What makes a really good recruitment website? 10 Tips to help you.

Something I have been asked over the last 20+ years is ‘What makes a really good recruitment website?’ Well the good news is that it really is quite simple and it’s not rocket science. Following a few key points will result in your website reflecting you in a positive light, whilst communicating your values, personality and culture. The end result is you’ll drive key candidates to your organisation which will save you a small fortune in fees.

 You know it’s surprising how many organisations I speak to who say ‘Oh we really care about our employees’ or ‘People are at the heart of our business ‘ or ‘We really want to attract the best staff possible’. That’s probably true but so many recruitment websites I see don’t reflect any of this. In fact, to the contrary, some of the best companies’ sites make it impossible to find the careers section. So I have come up with 10 tips which will help you develop a recruitment website that works and delivers ROI

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  1. Visual impact. The website should reflect the corporate feel of the organisation but it is a recruitment website not a corporate one so don’t let marketing ambush it with images of all of its products (which happens with alarming regularity) – it’s about people. The site should look visually appealing, engaging, be uncluttered and easy to navigate.

  2. Content. It used to be the case that a good recruitment website would be short, sharp and to the point with minimal copy but things are a bit more complicated now. If you want your recruitment website to be returned in ‘Searches for specific jobs’ then you need to make the website rich in relevant content –and the more of it, the better as search engines reward those sites that appear to contain relevancy – it’s all part of SEO (search engine optimisation).

  3. ATS/CMS. Applicant Tracking Systems or Candidate Management Systems - there are various names for them but if a candidate has bothered to visit your website, it is a shame to lose them – a good applicant tracking system makes it easier for candidates to apply and even if you don’t have a relevant vacancy at that moment in time, you have the ability to liaise with the candidate when there is a suitable vacancy through email alerts. Keep it simple for the candidate –some clients ask the candidate hundreds of pointless questions and make the whole process painful.

  4. CRM. It’s surprising how easy it is to keep in touch with potential candidates through your website sending them regular messages about how well you are doing or what a great place it is to work but guess what –yes, most businesses don’t bother to do it. It’s simple to do and pays dividends.

  5. Social Media. It’s part of the media mix and it’s free but use it wisely. Use Social Media feeds on your website so that candidates can quickly engage with you.

  6. Videos and Images. Candidates like to see what it’s really like to work within an organisation and they are one of the most viewed subject areas. If you are going to put videos on your website, get them professionally made. Someone in HR recording a member of staff on their ‘handy cam’ doesn’t give a good impression. Likewise some decent photos go a long way.

  7. Mobile. The speed at which candidates are looking for new jobs on the move is staggering and if they can’t view your recruitment website on their iPhone or Android device then you are limiting the effectiveness of the site. A recent survey found that 77% of job seekers were using their mobiles to look for jobs.

  8. Drive traffic to the site. So you finally have your lovely looking, effective website –how are candidates going to find it? Several businesses I have worked with over the last 20 years fall at the final hurdle on this point. If you don’t drive traffic to the website then it won’t work. Look at key areas for which you are trying to recruit and drive traffic to your website through clever use of job board ads, Google PPC ads, social media, etc. Without this the website will fail. The website should have a prominent button on the main section within the corporate website not be hidden away with the ‘terms and conditions’ at the bottom of the website.

  9. Analytics. Once you have your new recruitment website, you need to look at the analytics regularly. It might seem boring but it can tell you what part of the site is working and what isn’t. If 70% of your visitors arrive on the homepage and then leave immediately, something is wrong (high bounce rate). Enlist the help of someone who understands the analytics so you know what you are looking at.

  10. Test and re-test. Finally, before the system goes live, test the system and the process as if you were a candidate and ask a few colleagues/friends to do the same- there will always be a few glitches.

So there you have it –and remember once your new website is up and running, don’t just sit back and think ‘That’s that done’ – you need to constantly update the site, keep it fresh and add new content.

Peter Gibbons is the Founder and MD of Genius Consultancy, the UK’s leading Employer Branding and recruitment communications agency.