A solid career page is a hiring organization’s best tool for creating and nurturing their employer brand. No other hiring platform offers the same depth of content, customizability, and traffic growth potential.In fact, 64% of job seekers agree that a rich careers page on an employer’s website is a valuable resource when searching for a job. When showcasing your employer brand, your number one priority should be to give job seekers the content and stories they need to make an informed decision about their own fit at your company. Yes, careers pages and employer branding are two peas in a pod. Done right, this portion of your website can and will be your best weapon for inbound applicants and talent growth. But how exactly do you build one? And what makes a good careers page? This article will guide you through that process. But first, let’s take a step back and discuss what a careers page is, and how they relate to employer branding.
What is a careers page?
A careers page, or careers site, is a section of your website dedicated to showcasing your employer brand and presenting job openings. It can be a single landing page, a microsite, or a hybrid web page and jobs, board. However, you include a careers page on your website; it should have a singular focus to tell job seekers who you are, your values, why your employees like working there, and what’s in it for new applicants. The messaging and content on your careers page acts as the first point of contact for new applicants, and they will use it to assess whether or not they want to hit “Apply.” In addition to employer brand content, careers pages will often include vacant positions either on the page itself or via a link to a third-party platform. In addition to being your core employer branding platform, careers pages also serve as application portals for potential candidates.
Why are careers pages important?
As you can imagine, career sites offer a wealth of benefits for recruitment organizations. Some of them include:
- The ability to control the story you tell to job seekers. As mentioned, careers pages are often your first point of contact with potential candidates. Because you own everything on a careers page, including the end-to-end candidate experience, these platforms let you present the best possible version of your company.
- They’re gold mines for organic web traffic. When you’ve been a job seeker, how often have you searched for a term like “company + careers” or “industry + careers.” This is often the first step that candidates take when they’re looking for openings within a specific organization or industry. Careers pages are the perfect opportunity to optimize for these types of search terms, which will help you own search traffic from active applicants. You just need the right targeting and the right content to get to the top of the search results.
- They engage visitors and tell your story. By ensuring that your careers page has a depth of engaging content, a great user experience and that it leverages story-telling best practices, this platform will serve as your central employer branding platform.
- They improve your hiring metrics. Careers pages have been known to have a positive impact on cost per hire and time to hire. More applicants will find a well-structured careers page organically, reducing the need for paid candidate sourcing. Additionally, concise brand and employer messaging helps candidates pre-screen themselves to establish fit. Both of the above benefits can make the overall process faster and less costly.
- You can track visitors to your careers pages. Lastly, because careers pages are built into your company website, you can track a huge array of visitor statistics. This includes traffic volumes, locations, demographics, and engagement data. These metrics will help guide the targeting and messaging you use to address visitors.
The best careers pages will be easy to find, present all the relevant information a job seeker needs to make an application decision, and seamlessly transition into a reliable application portal. Together, this process creates a complete candidate experience that continuously brings in qualified candidates, and converts them to successful new hires.
Careers pages and employer branding
Before we dive into the specifics of how to create a successful careers page, let’s step back to discuss ways you can inject your employer brand identity into your messaging. There’s no one way to do this, and your employer brand will likely develop over time. In general, here are some common techniques for showcasing an employer brand on a careers page:
- Adapt your company brand messaging to your careers page. Your employer brand and company brand should be more or less two sides of the same coin. The values that you hold as an organization should be clearly evident in all brand messaging, and you should use that as your roadmap for how to present yourself to job seekers. This will also ensure that your organization isn’t telling two conflicting brand stories.
- Use various media to tell your story. People consume information in a variety of different ways. And, not all stories are suited to every type of media. Be deliberate about what content you present to visitors, how you present it, and what medium you choose. Value proposition messaging, for example, is usually suited to the text. Employee testimonials, on the other hand, required a more personal feel. So, video is the way to go.
- Draw a line in the sand. Clearly establish who you are as an employer, and who you aren’t. This will help keep your messaging clear and focussed on what you’re trying to achieve and offer to job seekers. Trying to do too much creates an unclear employer brand.
