13 Jul

Part 2:

In the second part of our series on how you can use the technique marketers use for attracting top quality talent and show you how to turn your careers site into a candidate attraction magnet with an example site at the end of this article.

Most companies have pretty basic careers sites. Little more than a bit of blurb about why they are amazing and then the jobs. The smaller the company, generally the more basic the site tends to be. So here are 5 tips on how to massively increase the likelihood that people visiting your careers site will say ….’wow, I love the look of this company’. Candidates who say this are much more likely to send you their details either to a specific job or want to be part of your talent pool.

  1. Do you have a link to your talent pool on your website?

If not, why not? Oh…….you don’t even have a talent pool. Ok, well time to get one. It’s a place you can put all those applicants you couldn’t hire immediately into a searchable format so you can contact them again in the near future with a new opportunity. Any decent ATS will have one.

So back to that external link. It should be in at least 2 different places on your website, but as a minimum it should be immediately above your list of live jobs and it should allow a candidate to drop their details into your talent pool logging them as a minimum against the job type they want and location. All you need is to hyperlink something like…’Add your details to our talent pool’ and let the candidates build up your talent pool for you.

Just as data is pure gold to a marketer allowing them to segment their marketing database in order to offer the right products to the right consumer, so candidate data is the same to you, the recruiter. Just like your marketing team, you need to collect that data somewhere and if you’re not collecting the data in an easily searchable system (probably a decent ATS) you’ll never be able to develop a good direct sourcing function.

  1. Make the job description interesting

Sounds obvious right? But how many companies actually bother to make the page where a job seeker looks at the job summary interesting? 

Add photos and a video (see the reference to line manager introducing the role on video from last weeks article). Create a section alongside the job text…..’FAQs’ and try to answer questions you think job seekers are going to have related specifically to that role or department.

Are you one of those companies that just lists the text? Well you’re not alone but we live in a visual world. If you want your company and the role to seem interesting to the applicant, let’s start with making the job a bit more interesting.

This is a bit more like it.

  1. Build a dedicated recruitment site

Don’t just copy the same page format of all the other pages on your website, create something very different. Why? Because you want to send the message to prospective applicants that finding the right people is so important that you are prepared to spend the time and effort impressing them with a totally different design.

  1. There’s content and then there’s relevant content

Ok so good news you’ve got the green light to build a dedicated careers site. So what are you going to put on it. ½ page of text about why you’re so amazing and then a list of jobs?

No, that’s just going to cut the mustard. You need content, lots of stuff that job seekers will like. Here’s some suggestions for sections you could add in:

Company values

What do you actually stand for? Define your company culture. Is it all about profit (hopefully not)?

Career paths

Give examples of people’s career progression. “Jo joined as a Sales exec and then moved to marketing and after 5 years she’s now group operations director” blah blah blah.

People want to see you can a. progress and b. progress into different departments, locations or even countries.

10 reasons to join us

This is a free hit to really sell your company. The more innovative the better.

New starter profiles

People want to know what the first few weeks are like so profile people outlining the good bits, the things they found most difficult etc. 

Add video and tons of pictures

Pictures are good, video is even better. If you can’t get the budget for a professionally designed one, get your iphone out and make one yourself. It’s easy, quick and looks natural. Walk around the office and chat to people. Show them the cafe, the rest areas, the play areas, the car park. Show people as much as you can so a job seeker feels they know the office before they even start working with you.

Out of the office

Tell people what you get up to out of the office. Prospective applicants want to know they’re joining a firm that plays as well as works. 

Add a live chat tool

You’ve seen them a hundred times. They pop up from the bottom right hand corner on any business to business site…….’Hi, how can I help’. Why not offer that to your candidates?

People often have questions about both the role and the company and whilst you might not be able to answer all questions immediately, any decent live chat system will allow you to store the conversation, capture the person’s email and then reply to them on email when you have the answer.

If you or your team don’t happen to be online, prospective applicants can still contact you and you can then reply when you come back to your desk thus making sure that no great applicants ever slip away.

Perks and benefits

Employees regularly say that they would prefer alternatives to extra income like an extra day of holiday so why not list exactly all the nice things you offer as part of your standard contract and don’t forget to mention all the perks as well so if you hand out free chocolate on Fridays……..tell people. We know of one company that arranges for anyone on their birthday to be chauffeur driven in a luxury Mercedes to and from the office that day. Nice !!!

Employee reviews

You can usually find a few on Glassdoor so don’t be afraid to put your Glassdoor rating and individual comments on your site. Glassdoor has some code you can use to do that, but the if the reviews are awful…...maybe give it a miss. 

Get social

Make it easy for people to socialise your jobs via links on every job as well as a ‘send to a friend’ button. Also, encourage people to join your social media sites, particularly if you have a dedicated careers page on Facebook or Twitter.


I mentioned in part 1 you should add an FAQs area on every job for questions relating to that job but you should do the same for the main careers site as well. A more general FAQs about the company, how you recruit etc etc.

A help the candidate section

Create a section which explains to candidates what you like to see on their resume/cv and why some candidates do well (get an offer) and others don’t. 

Outline the dos and don’ts, the things that impress you as well as the things you hate for both a candidate’s application and when they come in for interview.

