Best Practices in Recruiting Websites
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Best Practices in Recruiting Websites

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Findings and recommendations for building an effective recruiting website based upon extensive usability research with job candidates

Findings and recommendations for building an effective recruiting website based upon extensive usability research with job candidates

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Best Practices in Recruiting Websites Best Practices in Recruiting Websites Document Transcript

  • Does Your Website Attract or Frustrate? How to Turn Your Recruiting Website into a Best-in-Class Performer NACE Annual Meeting May 31, 2006 Steve Pollock President, WetFeet, Inc. spollock@wetfeet.com (415-293-7313) Agenda How Candidates Use Corporate Recruiting Websites Four Building Blocks of a Great Website: Navigation, Branding, Content, Functionality Applying the Lessons to Your Website Q&A Page 2 Slide 2 •1
  • Methodology WetFeet annual surveys and qualitative research with students since 1999 In-depth online focus groups conducted over 4 days Undergrads, MBAs and young professionals, – representing 23 schools Actively seeking jobs in consulting, finance, – consumer products, and/or accounting Reviewed 10 highly rated corporate recruiting websites Bain, Banc of America, BCG, Deutsche Bank, – Ernst & Young, Kimberly-Clark, Merrill Lynch, Procter & Gamble, Thomson, UBS Page 3 Slide 3 How Candidates Use Corporate Websites Candidates visit dozens of corporate websites in the course of a job search Once interested, they may visit a specific company site 3-12 times or more Candidates visit all sections of the company website and do not view the recruiting section as separate from the rest Candidates like to access sites at all hours from the privacy of their home/dorm environment Most candidates (except some young professionals) have high- speed access “I usually go to corporate websites as soon as I’ve developed “I usually go to corporate websites as soon as I’ve developed some level of interest in the company itself.” some level of interest in the company itself.” Page 4 Slide 4 •2
  • Company Website an Important Influence Q: Which resources are most influential in deciding which companies to apply to? 41% Friends & personal contacts 35% Word-of-mouth reputation 33% Company presentation on campus 32% People working in the company/industry 32% Career center 22% Company websites 16% Alumni working in the company/industry 14% Previous work experience 11% Internet job boards 10% Job fairs 9% Former/Current interns at company 8% Family 5% Other career-related websites 13% Other factors Source: WetFeet Student Recruitment Report 2005 Page 5 Slide 5 Corporate Websites Have Big Impact Candidates use first visits to the site as a way to screen employers in or out of consideration “Company seekers” use the site to evaluate fit with the employer – “Position seekers” look to find available positions of interest – Candidates return to the site to submit an application and prepare for interviews Candidates view the corporate website as a direct reflection of the company and workplace Well-executed sites suggest success, order and efficiency – Poor sites indicate backwardness and a lack of concern about – employees “If I Igo to aawebsite and it’s hard to find the application link or it’s “If go to website and it’s hard to find the application link or it’s deeply hidden or broken, I Ibecome discouraged because it seems deeply hidden or broken, become discouraged because it seems they don’t put much value on finding new employees.” they don’t put much value on finding new employees.” Page 6 Slide 6 •3
  • Reviews You DON’T Want to Hear “I'd give the site itself aa C- for bad presentation, little concrete information, “I'd give the site itself C- for bad presentation, little concrete information, awful videos that were weak pitches -- all fluff and no substance about the jobs, awful videos that were weak pitches -- all fluff and no substance about the jobs, and difficulty in finding anything interesting.” and difficulty in finding anything interesting.” “Two that stuck out as being really bad were E-Trade and Geico. E-Trade had aa “Two that stuck out as being really bad were E-Trade and Geico. E-Trade had non-functioning jobs section for months. What message does that send? Geico non-functioning jobs section for months. What message does that send? Geico has descriptions of several management programs, but then filters you into an has descriptions of several management programs, but then filters you into an application process that is obviously designed for