Building a Career Site that Attracts Candidates


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A good career site should be at the center of any good recruitment program - your prospective candidates will want to find out more about your company and your career opportunities and, if they like what they see, convert into candidates and hires.

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  • Hi, and thanks for joining us for today’s webinar, where we’ll be discussing how to build and optimize a career site that attracts candidates.The hub of any good marketing program is the website. It's where interested prospects go to find out more about your product, and convert into leads and, ultimately, sales. A good career site is equally important for recruitment - your prospective candidates will want to find out more about your company and your career opportunities and, if they like what they see, convert into candidates and hires.
  • I’m Jen Picard and I’m the Marketing Director at Bright. Our mission is to make the hiring process more efficient by showing recruiters, on a scale of 0-100, how qualified a given candidate is for your position. After posting your job description on Bright, we will score your applicants, as well as other active candidates from our database. I’d encourage everyone to see for yourself by signing up for a free, 7 day trial at Now let’s go ahead and jump into the presentation and talk about building a career site.
  • Your site should answer the following question:
  • Why Should I work for you?
  • An effective career site should be more than just job postings – it is your opportunity to really sell your company. Your candidates want to see why they should choose your company over your competitors, why your current employees like working there, and what you can offer them both in the short-term and long-term.
  • Just like marketers need to turn website visitors into leads and clients, you need to turn your visitors into applicants and hires. A well designed career site will help you accomplish that goal, as will some of the other tips discussed in this series. So let’s dive in to how to get started.
  • Larger companies will likely have dedicated IT resources and sophisticated marketing software available for building out a career site, but many smaller companies may not. Luckily, there are some great platforms available for smaller companies with few resources, which are easy to implement and use. I use a Content Management System called Drupal, for example, to build out all of the Bright Recruiter pages on our website. It did require some development resources to get the initial set up done, because we wanted to make sure the branding was consistent between our various web properties. Definitely speak to your IT and Marketing departments before making any decisions, but know that CMS’s like Drupal or Wordpress can give you the flexibility to build a career page, complete with a blog, job postings, benefits information, etc – as well as the ability to change anything, any time you’d like.
  • Your career site should start off with a homepage that introduces your company and includes calls to action indicating what you would like your website visitor to do next. Include some information on your employer brand proposition, your mission and vision. Back it up with some employee testimonials. And don’t just tell candidates why they should want to work for you – show them. Include pictures and video to give candidates an idea of what it would be like to work for the company.Next, include a call to action. Obviously, we want website visitors to convert to applicants but, just as in marketing, they may not be ready to “buy” from you. This is why you’ll often see websites with primary and secondary calls to action. The primary call to action is to apply for a job, but perhaps the secondary is to subscribe to your employer newsletter or blog. We’ll get more into what you can include as secondary CTAs later in this presentation, as well as later in the series, but make sure that you have a way to nurture, or keep in touch with, your more passive candidates.
  • If you have a lot of employee testimonials, create a separate page for them and link to it from 1 or 2 testimonials on your homepage. Make this very visual with pictures of your employees giving the testimonials and with videos of your employees explaining why they like working at your company. Also consider linking to your Glassdoor, CareerBliss or Linkedin page for external validation.
  • If you have a lot of employer awards, also be sure to showcase them here. Have you been chosen as one of the best places to work? Coolest workspace? Make sure you tout it and link back to the original article.
  • Also share some information about your team. Bright has a short 2-3 sentence bio and picture of each team member because we’re small. Larger companies may choose to do this just for leadership. Even better, each leader should include a short video on their background, role, and vision for their department. It would also be a good idea to discuss how each department contributes to the company overall. People work for people, and they all want to feel like they are a part of something.It’s also a good practice to share some contact information, or perhaps a chat functionality, in case your candidates want additional information.…..Along with highlighting your CVP, you need to make sure that potential candidates can easily interact with representatives from your company.  Post links to your company’s recruiting team with their names, title, position and links to their e-mail, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
  • Now that you have some basic information and a call to action, you’re ready to start collecting leads – aka candidates. So get your jobs up and make sure they’re exciting. We’ll get into this more next week, for our webinar on recruitment advertising, but the gist is that you don’t want to bore your candidates with an endless list of what skills and qualifications they have to have and what’s expected of them.While some people will actively seek out your company to work, the first time most will see your company is when they land on your job description from one of your job advertisements or from a referral. So make it good. Add in some of the information from your homepage that shows the candidate why they should work for you. Share information about the hiring manager and the rest of the team. Really sell the candidate on your company first, and the position second. That way, if the position isn’t the right fit, you can still place a great candidate elsewhere. Again, this is where secondary calls to action and nurturing are crucial.
