affinity and convert into your recruitment funnel.

Most companies have one blog on the website, and careers content can be located using a career-specific hashtag.

What makes a careers site great?

To summarise, what makes a careers site great:

  • First and foremost, the best career sites service those visitors you want to convince and convert.
  • When building your career site, you need to plan not just your content but also the structure and order of presenting information so that it caters to your target audience’s needs.
  • You don’t need the career site for you. You need it for your audience. Make your audience your priority.
  • What looks pretty doesn’t necessarily have an ounce of wisdom. So never compromise the message for the sake of the design.
  • You want to avoid your career site being a pretty window without anything value-add for anyone who chooses to visit and spend more than 5 seconds on it.
  • Your choices of images must communicate the very same key messages the copytext does. That’s why your career site development is never the job of a website designer alone.
  • The content must deliver value-add for anyone who chooses to visit and spend more than 5 seconds on your career site.

Keep in mind also:

  • The career site also needs to work for YOU and help deliver your employer brand marketing and talent acquisition goals. This means you need to know what your employer branding and talent acquisition goals are before you get on it.
  • Your careers pages need to act as hooks keeping your audience excited to stay and browse around.
  • What you communicate and how you communicate must be immediately clear, specific and easy to understand. And in the order of importance from the top down because people will not stay on a page that takes forever to get to the point they were looking for.

I know this might sound overwhelming, but when you have an employer brand strategy, you have your goals and key messages decided. You know exactly who your key target segments are and what drives them. And, you’ve decided what kind of an employer image your talent marketing needs to build. 

When you already have all this in your employer branding strategy, you know what your career site needs to communicate, to whom and what your goals are.

I guarantee then this will be easy to comprehend. All you need to do is to write your copytexts, choose your visuals and have the web development team put those in place.

How do you know if your career site works for you?

Your career site is a marketing tool, and your website analytics is your key to understanding how well your site works or doesn’t.

Metrics that become your career site KPIs, as in the key website metrics you need to monitor continuously to evaluate the growth or improvement in them, are:

  • Number of new career site visitors
  • Number of returning career site visitors
  • Average time spent on your career site
  • Time spent on unique pages on your careers site and which are your top unique pages
  • Bounce rates

You also need to pay attention regularly to:

  • Top traffic sources 
  • What search words do people who visit your career site used 
  • Top 3 pages where people spend the most time on your career site
  • Top 3 pages they visit last before they exit your career site
  • Top 3 career articles/blog posts

And you do this to learn what matters to your website visitors, whether your content and messages work for them, and what pages they spend most and least time on so that you can plan how to improve those pages.

Come back next week to learn more about how to build the modern employer brand and adapt to these changes making it more and more difficult to convert our audience into employer brand and other talent marketing value.

Moi moi!

P.S Are we connected yet on LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok?

P.S 2. I’m going to talk about Instagram vs TikTok in next week’s episode if you are interested!

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