hourly workers.” application process that is obviously designed for hourly workers.” “I had aabad experience. I Icould not even get my resume to upload and it was “I had bad experience. could not even get my resume to upload and it was 40kb. When it rejected it, it deleted all of my data and I Ihad to start the entire 40kb. When it rejected it, it deleted all of my data and had to start the entire process over. I Idid not submit it because I Idid not want to take the time.” process over. did not submit it because did not want to take the time.” “Bad websites make me think the firms are too bureaucratic and are places “Bad websites make me think the firms are too bureaucratic and are places where I Imight not learn, and I Imight feel smothered.” where might not learn, and might feel smothered.” “The job application process was horrible. I Iscrewed up and hit save, and then “The job application process was horrible. screwed up and hit save, and then couldn’t go back to edit it. Would have been VERY stressful had it been aareal couldn’t go back to edit it. Would have been VERY stressful had it been real application. I Ihit refresh and my started application was gone! Tried using the application. hit refresh and my started application was gone! Tried using the application help tips, but the suggestion didn’t work. Closed out and kept trying application help tips, but the suggestion didn’t work. Closed out and kept trying to reload, and it still isn't letting me back to the application site.” to reload, and it still isn't letting me back to the application site.” Page 7 Slide 7 Reviews You DO Want to Hear “I really liked BCG's website. I Ifound the recruiting portion of the site to be very “I really liked BCG's website. found the recruiting portion of the site to be very useful in determining how to approach the interview process. I I also got aa useful in determining how to approach the interview process. also got strong sense of how the company differed from its competition and what to strong sense of how the company differed from its competition and what to expect when I Imet some of the firm's representatives.” expect when met some of the firm's representatives.” “I really, really like the Merrill career site. It is very clean. It is interactive. I Ilike “I really, really like the Merrill career site. It is very clean. It is interactive. like how links lead me to other links pertaining to that category only. There is no how links lead me to other links pertaining to that category only. There is no non-essential information on any page, and I Ireally like that. It is not too busy. non-essential information on any page, and really like that. It is not too busy. It is pleasing graphically. A great job overall.” It is pleasing graphically. A great job overall.” “The resume post section was fantastic! Easiest one I’ve ever used.” “The resume post section was fantastic! Easiest one I’ve ever used.” “I believe they explain the working experience well: the travel, the culture, the “I believe they explain the working experience well: the travel, the culture, the personal development, the professional development, the positions, etc. I I personal development, the professional development, the positions, etc. believe this aspect of the website is very strong because it paints aa believe this aspect of the website is very strong because it paints comprehensive picture of the lifestyle, the responsibilities... the total comprehensive picture of the lifestyle, the responsibilities... the total experience.” experience.” Page 8 Slide 8 •4
  • Top Ranked Company Websites Rank Company Goldman Sachs 1 McKinsey & Co. 2 The Boston Consulting Group 3 Bain & Co. 4 Microsoft 5 Citigroup 6 Procter & Gamble 7 Johnson & Johnson 8 JP Morgan 8 Credit Suisse First Boston 10 General Electric 11 Morgan Stanley 12 IBM 13 Lehman Brothers 13 Merrill Lynch 13 UBS 13 Source: WetFeet Student Recruitment Report 2005 Page 9 Slide 9 Agenda How Candidates Use Corporate Recruiting Websites Four Building Blocks of a Great Website: Navigation, Branding, Content, Functionality Applying the Lessons to Your Website Q&A Page 10 Slide 10 •5
