Fortune500 2013


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Fortune500 2013

  1. 1. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites: How Far Have They Evolved? Survey & Report Authors: Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler, co-founders CareerXroads What is The Secret of a Great Corporate Career Website? We’ve been addressing this question since the first career pages appeared in the 1990s. We review each corporate website of the current Fortune 500 list. Starting at the home page we note how easy it is to find the link to the career page. We look for a clear employment brand - content that defines the company and why people like to work there. We look at all the available content in the career section do they offer video testimonials? Information for diversity groups? Military? Do they explain the interview process? Are there links to social media or opportunities to connect online via networking groups? We even delve into the nitty-gritty, counting how many clicks it takes to get to the job listing and taking note of the online application process (if it even exists). In all of this content review and analysis we continue to note one fundamental axiom: the best career sites follow the job seeker. Those sites find the job seekers, connect with them and address their needs and concerns. These companies know that it’s important to treat job seekers with the respect that you would accord your workforce, consumers or anyone who benefits your organization. And part of that means providing them with plenty of information in a reader friendly format. When companies succeed at putting the job seeker first, they are more likely to engage and hire the best candidates. Even if those candidates don’t wind up being hired, the improved career content and organization will cause them to be more likely to speak positively about the organization, in turn motivating other job seekers to visit and spread a positive image about the company. In the digital world, word travels quickly about smart organizations (and the not-so-smart). Career Sites as Service Providers Consider corporate career sites akin to a restaurant – a customer-facing, service business. When restaurants do their work well, crowds follow. When they provide less than stellar service, they find themselves scrambling for customers and working endlessly to repair their reputations. Success depends on using the finest ingredients. 1
  2. 2. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 For career sites, the key ingredient is content – what the sites say, and how clearly they say it. We believe strongly that great content must target, engage, inform and respect the job seeker. In this way, the company facilitates meaningful connections between candidates and employees. Exceptional career pages provide compelling evidence that the company and job are the right fit; describe the job in detail, including salary; and address job seeker concerns and questions. The Biggest Companies Have Improved The good news in this latest inspection of the Fortune 500 career sites is that most have made significant progress. They are more job-seeker oriented. In tone and content, the world’s largest companies are revealing more about their culture, their workers, specific jobs and the steps job seekers must navigate to get them. Particularly good sites, such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young and Walt Disney Co., are also explaining the opportunities that branch out from listed jobs. The implication for these firms and others is that they are not simply filling positions but helping their workforce build careers. They are professional families deeply committed to their employees. A decade ago, it was less common to find the personal profiles and day-in-the-life features that give job seekers a tangible feel for potential employers. This was also the case for videos, interactive elements, direct links to recruiters and other features that establish an employment brand. First impressions through job seeking experiences have a powerful impact on what people think about a company. 2
  3. 3. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 Earlier career sites lacked important material from which job seekers could make solid employment decisions. Our 2006 Fortune 500 survey found that:  Roughly 14% of the companies didn’t have a career pages. This year, the number was 2% and that may be due in part to the way certain firms organize their career resources – by division rather than company-wide.  Less than half the firms in 2006 had links or content for college students – the largest pool of talent for many companies – compared to about 75% today.  It was more difficult to find the button to the careers pages and took more clicks to find a job. 35% of the time it took 5 or more clicks while today it only requires that many clicks about 15% of the time. Room for Improvement To be sure, there is room for improvement. The 2013 survey found that many companies:  Do not provide enough resources or make it easy for candidates to find them.  Continue to treat job seekers more as commodities than individuals.  Cloak the mechanics of the job application process and otherwise make it more difficult than it should be to complete.  