Career Sites That Sell


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The most successful career sites don’t post laundry lists of job qualifications, and they don’t look like static catalogs. Instead, today’s winning career pages appeal to a new generation of workers by presenting an ideal combination of creativity, interaction, usability, and authenticity. Find out what they do—and how you can do it, too—in our latest eBook, “Career Sites that Sell: 4 Ways You Can Win More Applicants.” You’ll get valuable insight into the tools and techniques used by some of this year’s hottest employers. - see more at

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Career Sites That Sell

  1. 1. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Career Sites that Sell: 4 Ways You Can Win More Applicants
  2. 2. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 2 Contents Introduction 3 The power of branding 4 Does your brand do enough? 4 Translating your brand to your career site 4 Rue La La 5 Zynga 5 6 Strut your stuff: The what, the why & the who 7 Set your voice with images and tone 7 Get personal and share your values 7 Are you for real? 8 Strategies for hard-to-fill positions 8 Write strong copy 10 Be engaging 10 Get to the point 10 Be nice to your applicants 11 Keep it simple 11 Go extra sleek 11 Don’t lose people 11 Not everyone is ready to apply 11 Socialize your jobs 12 Help candidates be successful 12 Next steps: Conversion & metrics 14 Conclusion: Keep optimizing your career site 16
  3. 3. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 3 Career pages are among the most highly trafficked pages on a corporate website. Visitors to these pages arrive due to interest in the company or via job advertising, Internet searches, word of mouth, referrals, recruiters, and any other recruiting channels. Some arrive with a purposeful goal (applying for a new job), while others are just window-shopping for a better opportunity. The enduring tag line for the U.S. Navy recruiting campaign struck a resonant chord with many when it first debuted—and still does today. That’s because prospective employees want more than just a paycheck and benefits; they want a work experience that fits their values and aspirations. By the same token, you want visitors who arrive at your career site to feel welcomed and understood. You want them to want to apply. Unfortunately, the timeframe you have to capture their attention is a very small window. You have to make every second count. This eBook, the third in our Insight4theEnterprise series, is geared toward helping you produce a more compelling career site—one that paints an inspiring picture of your open jobs, your company, and the people who work there. With examples from numerous successful businesses, we’ll identify four critical ways in which you can better capture the interest of targeted talent and convert that interest into applications: 1 Use branding. Are you making the best use of this secret weapon? 2 Strut your stuff. Are you showing candidates the real people and culture of your company? 3 Write strong descriptions. Is your copy motivating and attractive? 4 Be applicant-friendly. Are you asking applicants to jump through hoops? We’ll also discuss how you can use specific analytics to promote the ongoing optimization of your career site—and continue to attract top talent for years to come. Introduction
  4. 4. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 4 Career pages often get shortchanged during the company site design process. We’ve all seen the beautiful corporate website that hits a wall at the careers section, getting stuck with generic imagery, indifferent copy, and clunky job listings. Is your career section a victim of neglect? When creating a career site, the first and most essential aspect to consider is your brand. It is your company’s most powerful recruiting asset. After all, it’s the brand that you are trying to grow by hiring more employees. And when visitors look at your company’s career site, you want them to understand that this is the message and umbrella under which they may be working. If your brand is not fully and engagingly incorporated into your career site, you are missing a huge opportunity. Does your brand do enough? You want your prospects to understand your brand message and be excited about building that brand by working for your company. An effective brand should do the following: Deliver A Message Be Credible Connect On An Emotional Level Motivate The Prospect Create Loyalty Think about your brand’s unique selling proposition or what sets your products or services apart from competitors. Ask yourself: • What is the promise to our customers on which we want our employees to deliver? • What drives our company? • What do current employees focus on when building campaigns and creating an emotion around our company offerings? The Power of Branding When creating a career site, the first and most essential aspect to consider is your brand. It is your company’s most powerful recruiting asset.