  • Four Building Blocks of a Great Site Navigation Branding Simplicity, clarity, Clear and compelling consistency value proposition Intuitive menu Consistency with structure and links corporate branding Effective search tools Show, don’t tell Content Functionality What do you do? Simple process that works What jobs do you have? Flexible search tools How can I get one? Treat candidates like customers Why should I take it? Page 11 Slide 11 N Navigation Candidates want to find (and find their way back to) relevant information easily Hallmarks of excellent navigation include: clarity, simplicity and consistency Navigational components include: Menu structure (primary and secondary) – Search tools – Links – Terminology – “Websites that are hard to navigate and don’t show me where the application “Websites that are hard to navigate and don’t show me where the application materials are get booted from my list for that reason alone. I Ihave aaton of materials are get booted from my list for that reason alone. have ton of things to look at and not much time to look at them.” things to look at and not much time to look at them.” Page 12 Slide 12 •6
  • N Make the Career Site Easy to Find Companies must provide a prominent link from the homepage, and, ideally from all pages within the website Page 13 Slide 13 N Follow Naming and Location Conventions Common locations for career links are: top, left side or bottom Terminology should be straight-forward and easy to understand Page 14 Slide 14 •7
  • N A Good Menu is the Backbone of the Site Page 15 Slide 15 N Non-Standard Locations Disrupt Access “I totally missed the jobs section when I Ifirst visited HP. Typically, I Iexpect the “I totally missed the jobs section when first visited HP. Typically, expect the jobs section to be located either at the top or the bottom of aawebpage—never jobs section to be located either at the top or the bottom of webpage—never in the middle, and definitely not on the right side!” in the middle, and definitely not on the right side!” Page 16 Slide 16 •8
  • N Candidate-Centric Information Appealing Sections focused on specific candidates help users find relevant information and make them feel wanted Page 17 Slide 17 N Company-Focused Structure Confuses Page 18 Slide 18 •9
  • B Branding The website = personality of the firm Candidates use the website to assess their fit Every company has a “context” which influences credibility A clear and compelling brand inspires consistent interpretation “[The main message from the Bain website was] that the company was aa “[The main message from the Bain website was] that the company was fun place to work, and that it was aavery good opportunity for newly minted fun place to work, and that it was very good opportunity for newly minted college/MBA/PhD graduates. That they have aavery positive corporate college/MBA/PhD graduates. That they have very positive corporate culture with aalot of vertical interaction. That there are opportunities for culture with lot of vertical interaction. That there are opportunities for change and growth through the externship program. All in all, seemed like change and growth through the externship program. All in all, seemed like aagood place to work. Sign me up!” good place to work. Sign me up!” Page 19 Slide 19 B Many Site Elements Influence Brand Navigation and ease of use Intuitive and organized around candidate’s needs – Graphics and design Color palette and design elements form a powerful first impression – Images should fit persona of firm and industry – “Flashiness” should not interfere with usability – Content and messaging Friendly, candidate-centered content and images are appealing – Presentation and tone also has an impact – Context Messages must ring true to candidates – Page 20 Slide 20 •10
  • B Good Branding Sends Clear Messages Employee-Oriented Employee-Oriented “P&G and BCG stand out because it was clear that they put aalot of “P&G and BCG stand out because it was clear that they put lot of emphasis on personal development of employees. It’s reflective of aastrong emphasis on personal development of employees. It’s reflective of strong culture that clearly has something to give back.” culture that clearly has something to give back.” Professional Professional “On the UBS site, all the people in the pictures look very professional, the “On the UBS site, all the people in the pictures look very professional, the colors on the site are gray, and the layout is very crisp and clean.” colors on the site are gray, and the layout is very crisp and clean.” Fun Fun “The Bain site attracted me in terms of values and culture. They gave the “The Bain site attracted me in terms of values and culture. They gave the appearance of being more laid back and fun to work with than the appearance of being more laid back and fun to work with than the McKinsey’s and BCG’s of the world. The Bain site mentioned the words McKinsey’s and BCG’s of the world. The Bain site mentioned the words ‘fun’ and ‘laugh’ aalot.” ‘fun’ and ‘laugh’ lot.” Friendly Friendly “Lehman Brothers actually has the school contacts’ and recruiters’ emails “Lehman Brothers actually has the school contacts’ and recruiters’ emails on the site. This highlights their ‘friendly’ culture and shows their on the site. This highlights their ‘friendly’ culture and shows their openness. No other site has personal email addresses on it.” openness. No other site has personal email addresses on it.” Page 21 Slide 21 B Consistent Messaging and Images “‘Commitment is good. Passion is better’ appears on every page and gives the “‘Commitment is good. Passion is better’ appears on every page and gives the message that the bank is aapassionate and exciting place to work!” message that the bank is passionate and exciting place to work!” Page 22 Slide 22 •11