  • Just because the candidate isn’t a good fit for the position that brought them in, doesn’t mean they won’t be a good fit for another position – now or in the future. So make it easy for the candidate to find other related jobs, now or in the future. Give them several ways to follow your company and receive updates, whether it’s a job notification, a Twitter handle dedicated to talent nurturing, or perhaps a newsletter. The more mediums, the better. And this is another big marketing tip: you never know what your candidate’s preferred method of contact might be – some will prefer Twitter, others may prefer email – so it’s best to have multiple ways for your candidates to keep in touch with you. The caveat here is that there is such a thing as too many mediums – once you are unable to regularly update all of your channels of communication on a regular basis – you’ve gone too far. So start slow. Pick one medium, like a blog and get that rolling. Once you have that under control, add 1-2 social media channels. Then, add email. Take a look at the ones that have the biggest engagement, and the ones that tend to convert your candidates into applicants and hires and put more energy into those.We’ll talk about social media and email in-depth in later webinars in this series, but let’s jump in a talk about blogging right now since it should be a part of the website.
  • Don’t let a blog intimidate you – many people are concerned about the time it will take to blog regularly, and I can tell you right now that it’s not that bad. It honestly doesn’t take that much time, and the benefits are huge! First of all, it gives your candidates something else to look at while they’re on your site. For employers, this should again include information about why a candidate should want to work for your company. For staffing agencies, this should include helpful job seeker and career tips that make candidates want to work with you. Coming up with content can be surprisingly easy - once a week is really all you need to post, although more is better – and you can get content from all over. Write about your employee perks and events. Ask employees to write articles about what they do, and why they like working to the company (and make sure to link to your testimonials section). Blog about company events – where you went, what you did – and include pictures and video whenever possible.If this is something you’d want to get set up, talk to your marketing or IT department about the best way to do so. If you’re already using a CMS, it’s really simple to add a blog. You may also create a blog on a subdomain through a site like Wordpress – although I’d recommend getting it on your main domain, if possible. Yet another option is to add a tag to your corporate blog – which is just a way to group all your posts together in one place. My biggest marketing tip here: include a call to action in each of your blog posts. If you’re talking about a perk, say “Check out some of our other cool perks!” and link to your benefits page. If a sales employee guest posts, link to your sales jobs. This is especially important if you have a blog on a subdomain which isn’t connected to your career site – you want to bring people back to your site.In addition to keeping your traffic on your sire, a blog is also a great way to attract candidates through search engine optimization.
  • While all of the content on your career page should be for the user, you can optimize it for search engines. The first basic tip on search engine optimization is to think about your text in terms of the keywords your candidates would search for. Think about what you would search for if you were trying to find a particular job, or information about working for a given company. Then give each of those keywords it’s own webpage. For example, if you have a sales director position, you will want to make sure that you have a whole page dedicated to that position, where you mention that keyword several times. That way, when the candidate searches for it, your page will have a better chance of showing up. Even better, try to think of some long tail keywords that a candidate might search for, which means phrases with 3-5 words. Things like Sales Director San Francisco CA or B2B Sales Director. These words will have less search traffic, but higher relevancy if you match them – therefore bringing you better quality traffic.
  • If you want to see the search traffic for your keywords, try to Google Keyword Tool. While it’s not exactly comprehensive keyword research, it’s a simple way to get ideas about keywords that have good traffic. Just type in your keyword, and perhaps a few variations, and they tool will tell you how many search queries would match your keyword in the world, and in the US. It will also give you some suggestions to try instead, along with the estimated monthly traffic.The biggest tip I can give you here: Think like a job candidate. I know it’s fun to say that you’re hiring a Revenue Rockstar, rather than saying Sales Director, but you should know that Sales Director gets 165,000 monthly global searches, while revenue rockstar gets 140. Think about all the free traffic you’re missing out on!Think of some other things job candidates might search for, like best place to work in Seattle, WA, and, if it gets good search traffic, write a blog post about why YOUR company is the best place to work in Seattle.
  • Once you picked your keyword for each page, you will want to edit your webpage properties to make sure that your page title, meta description and meta keywords all contain that keyword. Again, if you have a CMS this is very easy to do – this is what it looks like in Drupal - but your IT or marketing department can also do this for you. The page title and meta description show up when a candidate runs a search query, so these are very important for getting candidates to click through. If you have low click through rates, the search engines assume it’s because your page isn’t relevant, and they will stop showing your webpages in search results.