  5. 5. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 5 Zynga On the website of this social games developer, the transition between corporate website and career site is seamless. Fun abounds. Open positions and job description details fit in smoothly with the overall structure and theme of the website. Rue La La Rue La La carries its magazine-like style onto its career pages, giving it a fresh and fashionable look that easily conveys the heart of the company.’s career site provides a unique take on their brand and utilizes its message to attract and engage prospective employees. The product is online dating, but the brand is love. The career page highlights that brand in a playful, but truthful, manner. On this page, you can see that wants their prospects to both love their work and understand that employees are working to help people fall in love. Translating your brand to your career site After you’ve identified the key elements of your brand that you want to convey to prospects, consider how you can apply them on your career pages. The following examples offer some insight.
  6. 6. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 6 Strut Your Stuff: The What, The Why & The Who One of the most important things your career site can accomplish is the visualization of life—not just work—at your company. It’s one thing to talk about what your company represents—innovation, free lunches, active lifestyle—but it’s another to show it through imagery and tone. For example, there’s no mistaking that you’re working for a company that emphasizes athletic culture when you look at Adidas. However, this may not be so clear for other companies. Before prospects hit the apply button, they need to be engaged in a vision of your company, what it’s like to work there, what daily life is like, who they will be working with, and what goals they’ll be working toward. What you say and how you say it will shape each candidate’s experience and will give these prospects the insight required to apply and pursue the opportunity. Set your voice with images and tone Don’t assume that visitors to your career site know all about your company or who works there. Photos, illustrations and videos can shape the story about your company’s culture, work atmosphere and the opportunity offered. If you don’t have a big budget for photo and video shoots, don’t worry. Companies frequently use snapshots and videos captured by employees at company events or around the office. The informal nature of the images contributes to the insider view feeling. Take a look at how Shutterfly makes that work. The tone of your copy should work with the graphics to tell a story. Zappos, for example, offers visitors a real sense of the playful, social, and hard-working environment the company has. Culture is the headline on the Zappos career site, and visitors have plenty of opportunities to explore blogs, videos, and other social media channels to understand the dynamic of the office.
  7. 7. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 7 Consider this: What about your company would make someone want to work there? Zappos demonstrates an environment that’s “fun and a little weird,” but makes the point that this environment is about more than a free lunch and fun times. Zappos is a family with its own set of core values. Other companies, despite having fun products, have a more serious demeanor to their company story. Etsy, an e-commerce website that allows artists and consumers worldwide to buy and sell crafts, clearly states its vision “to build a new economy and present a better choice: to buy, sell and live handmade.” Their career site includes a video that conveys a level of emotion toward crafts as well as key company accomplishments. Your career site can do more than simply list jobs; it can share your story, your mission, and the reason why it’s a great place to work. EventBrite does a great job at all three. Get personal and share your values In addition to your brand and unique selling proposition, candidates want to understand what makes your story so relevant to them.
  8. 8. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 8 Redfin achieves authenticity by offering visitors a photo series highlighting the top 12 reasons to work for Redfin. The clean format allows people to browse through the accomplishments and faces of the company and quickly learn more about the company culture. Trustwave takes a similar approach. The popular cybercrime-fighting company offers real pictures of the many faces of its employees along with the company’s values and identity. Yelp’s career site offers the real story of what it’s like to work there through its “Day in the Life” section, where employees in different departments answer questions about their backgrounds and daily experiences. Are you for real? Rest assured that, before they apply, candidates will certainly consider the people with whom they will be spending 40+ hours a week. They will want to know if they’ll fit in and what working with a team at your company will feel like. Always be authentic. You know there are people behind the corporate machine, so pull back the curtain and show candidates who they really are. Putting employees on your career site gives your talent brand a face—multiple ones, in fact. Always be authentic.
  9. 9. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 9 Jive Software is a prime example. The company uses one page to tell engineering prospects about locations, values and open jobs. Strategies for hard-to-fill positions Companies who compete to fill certain types of jobs or hire a large volume in key functional areas often focus parts of the career site on those jobs. Blogs that are specific to a functional area or job type are a meaningful way to help candidates learn more about what it’s like to work in that area of the company. You can create specific sections of your career site to market these positions, using blogs, employee profiles, video interviews with employees, and key points of pride.