  • B Messaging Reinforced in Many Ways “I was impressed by “I was impressed by the stress on culture the stress on culture and people. It sounds and people. It sounds as if working there as if working there means you will be means you will be recognized as aa recognized as person, not as aa person, not as statistic.” statistic.” “How cool is aaBain “How cool is Bain World Cup?” World Cup?” Page 23 Slide 23 B User-Oriented Messages Draw Interest “Their ‘People First’ philosophy (means) they have aahigh regard for the “Their ‘People First’ philosophy (means) they have high regard for the individual. This is important for their target recruits.” individual. This is important for their target recruits.” Page 24 Slide 24 •12
  • B Inconsistent Messages Hurt Credibility Page 25 Slide 25 Content C Candidates see one website Candidates want answers to four questions: What does the company do? – What jobs do you have (for me)? – How can I get one? – Why should I take it? – Accessibility as important as content Tone and presentation communicate as much as the words Candidates want the truth “A site needs to be persuasive. It should clearly explain why I Ishould “A site needs to be persuasive. It should clearly explain why should choose their company.” choose their company.” Page 26 Slide 26 •13
  • Key Content Elements C “Must-have” Content “Nice-to-have” Content Company overview Compensation and benefits Detailed job descriptions Interview tips Required qualifications Contact information Locations Information about the recruiting process Employee profiles (including “day in the life” vignettes) Diversity recruiting practices “The best websites give aastrong image of the company, get me information “The best websites give strong image of the company, get me information for the interviews, describe their business style, and answer all the extra for the interviews, describe their business style, and answer all the extra questions I Imight have.” questions might have.” Page 27 Slide 27 A Good Company Overview Differentiates C Page 28 Slide 28 •14
  • Leave History Texts in School C Page 29 Slide 29 Qualifications Help Self-Selection Process C Page 30 Slide 30 •15
  • Employee Profiles Extremely Powerful C “Employee profiles are helpful because they allow me to see what people have “Employee profiles are helpful because they allow me to see what people have done before working there, what schools they went to, what they studied, etc.” done before working there, what schools they went to, what they studied, etc.” Page 31 Slide 31 Interview Tips Communicate Care C Page 32 Slide 32 •16
  • Functionality F Candidates now expect companies to offer job search tools and an online application form The online application is the most common aggravation Many errors encountered – Poor usability – Time-consuming – Tedious and repetitive – Privacy concerns – Candidates have low confidence in “black box” process “I didn’t like the application process at all… It took too long. By the end of the “I didn’t like the application process at all… It took too long. By the end of the process when I Ihad to fill in job experience, I Islacked off and didn’t put it all in process when had to fill in job experience, slacked off and didn’t put it all in because I Iwas just ready to be done with it.” because was just ready to be done with it.” Page 33 Slide 33 Key System Components F Job listings search capability Easy-to-use and flexible tool allowing search on multiple criteria – Accessible without requiring registration – Intuitive and clean display of results – Online application system The system must work well for candidates – The simpler and shorter the application the better – Candidate-centered tools (e.g. allow resume upload) – Clear expectations management – Candidate relationship management (CRM) Treat candidates like customers – Page 34 Slide 34 •17
  • Flexible, Powerful & Simple Search Tools F Page 35 Slide 35 The Simpler the Application the Better F “Simple and one-page only. That is aahuge advantage over some of the other “Simple and one-page only. That is huge advantage over some of the other banks [whose] online applications [were] long and tedious.” banks [whose] online applications [were] long and tedious.” Page 36 Slide 36 •18