  • Internal linking, or linking between pages on your own site, is also great for search engine optimization. When one of your keywords from a page appears on another page, you should use the keyword as anchor text. In the example above, the words in blue, worst job interview, are anchor text – and it serves to show the search engines that the page this link is pointing to is about a worst job interview. You can do this with internal links on your own site to inform the search engines about what kind of information is found on different pages.In this case, I’m actually linking to a page that’s not on our site. I’m still telling the search engines what the other page is about, but I’m also sending them some of my link juice. Basically, this means that I’m voting for this page over all the other pages on the internet, and the search engines will rank it higher in search results for this reason. Bright has tremendous search engine authority because we receive 4-5 million visitors each month, so this should really help the website we’ve linked to. I’ve linked to this page of my own accord, because I liked the content I found there, and you can also get these organic links back to your site by creating great content on your blog. You can also boost your visibioity on social media, which we’ll discuss in more detail on our webinar on May 28.Another way to get your links on other sites is to guest blog. This just means that you write a post for another blog and include some links back to your site. If this is something that interests you, I invite all of you to write a guest post on Bright’s recruiter blog about how you attract candidates, what you’ve learned while building out your career site, or why you love Twitter for recruitment – any reruitment topic you’d like. By doing this, you may include a few links back to your site with keyword rich anchor text and we’d pass you some of our link juice.
  • What’s next? Your career page should be accessible from your main website’s homepage, and potentially also from each page on the website, either through a drop down navigation menu or footer links – this will ensure that your customers and job seekers that are interested in your company can easily find your career opportunities. If you’re a recruitment agency, you 100% have to have this, but corporate recruiters should discuss this with whoever works on the website – most likely your marketing or IT department. This is a great way to get qualified candidates because your customers are already among your biggest fans - and your employees should be your biggest brand advocates – so it makes sense to hire people that are passionate about your company or your product.You’ll also want to include links to your career site in as many places as possible – from your email signature, on your business cards, from your personal social network profile pages – anywhere you can think of let people know that your site exists. Also be sure to set up some recruiter focused social media profiles, or ask your marketing team to share the corporate profiles, and link to those from your career site. We’ll go more in depth on this subject in two weeks, when we discuss Marketing Secrets for Social Recruitment – so don’t forget to register for that if this topic interests you.You should also make sure your site is mobile friendly. This is not a trend, or a nice to have. A PotentialPark survey (which reviewed 30,000 job seeker’s world wide) found that while 81% of candidates wanted to use smartphones for career search purposes, only 21% of global top employers have a mobile site or careers based app. Your site must render correctly on mobile devices – and this includes the ability to apply for a job or, at the very least, save or email a job. Go onto your career site on a mobile phone and make sure you can read important content about your company, and that you can apply for a job easily. If you have an ATS, this is not going to go well for you – try to think of a few ways to make this process easier so you can convert more candidates. Remember, it’s the top candidates you’ll lose with a tedious process – they know they have multiple options for places to work, and they won’t waste time with you if it’s not easy to apply.Finally, analyze and optimize everything. Try using different colors on your website buttons, change up the layout, A/B test your job titles – always be testing new things and keep track of what works. Then optimize to ensure continued success, and test some more.
  • That’s it for today’s presentation - thanks so much for joining us today! Next Tuesday, we’ll be discussing how to get traffic to your site through advertising, and the following week will cover social media. I hope you’ll register to join us for those. You can find the registration at If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at recording. Questions?
  • Building a Career Site that Attracts Candidates

    1. 1. Secrets from a Marketing Geek:Building a Career Site thatAttracts CandidatesJoin the conversation on Twitter: #BRwebinar
    2. 2. PresenterJen Picard, Marketing
    3. 3. Your site should answer:
    4. 4. Your site should answer:Why Should I Work for You?
    5. 5. Your site should answer:Why Should I Work for You?• Why should I choose your company over yourcompetitors?• Why do your current employees like workingthere?• What’s in it for me?
    6. 6. Traffic ConversionsVisitorsEngagedVisitorsApplicantsHires
    7. 7. Pick a Platform
    8. 8. What Makes YOU different?
    9. 9. Testimonials
    10. 10. AwardsIf you’re onthis list, makesure yourcandidatesknow it!
    11. 11. Info about your Team Members
    12. 12. Jobs
    13. 13. Candidate Nurturing• Job alerts• Newsletter• Social Media• Talent Community
    14. 14. Blog
    15. 15. SEO
    16. 16. SEO - KeywordsNotice the difference in estimated search queries
    17. 17. SEO – Page Title and Meta InfoPage TitleMeta Description
    18. 18. SEO – Link BuildingLink text (anchor text) tells search engineswhat the page you’re linking to is about
    19. 19. What Next?• Make it accessible• Link to it everywhere• Get Social!• Make sure you’re mobile friendly• Analyze and Optimize
    20. 20. Thank You!• Questions?• Find us online:– LinkedIn– Twitter– Google Plus
    21. 21. Secrets of a Marketing Geekwebinar series• Utilizing Recruitment Advertising to Expandyour Reach and Get Better Candidates• Get Social to Get More Candidates• Candidate Sourcing Dos and Donts• Maximize your Talent Pipeline with Nurturing• Taking Employee Retention to a New Level
    22. 22. Free TrialStart your free trial of Bright