Although hiring has generally been down compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, we are seeing some activities in the job market as businesses reopen post-lockdown. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the worst impact on the labour demand was experienced in May and hiring intentions have slowly been increasing from June*.
But even if you’re not looking to hire just yet, it’s worth taking a look now at how you will promote your company’s job opportunities in the future. And the best place to start is with your website. No matter how your job applicants come to you, whether it’s online, through a colleague/friend, or via a recruiter, at some stage, they’ll check out the careers page on your website.
So, what do candidates expect from your website, and how can you be sure that your careers page supports your recruitment objectives?
Here are five top tips to help you build a compelling careers page.
1. Tell a story and get candidates engaged
Job listings don’t have to be at the forefront of your careers page. It can be more effective to tell your story first – to connect at an emotional level – before getting into the details. Candidates want to be inspired by what you, their potential future employer, stands for, so show the prospect your company’s value proposition straight away.
Ensure what you tell them is genuine and personable. There’s no better way to learn what it’s like to work at a company than from the people who already do. A simple piece of copy that tells you why this is the place you should want to work, along with pictures of the type of workplace they’ll be in and staff they’ll work with, makes for a well-polished, effective careers page.
2. Make your expectations clear
Job applicants for each vacancy might have increased dramatically, but it’s no good having a lot of applicants if only a handful would be a good fit for your company’s culture and values.
You could try highlighting keywords on your site to showcase your company’s core beliefs. This is a bold strategy that many companies tend to shy away from, fearing they’ll frighten off top talent. But in doing this, your candidate pool might be filled with better-suited applicants and your recruitment process may become more efficient and streamlined as a result.
A note of warning about ‘company culture’: be careful you don’t fall into the trap of only hiring people who are similar to your current staff, at the expense of a diverse workforce. Think about what really makes your company special, and articulate it in a way that is inclusive regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race etc.
As well as candidates who are unsuitable in terms of company culture, it’s also important to filter out those who are underqualified for a role early in the application process. A series of qualifying questions is a quick and effective way of letting an applicant know if they’re suitable for a role.
3. Include video content
If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video surely paints a million. Videos are a great way to engage with potential applicants, and one video can show everything a prospective employee needs to know about what your company stands for, and what it would be like to work for you.
Granted, you might not have a huge budget for a highly polished video, but videos can be put together much more economically than in the past and can make a big difference to your careers page.
4. Explain how the application process works
Breaking down exactly what candidates can expect from the process is a great way to prove the professionalism of your organisation, set appropriate expectations, and provide reassurance that their application will be properly considered.
Ensuring job seekers are well-informed before submitting their application can also help prevent ongoing follow-up enquiries. Clarify the different stages involved, along with any additional details like deadlines or format.
5. Make it user-friendly on all devices
Your prospects might come across your site through browsing on their phone or tablet, so make sure your site is optimised for handheld devices along with desktop computers/laptops to provide the best possible candidate experience. Job seekers won’t waste time trying to navigate around a dodgy interface or waiting for images to download. They’ll leave before they can engage with your content, and you’ll lose potentially good candidates.
Try visiting your site on your smartphone. Put yourself in the shoes of an applicant – what’s it like to navigate around your careers page? Is it easy, or do you find it frustrating?
Getting candidates to your careers page is only the first step in the hiring process. HR systems can go a long way in making the rest of your recruitment and onboarding process run smoothly, facilitating consistent communication between candidate and company.