Are not keeping pace with the shift to mobile. The most recent CareerXroads Mystery Job Seeker research identified some of these same issues. In that study, we measured online recruiting methods at Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and found that, in screening candidates, companies still focus most of their efforts on the impersonal process of matching resumes to key terms in the job description. Companies that are really paying attention should easily identify the fictitious Mystery Job Shopper in our study, but only a handful of companies from the most employee friendly firms unmasked Noah Z. Ark this year. The study found that less than 45% of these companies scored good or excellent in such areas as navigation, content, two-way communication and in the setting of expectations throughout the recruiting process. Only about two in five companies scored good or excellent for their employment brands. A number of companies are also guilty of either blandness or busy-ness. They are not taking the time to think about how they package information. Content may be king but aesthetics count, too. One of our favorite corporate career sites is a non-Fortune 500 company: the producer of aerial circus dramas, Cirque du Soleil. Their career pages include videos and pictures of the performers in action, Q&A’s and short bios of the company’s recruiters all of whom embody the organization’s artistic spirit. The site is worth a visit even if your company is not in need of someone who can turn triple summersaults while suspended 40 feet in the air. Fewer Clicks = an Easier Ride for Job Seekers Most companies have gotten beyond the basic problem of making their career pages easy to find from their home pages. On four in five home pages, a link to the career pages was prominent with one quarter of those also providing a convenient drop down menu. This initial ease of use helps create a positive first impression. To be sure, our definition of prominent has broadened. When we first began studying Fortune 500 corporate career websites, prominent equated to a career link in the upper part of the home page. Now 3
  4. 4. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 organizations can achieve the same effect with a career link on the top or bottom of the home page, and via a major navigation bar. What is most important is that the link is easy to find. It is surprising that any major company would not make ease-of-use a guiding principle. Yet on 11% of the websites the link to careers pages was elusive. On another 8%, the link was buried in the “about” section of the homepage. Almost four in five firms make it simple to access a job description in four clicks or less. Our question is if most companies can do this, why can’t (or won’t) others? A full 16% of the companies required the job seeker to click five or six times to find a job description. 4
  5. 5. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 Among the top companies in this area of our study was Deloitte. The accounting giant uses an intuitive scroll over feature to give job seekers quick, easy access to a wide range of information about working at Deloitte, networking opportunities and the recruiting process. Goldman Sachs achieves the same effect – access to detailed information in one click from the homepage – via an overlay that appears when visitors to the website scroll over the careers button. An interesting note, the investment bank adds an extra layer to their online recruiting process. The company asks job seekers for their name and email address before sending a link that allows them to proceed to the job application. Goldman Sachs says that this is because of security issues. 5
  6. 6. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 A number of major companies also make it effortless for job seekers to find important information and links to social media and mobile initiatives. These are essentials for building dialogue between employers and would-be employees. Guardian Life’s career pages invite visitors to view videos of people who changed careers to work as financial representatives for the company. The Guardian employees morph from the clothing of their previous jobs to the attire they wear in their Guardian roles. The videos highlight the entrepreneurial nature of these jobs. 6
  7. 7. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 Other companies worth noting for the skill with which they’ve taken navigation into account are the following: Microsoft’s main career page gives job seekers a clear choice based on their level of experience: student/recent grad or working professional. An overlay provides access to information about specific regions and also to the company’s outstanding jobs blog, YouTube videos and other social media resources. Pepsico promotes mobile access prominently on its career pages. 7
  8. 8. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 Ernst & Young funnels job seekers to bite-sized pieces of content about such areas as the company’s lines of business, life at the firm, career development opportunities and the recruiting process. 8
  9. 9. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 The Online Application Process More than nine in 10 companies allowed job seekers to apply directly for positions through their websites. Just 3% did not provide this option, although it was surprising that any large organizations do not make this possible. . Are Companies Covering All The Bases? Companies are falling short in addressing the different constituencies from which they may draw job prospects. They are also failing to provide certain information that should be automatic. Just three in four companies provide sections targeting college graduates – this means that one in four companies are not speaking specifically to what is often the largest pool of applicants. In addition:    Only about one in three companies offer sections on their careers pages for veterans and international candidates. Less than one in five (16%) of the sites explain the expectations for the interviewing process. Roughly one in 10 (11%) offer content on diversity affinity groups. An affinity or diversity group is an organization that the company supports so that people of like-minded backgrounds can connect. Just 13 companies (less than 4 percent) offer diversity statistics, and roughly the same number provide information for the disabled. Less than 1 percent share salary information and none publish data on source of hires. We have long maintained that companies do themselves a disservice by not including salary information in job descriptions. 9