- Have ideal candidates in mind. This doesn’t mean that you need to speak to every ideal candidate for every job opening you have. But, it does mean that you need to establish what characteristics you’re looking for in all employees. Once you know that, it will become easier to write or create content that speaks to those traits.
- Live what you say. It’s not enough to have pretty content and nice promises on the page. Your organization has to live those promises at each touchpoint in a new applicant’s interactions with your company. That means your candidate experience, onboarding, and work-life all have to live up to the promises you made. If they don’t then, you’ll likely find yourself with applicant drop off or retention issues.
Now that we’ve driven home the importance of career pages for employer branding let’s dig into how to create one of these things. The good news is that if you’ve ever created a web page, you will likely already know some best practices you’ll need to follow.
Key considerations when creating a careers page strategy
Developing a careers page strategy is all about understanding who you’re creating it for in the first place. Let your ideal candidates tell you what they want to see on your careers page. How do you find that out? Ask your new hires - the ones that you likely hired because they were an ideal candidate. Get their take on what they would have liked to see when they were researching your company. From there, you can look at careers page examples from your competitors, and integrate the elements you like into your own website. A solid career page strategy comes down to two key elements: career page design and career page content.Let’s dig into each.
Career page design
Career page design follows most of the same best practices you’d use for web or UX design. The number one priority when designing your careers page is to ensure that it provides a positive and easy to follow, user experience for all visitors. Your career page design should include all of the required branding elements you’ll need to draw a connection between the page and your brand visually. Some common design elements that can be used to accomplish this include:
- An appealing visual layout
- An intuitive user interface
- An easy-to-follow user experience
- On-brand colors, fonts, and images.
- A page layout customized to the types of content you’re presenting.
That last point is very important for employer branding. The content on your careers page is the heavy lifter when it comes to delivering your employer value proposition. It’s critical, then, that your page is designed in such a way that all of this content is presented in a logical fashion, and tells a deliberate story. Your careers page should also be designed in such a way that makes it easy for candidates to find what they’re looking for, and seamlessly transition from research to application. How do you accomplish all of the above? By doing your research upfront, employing an experienced web designer and developer, and testing what works and what doesn’t. You don’t need to hit your careers page design out of the park on the first try. But you do need to monitor the results and adapt as needed.
Career page content
One could argue that career page content is even more important than the design you choose. That’s because the content is the main vehicle by which you tell your employer branding story, and make your case for why an applicant should apply to your company. Because of this importance, it’s critical that you include the right subject matter on your career page and deliver it using the right medium. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to career page content. Instead, let your brand identity, your target candidates, and your hiring goals guide what and how you present yourself to visitors. Some of the most common types of information found on career pages include:
- Company values
- Employee testimonials
- Photos and videos
- An overview of what your company does
- Company history
- Reasons why employees work there
- Employment benefits and perks
- Recent job posts
- Virtual tours of your offices
The list above isn’t exhaustive, and you don’t necessarily need all of that information. The important thing to address is the key questions that a candidate will have when researching your company and position.Think about what your own questions might be. You’d likely want to know:
- Who the company is.
- What they do.
- Why they’re a good employer.
- What their other employees (really) say about them.
- What’s in it for you if you join their team.
Answering these questions should be the core goal of your career page content. And, as mentioned, the types of content you choose should be chosen based on their ability to get your message across.One common career page content example is employee testimonials. These are much more authentic when they’re delivered on-screen by an active employee. Pull quotes or image quotes simply don’t have the same authenticity as a video. Likewise, you likely won’t use video to showcase your employer benefits and perks. Instead, text and lists are probably the more effective route to take. Know what information your visitors want to see, and present it to them in the manner they want to see it. That’s the key to success for career page content. As a final note, your career page strategy must be an integrated part of your overall hiring process. It’s not enough to have an isolated career page that doesn’t jive with the rest of the candidate experience. Be sure that candidates are provided a seamless transition from the careers page to the final handshake.No matter what your company does, or how many employees you have, your company has a story to tell, and an employer brand to share. Creating a killer careers page - and employer brand - is all about leveraging the resources and people available to you, and presenting an authentic vision of your company. Good stories, combined with the right strategy and design, will turn the career page on your website into a reliable inbound applicant engine.