  10. 10. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 10 Now that you’ve taken the time to properly brand your site, share your culture, and feature employee life, you need to motivate people to apply. That’s where persuasive and powerful copy can play a huge role. Why? Because many site visitors may arrive at a job description page without seeing any of your beautiful career site branding, imagery and messaging. The words you use can go a long way toward converting prospects into applicants. Be engaging The best-performing career sites feature engaging job descriptions that reflect the company’s brand, culture and environment. In other words, don’t post impossibly long laundry lists of qualifications and requirements, and don’t bog down your descriptions with a lot of administrative boilerplate text. No one wants to read that. Remember: A boring job description conveys a boring job. Also remember that you are trying to attract the best candidates for the job. Think about who those people are. What do you need to say in order to get them excited about the opportunity? More importantly, how do you need to say it? Use a voice that speaks to your target audience. For some companies, this means incorporating humor, freshness, or whimsy. For others, it means offering a tone of pure professionalism. Obviously, it will depend on the key positions available and the company’s brand. Write strong copy Remember: A boring job description conveys a boring job.
  11. 11. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 11 Tivo does a great job of using engaging copy on the front of its career site while remaining concise and purposeful in its requisitions. Meetup uses a conversational tone to clearly explain the job and responsibilities; this is far from a dry-as-toast job requisition. Get to the point You spend a lot of time, money, and brain power on driving traffic to your career site. But when those people land on your job descriptions, you have the opportunity to convert traffic to applicants. Keep the end goal in mind. You want quality conversions, not just high volumes of traffic. Don’t get so caught up in crafting witty copy that you forget to be realistic and direct about what you need. Do a little market research to help position the job in an appealing yet direct way. Interview people with similar job roles or ask the hiring manager, “What are the best parts of this job, and what skills are essential?” Circulate descriptions to people in the department and test which ones are most effective. Would your coworkers apply?
  12. 12. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 12 Be Nice To Your Applicants The last thing a prospect wants to do is go through a tedious, multi-step process in order to apply for an exciting job. The most qualified and in-demand people will be the least motivated to jump through hoops on your website, especially if they are already employed. Marketing professionals are constantly testing and discovering how to maximize registrants by minimizing the number of fields on each form. For every field subtracted, the number of applicants will increase. Think about the bare minimum that you need so that hiring managers and recruiters can make an educated decision on which applicants to contact. Keep it simple Your interview process can still be as rigorous as needed; however, keep in mind that you are not trying to intimidate visitors. It’s a cost/benefit analysis. Extra screening questions on your forms make it easier to review applicants, but may dissuade highly qualified prospects from applying. You want them to apply and to be excited about their application, not irritated because of the number of required fields. Zappos uses a simple two-page application process. Applicants fill out their contact information, cover letter, resume and relevant samples on the first page; and wrap it up on the second page with some additional relevant information. It only takes a few minutes to answer the job-related questions that help recruiters decipher which candidates fit the company’s needs. Go extra sleek Note HUGE Inc’s application. All that’s required is an applicant’s first name, last name, email address and resume. The rest is only nice-to-have information. Candidates’ phone numbers will be on their resumes, and if they’re not, candidates have the option to include it. Four fields, and presto! Application submitted.
  13. 13. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 13 SayMedia uses straightforward navigation that remains visible on the side of each page, detailing exactly which options are available for visitors. At the bottom of each page, several options remain that will allow prospects to instantly see all open positions or learn more about working with the company. Don’t lose people Be sure that your rich content and engaging employment brand find a home in a career site that’s easy to navigate, so that casual browsers don’t get lost on the way to apply.
  14. 14. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 14 For example, gives passive or lurking site visitors the option to receive future alerts about new openings on just about every page of its career site. It’s a welcoming alternative that tells prospects there are always opportunities down the road to build a relationship, even if they aren’t ready to take the next step immediately. This encourages people to connect with the company in the way that’s right for them. SayMedia also provides a job alert signup, as well as the ability to submit a general application, in an array of clearly outlined Job Seeker Tools. Not everyone is ready to apply Many people who visit your career site are simply checking out possibilities, or they don’t find a job that fits right now. But you can use your career site to gain their interest and then channel it effectively to keep them engaged.