  10. 10. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 As you can see in the table below, by and large companies are not covering the bases with their career page content. That doesn’t mean there aren’t success stories. Among the companies that excel in online resources for diversity groups is JP Morgan, which targets women and LBGT communities in two sections of its career pages. A section on the financial services firm’s Winning Women recruiting initiative lists networking and recruiting events for prospective candidates for the program. JP Morgan also earns applause for its advice center, which dispenses helpful tips and other information on such topics as preparing for an interview and living in New York City. 10
  11. 11. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 Via three centralized photos, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers provides easy navigation to sections of its career site catering to executives, non-executive, experienced workers and students. Each picture corresponds to one category of job seeker. Consider how the following companies also cater to different groups:      AT&T includes a video covering the company’s history of diversity initiatives. Home Depot provides a button for job candidates who have a disability that requires accommodation during the application process and beyond. The energy company Southern Company offers a similar resource. Comcast lists affinity groups and provides a link to a well-regarded partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School to develop women leaders. Google and IBM highlight successful women at their firms through videos and short articles. Amgen, Bristol Myers Squibb and US Bankcorp break down the percentage of women and minorities in particular positions. 11
  12. 12. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013  Travelers, Dupont, Walmart, Lockheed Martin, Cardinal Health, USAA and Chevron include videos and other resources showing how veterans can adapt skills learned in the military to civilian jobs.  Accenture’s site offers a link for alumni who are considering a return to the company. ADP includes an alumni button on its career pages but without stating its purpose. Johnson Controls’ section for alumni encourages employees with 20 or more years experience, retirees and even spouses of employees to join the Warren S. Johnson Society, named for the 115-year-old company’s founder. The society underscores the sense of community within the firm. 12
  13. 13. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 An Inability to Connect With Job Seekers Still, many companies were missing one or more features that could help them engage job seekers. Only one in three firms offered a clear brand statement, the type of short message that may be instrumental in defining the organization. Roughly one in four companies provided written or video testimonials from employees about why they joined the organization and why they stay. A surprising 40% of the companies offered no brand statement, testimonials or even content that might make the case for joining a company. Among the notable exceptions to this trend:  Johnson & Johnson combines short bios of employees who have been with the company for years with handsome bar graphs that show the number of years that the individual has served in different J&J jobs. The brightly colored package exudes positive energy while underscoring the ability of employees to build long-range careers at the firm. It is a powerful endorsement. 13
  14. 14. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review  November 2013 Google engages and informs job seekers through videos with HR staff. These productions cover important material about the hiring process, yet their casual tone – the Google employees are unscripted – embody the company’s famously quirky culture. Google also threads its careers site with pictures of its famously comfortable campus.  Walt Disney Co.’s Explore Our Stories section also uses videos, photos and profiles to sell the company’s virtues (although not all the links work properly and the drop-down menus to different job categories and locations is overly complicated). 14
  15. 15. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review    November 2013 Ernst & Young’s YouTube video, Maria’s Story, about the stages of one woman’s career at the firm, is heart-warming, although we wondered why it did not appear on the company’s career pages. Publix and Goldman Sachs include interactive skills match features, in which visitors answer a series of questions about their background and knowledge. McKinsey takes an unorthodox approach in one area of its careers pages. Instead of painting itself entirely in rose-colored hues, the management consulting firm presents pros and cons of working at the company. The end effect is to empower job seekers to make better career decisions. 15
  16. 16. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 Missing Out On the Power of Social Media and Interaction Just two in five companies had recruiting links to social media sites. And in all but a few cases, there was little effort to establish deeper contact. Consider that only:  5% of companies made it possible for members of talent communities to speak with one another.  3% of the organizations made social recruiting content a two-way interaction. But there were also shining examples of companies doing the right thing. Clearly, many have been able to keep pace with the rise of social media in recruiting, at least in some respects. Consider that:  Deloitte has created communities of job seekers through its Welcome to the Green Room Facebook initiatives. There people with similar professional concerns and backgrounds can exchange views and questions. 16
