RECRUITMENT & RETENTION
Leveraging Your Career Web Site to Deliver the Talent Brand
Recent in-depth conversations with SilkRoad technology's client organizations, along
with studies from the industry's top research firms, have engendered a new understanding
of the role of the talent brand, a strategy that promotes the benefits and unique approach
of working for an company and how to best communicate and reinforce it.
A strong talent brand is critical to attract top talent. However, during on-boarding — and
after — it's easy to assume new hires have accepted the company's value proposition, and
organizations often stop or cut down on the activities that won them over in the first
New hires don't forget this. In fact, if their employment experience doesn't match up with
the talent brand presented to them during recruitment, they are more likely to search for
greener pastures by renewing their job search.
The best talent brands attract top-quality candidates by highlighting why they should
want to work for a company and mesh seamlessly with that organization's actual
employment culture. A corporate career Web site provides one of the most effective
channels to develop and maintain a consistent and identifiable talent brand.
Best practices to communicate and reinforce the talent brand through an organization's
career Web site include:
o Start at the beginning. A company's history is the genesis of the talent brand.
People like to belong to a legacy. Including a brief or detailed version of the
company's history provides important background and helps candidates understand
the company's evolution. Companies with long and eventful histories often include
photos of their founders, the first office and other elements to help tell the early
story while younger companies focus on innovation and vision. Job candidates also
want to know who will be leading them through the next phase of their careers, so
include biographies, photos and brief video messages from a diverse range of senior
o Let employees do the talking. Candidates love hearing what existing employees
think about working for a company. Taking the time to include quotes from existing
employees or even video or audio testimonials can provide candidates with
information from a future coworker's perspective. This section of the site can even
include a "day in the life" section for positions in various departments and roles. It's
important to refresh this section frequently, as having current employees feed into
the talent brand regularly reinforces their participation in the talent brand.
o Provide insight into career development paths. Giving potential candidates a
clear view into the possible career paths available at the company can help them
decide if the organization is a good fit for their short and long-term goals. Including
career-path information for each department and functional area can help potential
hires see where they might fit into the company in the future and may even drive
them to apply for positions they initially thought might not be appropriate for their
skills and experience.
o Extend the definition of benefits. The benefits section of the career site should list
more than the insurance and available paid time off offered. Highlight any unique
benefit offerings and detail benefits that contribute to work-life balance such as
flexible hours, telecommuting opportunities and employee sabbatical programs.
o Provide the lowdown on location. If the organization has candidates who are
considering relocating to a different, city, state or country to join the company,
provide information and resources about the location, focusing on common
concerns including relocation services, housing, climate, childcare, schools,
eldercare, professional organizations and recreational/social opportunities.
o Post an ongoing recruiting events calendar. Go beyond advertising recruiting
events in the local newspaper. Talent managers spend a significant amount of
money on these events. Publishing a list or calendar of job fairs the organization
will attend and other recruiting events will drive more candidates to the company.
Giving candidates the opportunity to meet talent managers face-to-face is
invaluable for them and for the organization's recruiting efforts. Highlighting
recruiting events or career fairs where candidates can find the company shows
potential employees the organization is growing and actively seeking out quality
o Activate automatic job agents. When recruiting, don't risk losing a great candidate
just because the perfect position isn't available at the right moment in time.
Automated job agents not only provide more candidates, they make the process
easier for job seekers by giving them the opportunity to register for automatic e-
mail updates on job openings that match their qualifications as they become
available. Having a job agent, whether it is used or not, also demonstrates that
finding great talent and matching candidates with the right positions is something
the company takes seriously.
o Consider personalized pages. Talent managers communicate differently by phone
and in person with different candidates. Thus, they also should communicate to
various groups through the career site in a targeted manner. Having sub-sites within
the main career site for different groups of candidates will help deliver the right
message in the right voice. Some companies set up a section just for college seniors
and recent graduates. Others find it useful to set up sections with specific
information by job type such as sales, research and development and finance. Don't
let a one-size-fits-all career Web site get inhibit connecting with the best
o Make it simple. Make it easy for them to find the career site from the company's
home page, and to navigate the section once they arrive.
Ultimately, talent brand is not just a catchy tagline on the career section of an
organization's Web site. It is the value proposition for candidates, the essence of the
company and what it stands for, its culture and reputation in the talent marketplace. Such
an immensely powerful message needs to consistently promoted, internally, externally
and across all touch points of the current and prospective employee experience. As a
constant presence that's relatively easy to manage and update, a corporate career site can
be an ideal venue for talent branding as a component of an overall talent acquisition
Going Beyond the Career Portal
Successful organizations also may go beyond the corporate career Web site and use talent
acquisition technologies to enable insight and action. Competency management tools that
profile and identify ideal traits and skills can be used to help companies choose the best
methods — whether it's social networking, search engines or e-mail — to connect with
potential candidates who meet certain criteria. Applicant tracking systems and employee
referral tracking tools then can be used to gain insight into which recruiting sources
provide the best candidates.
Whether it's through personalized career microsites, automated data-collecting job agents
or competency management tools, technology can play a critical role in effective talent
acquisition strategies. Companies that most effectively harness new technologies and
tools stand to become the most powerful talent brands in tomorrow's economy.