  • Setting Expectations Alleviates Concerns F “After submitting aaresume, you should receive aaconfirmation email, and when “After submitting resume, you should receive confirmation email, and when you will hear quot;somethingquot; - -even if it is just an email dinging you. If we take the you will hear quot;somethingquot; even if it is just an email dinging you. If we take the time to apply, they should have the courtesy to respond at some level.” time to apply, they should have the courtesy to respond at some level.” Page 37 Slide 37 Agenda How Candidates Use Corporate Recruiting Websites Four Building Blocks of a Great Website: Navigation, Branding, Content, Functionality Applying the Lessons to Your Website Q&A Page 38 Slide 38 •19
  • Lessons Learned Your recruiting website is THE most important representative on your recruiting team All websites are NOT alike – and your mistakes will cost you candidates Identify your target candidates prominently and design your site around their needs Give readers the straight scoop – a good website should send some people away! Ease of access is far more important than quantity of information The one question your site must answer: why go work for you? Online applications are becoming more accepted – but they are still job seekers’ most common aggravation Page 39 Slide 39 What You Can Do… Assess the site’s fit with your target market Make two lists – candidate attributes that lead to success or – failure on the job Check the site against these lists – Make sure your site has something for your most frequently – hired candidates Understand the user experience Conduct usability testing to identify critical problems early – Submit an application yourself – Wear the candidate “hat” and ask yourself the four questions – Page 40 Slide 40 •20
  • What You Can Do… Compare yourself to others Benchmark your website vs. your competitors’ (what are their 3 – words?) Submit an application to your competition – Look outside your industry for creative ideas – Invest before you go live – but recognize that it will always be a work in progress Conduct a “performance review” before making changes – Conduct external testing during development – or, at a – minimum, ask recent hires to review prototypes of new designs Push your vendors to meet your needs, not theirs – Page 41 Slide 41 Final Thoughts The corporate recruiting website should be a core component of any company’s recruiting strategy today When well-designed, the site will perform many functions: Serve as the heart of an efficient and effective recruiting process – Help candidates gain a deep understanding of your firm—and select – themselves into or out of the process Communicate and reinforce your employment brand – How well a site performs depends upon successful execution in four areas: navigation, branding, content and functionality The key is to conceive the site from the standpoint of the user But the website can only go so far – an effective recruiting effort requires solid execution across all elements online and in person Page 42 Slide 42 •21
  • New WetFeet Recruiting Services Website Review Recent Research Reports Competitive Scorecard Analysis rates your Campus Marketing Report 2006 website in key areas as compared to your Trends in campus recruiting and best practices top 3 competitors from leading employers. $1,995 The Competitive Strengths Summary Student Recruitment Report 2006 reviews the navigation, branding, content Comprehensive research on the competitive and functionality on your website landscape, application trends, employer rankings, offer data, compensation Short and Long-Term Actionable expectations, diversity, effective marketing Recommendations outlines an action plan tactics and more.$895-$3,500 that can be executed for immediate results Internships Report 2006 Benchmark your internship program and learn A Detailed Presentation by a WetFeet how to make it a best-in-class performer $2,495 analyst to your recruiting team Student Compensation and Offers Report 2005 The only compensation report with detailed data on specific offers from top employers to top candidates $595 Campus Diversity Recruitment Report 2005 Research that identifies and explains new trends in recruiting diversity candidates on campus Corporate Recruiting Websites 2005 Guidelines for building a top corporate recruiting site $2,495 Page 43 Slide 43 Thank You! To discuss findings, future research, or other offerings in more detail, please contact us directly: Steve Pollock President WetFeet, Inc. spollock@wetfeet.com 415-293-7313 •22