Check out this article from SHRM about how companies ought to approach designing their sites for job postings and careers. (BTW - this article by Dave Zielinski requires SHRM membership to read, so here is the Cliff Notes version of the article):
Set up: "After Maureen Solero perused her company’s careers website through the eyes of a potential job applicant, she knew changes were in order."
Problem: Our company's job sites might not be designed to get the best talent in the door. Are you making people jump through too many hoops and making them click too many times? Is your site user friendly? Is the information you have on the site PR Spin or does it engage and interest people? Does it seem trustworthy and real? Are you telling your story and does the application process match that story? Are you drawing talent to your sites from places where they are? Are you encouraging (versus discouraging, which is more common) ways candidates can contact you or others in the organization? Is your site mobile friendly?
Opportunity/challenge: "With more people visiting corporate careers websites for jobs information, and with recruiters emphasizing those sites as recruiting and employment branding tools, making your site easy to find, applicant-friendly and rich with information about current employees, work culture, benefits and development opportunities may be more important than ever."
This is such a pet peeve of mine and a HUGE source of lack of alignment between the external brand, the stated internal brand, and the actual internal brand for many organizations. Does your company say that it wants to attract the very best talent and that theirs is an exciting and engaging culture only to then force candidates into an impersonal and frustrating application process? This is too common and I don't think that companies understand the potential impact including:
- Top talent - those folks who have lots of options - won't put up with the process and you will never know they exist. From the article: "Solero was concerned that the difficulty of navigation would create unacceptably high drop-off rates as candidates grew frustrated and left the site." Yes!
- If your site is unwelcoming/frustrating: From the beginning, you are communicating that candidates (and thereby employees) are not special and that you do not want to connect with them.
- Forcing people to post their application information in your predetermined online forms may make it more uniform to review applications, but it strips out the nuances that might help you get to know your candidates more fully. How will those who shine, shine?
I know that recruiting teams have a challenge in terms of how to process and evaluate all the resumes and applications they get. But if your system turns away the very people you want to attract, it does not matter if it is more efficient.
Your site design should be driven by your desired internal brand. Your approach to talent acquisition should reflect how you want employees to feel. This is tough, but it is also the right approach. A few months back, I noticed a job that had been posted on many job websites. I wondered if this was a good strategy because this shot gun approach will surely up the numbers of applications and resumes they get and make it harder to carefully consider people. A more targeted search strategy might have served their needs and goals better.
What do you think? I applaud the Ms. Solero for looking at her company's job site through the eyes of a potential applicant. We should all do that and we should take a fresh look at how we would design our online career portals based on how we define our desired internal brand.
Onboarding starts with the first "hello."