Elements of an Effective Careers Page
If your organization struggles with receiving quality job applicants (or any applicants at all), this blog is for you. When you think about growing your team, what step in the talent acquisition process comes to mind first? Many focus solely on the recruiting process, from identifying talent through interviewing and hiring, but the best organizations know that finding top talent isn't as simple as posting a job and interviewing candidates. We're going to focus on a candidate's first step their journey - finding a position with your company and determining if it's the right fit for them.
We will discuss the following as they pertain to building an effective careers page and providing a positive candidate experience:
- Location & Navigation - are your careers easy to find and is it easy to locate the information candidates are looking for?
- Content - are you answering job seeker questions and giving an insight into your culture?
- Job Postings - are your current openings up to date and do job descriptions provide accurate insight into the company and role?
- Talent Communities - how are you nurturing talent who may not be ready to apply, but are still interested in a career with your company?
Location & Navigation
Before thinking about content and job postings, you first need to determine the location of your careers page. Your page should be easy for candidates to find from the homepage of your corporate website and should have a straighforward title, something like "Careers" or "Join Us". Be sure not to bury the link to your careers page under menu drop-down options or on pages without high visitation. Ideally, the link to your careers page should be one of the main menu options (take a look at the ORS Partners website as an example) or found in the footer of all of your website pages.
Once you have chosen a location for your careers page, start to think about how candidates will navigate their way through career info, employment benefits, culture insight, job descriptions, and application links. Give candidates the ability to jump directly to viewing open positions if they are already familiar with your organization. Depending on how large your company is, you may consider breaking down your careers page into multiple pages for different departments or locations. For example, dedicating a page to the sales department with all of your openings listed, or showcasing company culture at your office in California along with job opportunities at that location.
Keep in mind that organization is key when creating your careers page, and building out additional sub-pages logically will help with website performance and search engine rankings.
Once you determine how you want to set up your careers page, it's time to start thinking about the content. A good careers page should give candidates information on office locations, company culture and values, benefits, why employees like working for you, and what makes someone successful at the company. Think: if you were a job seeker, what would you want to know?
It's good to have mixed media on your page, as everyone absorbs content differently. Consider using pictures/graphics, video clips, and text to communicate the information above. It is important to mention that your content should always be authentic and transparent - never attempt to alter what your company is like or what role responsibilities are. Not every job seeker will want to apply to your company, and that's okay! Your content should attract and engage candidates who are a good fit for your culture and desired skillsets and turn away candidates who do not feel like they will be a good match.
If you use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), it's likely tied to your careers page. The jobs posted on your careers page are linked to your ATS, which is where your recruiters will keep track of candidates throughout the recruiting process.
First, make sure job seekers are able to search for jobs by job title, keywords, department, and/or location. Then, ensure that the job information in your ATS is up to date. Your job descriptions should use clear, concise language and be free of errors while giving candidates an accurate overview of job responsibilities and qualifications. You may consider breaking up your qualifications into "must haves" and "nice to haves" - sometimes, a candidate who is actually a good fit for the position may disqualify themselves if they don't feel they meet the long list of qualifications. Telling candidates what is absolutely required and what would be a bonus can help them make their decision.
If your organization is currently operating remotely, consider where you will list the location of your open positions. You may want someone within a commutable distance to your office location(s), or perhaps this person will always work 100% remote. Many organizations have started to list "remote" as a location option on their job search page, while others have chosen to categorize remote roles by state or geographic area (i.e. "Remote, California" or "Remote, North America"). These options depend on the size of your organization and whether or not a job can be done both in-office or remotely. Ensure you are giving job seekers the ability to search for career opportunities both remote and in their home city/state.
PRO TIP: Be aware that the main job boards still feature location as the 2nd most prominent filter for job search. Be certain that your job postings are being dispayed properly as they are picked up on the job boards.
Some candidates may visit your careers page and be interested in working for your organization, but they don't find any current openings that are a fit for their experience. Giving them the ability to join a "talent community" can keep them engaged with your company and nurture a relationship for the future.
Talent communities allow candidates to input their information and select what types of roles/departments they'd like to be kept informed on. For example, someone could select "Product and Design" to join an email list that will send them company blogs and media related to product and design, updates on the product and design team, and notifications when new positions are posted.
This is a great way to nurture talent and promote your brand, but only implement the option of joining a talent community if your organization has someone dedicated to managing the email lists and campaigns. This person could be in charge of employer brand and recruitment marketing, a member of your corporate marketing team, or a recruiter who oversees your careers page.
Overall, your careers page comes down to this: accessibility and authenticity.
Job seekers should be able to easily find the information they're looking for and be provided with content and job descriptions that help them determine if they are a good fit for your organization or not. Remember that the goal of your careers page and associated content is to give candidates a great experience, regardless of whether or not they end up joining your team.