  17. 17. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review     November 2013 United Health Group offers live chat with a recruiter. Campbell’s Soup Company’s career pages include a social media page with prominent links to its LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube sites. Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers help students find the recruiters who cover their universities. Publix, Lockheed and Enterprise Rent-a-Car also help job seekers connect with recruiters. By clicking on balloon graphics, job seekers to Google career pages may learn about company life at different offices around the world. Job seekers may also see what jobs are open at each location. Conclusion: The World Has Changed, Companies Must Continue To Evolve Overall, the career sites of Fortune 500 companies have improved markedly since we started this research project more than a decade ago. These organizations have learned that they will be more successful in recruiting if they anticipate and address job seekers’ needs. Most of the companies in this year’s research are sharing more information about themselves. This includes not only basic information about their business, their culture and specific jobs but also regarding the recruiting process. What can job seekers expect as they progress from one point in the pipeline to another? How can they better their prospects and ensure that they will make the right decision once they’ve received an offer? Many of the surveyed firms now understand the extent to which recruiting should be an ongoing dialogue – one that is taking place increasingly through social media channels. The overwhelming majority of companies recognize the importance of clear, easy navigation from home page to careers pages. About eight in 10 companies placed links to the career pages prominently on 17
  18. 18. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 their home pages. About five in six companies ensure that job seekers can access job openings in four clicks or less. But many of these companies are not as far evolved as they could be both in the resources they are providing and access to them. They are not doing enough to connect with groups that have increasingly become major sources of talent. For example, only about one in three organizations are targeting exmilitary. In all but a few cases, the companies are not providing other information that might help job seekers make better decisions. Just 4% provide demographic statistics such as the percentage of employees from different ethnic and affinity groups. Only about 1% of firms list salary or the candidate’s status in the recruiting process. Many of the companies are also not using social media to its fullest. Given the importance of talent in a business’ success, it is in the best interest of companies to address these shortcomings quickly. We offer the following suggestions to improve careers pages: 1. Always follow the job seeker. Treat job seekers respectfully. Anticipate and address their questions and concerns. 2. Make more of an effort to target different groups, including minorities, women, military and the disabled. 3. Create a more robust social media presence. The use of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others can serve as the foundation of a positive relationship between employers and potential employees. But this is far more likely to occur only if these resources contain meaningful information for job seekers, not generalized marketing references. 4. Cultivate the employment brand. Companies that can show why they are great places to work are more likely to attract the best workers. 5. Continue to improve navigation and provide more direct access to key information. Careers pages should be service oriented and user friendly. They should also be easy to use from a mobile device. 18
  19. 19. CareerXroads Fortune 500 Corporate Career Websites Review November 2013 About CareerXroads: The Staffing Strategy Connection Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler are the personalities behind CareerXroads® and the CareerXroads® Colloquium. Mark and Gerry have worked for and with corporations of all sizes in career planning and placement, contract recruiting, executive search, recruitment advertising and human resource management. After years working on the front lines of recruiting, these two saw a new potential in the Internet and in 1994 came together to create CareerXroads® These Internet Recruiting Pioneers have formed a thriving international consulting practice that works with many of the world’s most competitive corporations to better understand and adopt cutting-edge, recruiting technology solutions to their staffing strategy and process. Gerry and Mark do not sit on “for-profit” boards, advisory or otherwise, and have no stock in any of the firms in the industry. Nor do they represent any firms in the industry but their own. Gerry is the former chair and present member of SHRM’s standards task force. You can reach Gerry and Mark at 732-821-6652 or You can also find them participating at conferences, or catch their comments on Linkedin, Twitter, ERE, RecruitingBlogs…for starters. More about the CareerXroads Colloquium The CareerXroads® Colloquium was created in 2002 to bring together corporate staffing professionals who share a passion for critical analysis and sharing what really works (and what really doesn't) in their firms. The group has evolved into a forum for some of America's top staffing leaders and meets eight times a year at locations hosted by members – seven meetings are held throughout the US and the eighth International meeting is hosted in Europe. Regularly scheduled webinars on hot topics, monthly commentary on breaking trends and a variety of research and networking activities ensure that members are armed with information and connections. For more on CareerXroads and the CareerXroads Colloquium go to or 19