Careers Websites – Let’s start with the basics


25 Oct 2017

Careers Websites – Let’s start with the basics

Each day you read an article you can guarantee there is some new ground-breaking technology that is going to change the world, from the use of Hololense to help surgeons in operations, AI to drive our cars or chatbots to take over our conversations. 

It’s easy to get disorientated about how everything affects you. And this applies to attracting candidates to your University too. Is my website out of date? Which digital platform do I use to communicate with candidates? Can my content be viewed on all devices?

It’s no secret that we all have shorter attention spans in everything we do and your careers website is no different. Candidates expect the information to be right there in their face, or at the very least just a few taps away.

It’s important, whether you are looking to build a new careers website or refresh an existing one, to take into consideration the audience you are talking to, how they are interacting with your website and how they want content to be displayed to them.

Rather than getting blinded by the next big social platform or technology innovation, let’s focus on the basics to keep candidates engaged and motivated to apply for your next role.

User Journey – make it easy for candidates to apply

Obvious? You would be surprised how difficult some employers make it for candidates to apply. Think about consistent placement of Apply buttons and a quick and easy job search tool that’s available on all pages.

Data - It’s there, use it

Analytics and insight provide you with a wealth of information on how candidates are interacting with your website, their flow through the pages, and tracking conversions to an application. Make use of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to gain the knowledge to help improve your website.

What are you saying?

It is true that a number of candidates will simply land on your homepage and go straight in to searching for a job. However, there are plenty more who want to find out more about you and whether they will fit into your University.  It’s important that your brand and messaging are consistent and present on every page of the website. This is your chance to show off and show how great a place you are; this will help to attract the right type of candidate to the all-important apply button.

ATS Systems

There are plenty of them out there, some worse than others and the odd exceptional case. Love them or loathe them, they are engrained in the recruitment process and you must challenge your provider to continually improve as much as possible. No matter how great your website, if candidates then have to face using an old ATS system with a poor user experience, they will be put off. Try these simple improvements:

Match the branding on the ATS with that of your website

Use a job feed to pull roles into your website so candidates can see the roles there and then

Simplify the application form/process – or at least warn candidates in advance if it is a lengthy process.

Attraction – Build it and they will come

Not strictly true. You can spend £100K on a website that looks amazing and provides a great experience, that’s all very well and good as long as people can find you. You can use the usual tricks on SEO but you can’t neglect your advertising strategy.  Are you up to date on the latest digital media to attract traffic to your site, are you using the most relevant media to reach your target audience and what brand messages are you communicating?

Your careers website is your shop window for potential candidates, give them a bad experience and they could turn and walk away. Stand out from your competitors and give candidates a reason to apply.

Richard McGavigan