These are invaluable tips that candidates so rarely get from recruiters. You know exactly what you like and don’t like, so help the applicants by telling them.

Better yet…...make it a video and upload it onto your new careers site oh and Youtube as well.

Add a killer graphic

A picture says a thousand words so if you’re growing quickly add some kind of graphic somewhere prominent on the front page of your careers site which indicates year on year growth. Obviously pick the metric (or metrics) which is going to impress people (if you’re racking up ever bigger losses every year…..maybe think twice before using that).


It’s obviously up to you what you choose but some stats you could use would be:

    Growth in headcount

    Growth in revenue

    Growth in clients

    Growth in number of offices/shops

    % men vs women

    Diversity breakdown

5  The 2 clicks rule

It’s simple, if someone is on the homepage of your website and they need more than 2 clicks to find your jobs, it’s too complicated. Now that doesn’t mean 2 clicks to get your careers website, it means 2 clicks to find the jobs. As an absolute minimum your careers section should be clearly visible on the home page of your website. If they click on that it’s acceptable to make them click 1 more time to get to the jobs. After all you could have so much great content on the front page of your careers site that their isn’t sufficient room for all your jobs and/or you could have so many jobs that a separate page is appropriate but the 2 clicks rule still applies: no more than 2 clicks to get to your jobs from anywhere on your corporate site.

6. Don’t be afraid to adjust your careers site

Marketers know that ultimately it’s a numbers game and they will be able to quote you their conversion ratios. For example, for every 100 people who see an advert, 7 will click through to the website and/or landing page you’ve created. From those 7, 3 will set up a free trial of which 1 will convert to a paying customer. So their conversion ratio from advert viewings to actual sales is just 1%. As a recruiter, you need to think in a similar way and thus you should be willing (and able) to adjust your careers site.

Ok so the bods in marketing might go into meltdown if you’re forever tweaking the careers site and we wouldn’t recommend you do it more than once a quarter (think how annoying it is when your local grocer keeps moving products around the store) but it’s your job to optimise the site because your life should revolve around these 3 key metrics:

    Stickiness on the site

    Ratio of site visitors to jobs opened

    Ratio of jobs opened to actual applications

Stickiness on the site is simply how much time people spend before leaving. The ratio of visitors to jobs opened gives you an indication (but only an indication) of how attractive your careers site is making your company sound, but this stat you need to be careful with as the number of jobs will heavily influence it. For example in April you had these stats:

    Unique visitors to careers site: 5000

    1000 people opened a job

50 live jobs on average

Giving you a visits to job views ratio of 20%  (for every 5 visitors, 1 looked at a job)

But in May you had these numbers:

    Unique visitors to careers site: 12000

    3000 people opened a job

    150 live jobs on average

Giving you a conversion ratio of 25%. 

But actually the figures are deceptive because you listed trebled the number of jobs in May, so you would expect the number of jobs opened to go up substantially. So for a stat like that, we would recommend you don’t look at comparing 1 month against another. Much better to compare a quarter vs another quarter or look at the monthly trend of visitors to job opens over at least a 12 month period. If the trend is going down, assuming the number of jobs is roughly consistent, then that’s a bad sign. 

It’s about this time that we must introduce google analytics. You’ll need to ask someone who looks after your careers site to ensure that you can get access to the reports google provides for the numbers of people visiting your site, which sections they are opening and how long they are on your site for. To convert your careers site into a candidate attraction magnet, you will need to be able to get this data to work out the above 3 key metrics.

So going back to the title of this point, armed with the data you can see which sections people are clicking on. If you create a section which is getting little interest, get rid of it and replace it with something else. Tweak the layout: if you don’t have the jobs listed on the front page of your careers site and instead have a link to it, what happens if you suddenly move the jobs onto the front page? Don’t want to do that? Ok so what would happen if you add a ‘job of the day’ feature or perhaps you want to call it ’Spotlight on our [job title] vacancy’. So if you have a job that isn’t attracting the numbers you need, what happens if you put it slap bang in front of everyone who opens up the careers site? What happens if you put it on the front page of your actual website (not the careers section….the very front page !!!). Are they more likely to apply if they see a video introduction from their prospective boss or less likely? Are they more likely to apply if they used the live chat tool you added in? What about candidates you are targeting from Linkedin purely to add to your talent pool. What type of message are they responding to most? If you tweak the content on the landing page they come to register in your talent pool which design is attracting the most conversions?

It’s obviously up to you what you choose to do as what works for 1 client in a particular industry might not work for all but the take away from this article is that to be a great recruiter, you need to think and act like a great marketer. Here’s an example site we mocked up recently. It’s only the front page and contains barely half of what I have suggested above but it gives you a feel for some of the things you should be doing:


  1. Grab their attention with a killer stat on that front page

  2. Ensure you have lots of (relevant) content

  3. Ensure anyone can add their details to your talent pool easily

  4. Add some video content

The companies that win the war for talent are the ones who embrace the techniques that their very own marketing teams are probably using right now to drive sales so to attract the best candidates, think like a marketer.

In part 3, we’ll show you how to attract those that aren’t actively looking so your talent funnel is constantly stocked with great candidates.

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