May 03, 2018 10:07 AM

How To: Optimizing Your Career Page

With so much focus lately on data-driven strategies, diversity, and of course work culture, it’s easy to lose sight of one of the most fundamental aspects of recruitment – the careers page. Like a weathered shop sign in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint, the careers page is often crying out for a little TLC. So today we’re going to take a refresher course in careers page optimization and see if there are any ways you can freshen up yours.

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The importance of a solid careers page

Did you know that as many as 59% of potential candidates head straight for your website when they hear you might be hiring? And to be honest, that figure seems a little low to us; we’re quite convinced that it’s actually more. Even so, it’s still more than half of your potential hires checking out your online presence to see what you’re all about.

Now at this point, we should ask you if you have a careers page but it seems a silly question, right? Everyone understands that the careers page is one of the cornerstone pages of a company’s website. However, you’d be surprised at how many of these often visited pages are veritable ghost towns. No content, a 404 page, or worse, job postings from three years ago. We’ve seen them all in our time.

What some companies don’t realise is that the careers page is a golden opportunity to not only advertise job vacancies but to sell your brand to potential employees, showcase your work culture, and shout to the world what an awesome employer you are.

Unfortunately, with many employers now focusing the majority of their branding efforts on social media platforms, the poor old careers page is often considered an afterthought.

5 mistakes to avoid on your careers page

Not every careers page requires all that we mentioned above. In fact, some may prefer the minimalistic style that we here at vsource make use of. But, whatever approach you take, try to avoid these common pitfalls.

Job postings are missing

Your social media profiles say you’re hiring and there are even a few job postings up on the most popular job boards but your careers page says ‘Check back later to see if we’re hiring.’ We can imagine just how high the bounce rate would be on that page. Perhaps you wouldn’t lose all of your potential candidates, but you would certainly lose some.

If your social media profiles say you’re hiring and if you have job postings to this effect, then make sure that your careers page reflects this promise. Anything less screams amateur hour and could be an instant turn-off for potential hires.

The page is off-brand

We’ve seen thousands of careers pages in our time, and it still surprises us when we come across one that is off-brand. You know the kind of pages we’re talking about, the generic cookie cutter pages that are sometimes so bad that when a candidate lands on one, they feel like they’ve been redirected to another dimension. The colors are wrong, the images are wrong, and even the fonts look odd.

However, it’s not just about aesthetics. Ensure that your brand voice shines through in your copy. If your site uses formal language throughout, then your careers page should do the same. The same goes for a conversational tone of voice.

Now if you have a careers page that is off-brand, don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. Mistakes happen to the best of us, but you will need to rectify this as soon as possible.

There’s no clear application process

The main goal of a careers page or job posting for that matter, is to encourage candidates to apply for the role. So it kind of makes sense that you would have a link to an application form (Google forms are great for this) or even a simple link to an off-site posting on a jobs board.

The idea is to make the entire process as straightforward and painless as possible. Remember it’s all about candidate experience these days so bear that in mind when crafting your careers page. Make it so easy to apply that even those with the most basic of computer skills can easily navigate the process.

You ask your candidates to register

Some companies like Apple, have an application process that involves registering with the company before applying for a job. This is okay if you’re a Silicon Valley heavyweight who has their pick of the best talent, but let’s face facts. If any small to medium sized company asks you to register with them just so you can apply for a job, how would you feel?

Don’t ask candidates to do anything but apply for the role in question. It’s what they are there to do, and it’s what you want them to do so forget about building lists and adding more subscribers to your newsletters.

It’s not easy to find

The vast majority of companies place a link to their careers page in the website footer. This is perfectly acceptable as it is the first place that most potential candidates will look. However, there are some who place this link at the bottom of their About page or somewhere even more obscure.

Placing links throughout your site is fine, but there must be at least one prominent link on the homepage, and the footer link is ideal. We would also suggest creating a CTA ‘We’re Hiring’ button which you can place in a prominent position on your homepage when there are positions available. As we said earlier, it’s all about making life easier for your potential hires.

 How to optimize your careers page

This will be the shortest how to section we’ve ever presented on vsource, and you know why? If you avoid the above mistakes in your careers pages, then you should have a page that is already pretty much optimized.

  • Your brand image and work culture shines through
  • Your application process is clear and straightforward
  • Your careers page is easy to find

To that, we would add the following simple tips

  • Include relevant keywords such as alternative job titles

Avoid these mistakes and add a few details (or even some personality) and keywords to your careers page and you’ll have the perfect landing page for potential candidates.

But remember to keep it up. There’s no point in crafting wonderful copy only to stop updating your careers page after a few months. Make the careers page an integral part of your recruiting efforts and the first place that your team places available roles. You may not notice an immediate upturn in application numbers, but in the long run, the quality of candidate will undoubtedly improve as your website bounce rate comes down, and more potential hires make it through your straightforward application process. 

So how is your careers page looking right now? If it needs improvement, then there’s no time like the present to get started. Every day that your careers page remains outdated is a day that you could lose potential candidates, and that’s something you don’t want to do. But keep in mind that your careers page, while important is just a small piece of the puzzle. So if you find that even after optimization, you’re struggling to fill roles, it could be that you need a better targeting system in place for your sourcing efforts.

And it just so happens that we can help with that. Book a quick demonstration with one of our sourcing consultants. You could be just one little click away from recruitment perfection.