  15. 15. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 15 Most Jobvite customers, like Groupon, also enable visitors to share any job with their own networks through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or other networks. Jobvite matching technology can also suggest people in their networks who may fit the job. On, any visitor to the career site can send a Jobvite, a job invitation, to contacts in their social networks; then recipients can apply—or forward to their own friends. It’s an easy way to build awareness for your jobs in the networks of your talent pool. Socialize your jobs Social media provides an easy and powerful way for you to build engagement with prospective applicants. Featuring a blog and links to corporate social media accounts on the career site gives visitors a way to stay in touch and find out the latest news about your company.
  16. 16. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 16 For example, TiVo provides visitors with a comprehensive FAQ section featuring detailed information on everything from the selection process to the ways in which referrals work. offers a similar section dedicated to walking applicants through expectations and preparations for an interview. Finally, be sure to let candidates check on the status of their applications, so they always feel connected. SayMedia features a status check in its Job Seeker Tools, where candidates can log into the system and see where they are in the process. This conveys to applicants that you take them seriously, and that real people are working behind the scenes— not just resume-scanning robots. Help candidates be successful Your career site should also help candidates who have already applied by providing informative resources.
  17. 17. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 17 As the centerpiece of your recruitment marketing campaign, your career site should fulfill two additional purposes beyond simply providing job description data. First, you want to convert interested prospects to applicants, and eventually to hires. Consider your brand as well as what key factors you want candidates to visualize. What will be the most important selling point for your company? Is it the fun and cool corporate culture or the high profile and creative employees? Once you have a general idea of what type of candidates you want to attract, you also need data to help you test what works. Where are the best candidates coming from? Answering this question does not mean needlessly pestering applicants to fill in another field on an application. They aren’t always the most reliable source of data anyway. In fact, according to an ATS Sourcing Data report,1 five out of six job seekers—or more than 83 percent—incorrectly cite where they found out about a job when asked in the application process. What does this mean? Companies who rely on candidates to self-identify their sources are relying on imprecise data to guide their recruitment marketing programs and budgets. Instead, think about automatically capturing candidate source data through your career site. By using unique URLs in your job listings shared on the web or in social networks, for example, you can gather more precise data and build reports outlining where your quality candidates come from—so you can see where holes exist, which programs are best serving you, and how to better tune your marketing strategy to capture the right candidates. 1 Next Steps: Conversion & Metrics The truth is, many hiring managers can’t say with confidence where their talent is coming from. It is a dirty secret that’s getting very little attention. Peter Weddle, CEO, Weddle’s
  18. 18. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 18 Tips for applying career site metrics • Which pages are getting the most traffic? Why? • What are the bounce (percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page) and exit (percentage who leave a specific page) rates? For more details on applying metrics to improve your recruiting programs, check out the second eBook from this series, “Metrics that Matter: 4 Ways to Prove Your Worth.” Jobvite makes this effortless by automatically providing unique URLs for all recruitment marketing and social sharing. Continually monitoring the metrics of recruitment marketing will help you optimize your programs and the performance of your career site. Ask questions like, “If I were to change certain steps in our recruitment marketing process, where would I make the biggest impact?” Think about what would make a candidate want to apply for a position at your company. Do the numbers match up with your theories? Remember that applicants are people, not just resumes. If you want to retain a high conversion rate of quality candidates, you will need to put a little love into your career site.
  19. 19. Insight4theEnterprise Series: Part 3 Page 19 About the career sites The corporate career sites featured in this eBook are from a selection of Jobvite customers. Each of them has created sites that speak eloquently to their brands, people and amazing opportunities. We’re happy to show you their wonderful work. On these sites, Jobvite powers the job listings, application process, job alerts, career site analytics and many other functions – including, of course, the ability to Jobvite your friends through social networks. You can easily incorporate these technologies into the Jobvite recruiting platform or purchase a stand-alone career site that works with outside ATS applications. Conclusion: Keep Optimizing Your Career Site Ultimately, your career site is a hub for attracting new talent to your company. Building it takes time, creativity, and effort—and ensuring its success means calculating and applying metrics to determine whether you are successfully converting prospects to applicants and hires. The examples included here represent just a small sampling of what you can do with the right platform to support you. Work with your team to figure out the right tone, images, style, verbiage, and social tools best suit your company’s brand and targeted talent pool. Of course, building a talent pool involves more than just amplifying your career site. In our final eBook of the series, we’ll explore what it takes to fill that pool with the most qualified candidates possible.