Consumers and job seekers alike are often attracted to “shiny objects.” While it’s important to have an aesthetically pleasing website to recruit the best people, there’s a lot more that goes into creating an effective website than just a fancy homepage.
What makes an effective website?
Gone are the days where job seekers are sitting at their desktop computers, searching for a new position. Email notifications make it easy for an applicant to open a link and view the most recent job postings with just a few taps of their finger on their mobile device.
When designing a website to recruit the top talent in your industry, you want to consider mobile-traffic first.
So, what are the top six ways to design your website to recruit the best people?
1. Make it fast!
Speed and beauty play a major role in mobile website design. Job seekers will expect your images to display correctly and load quickly. Slow mobile load time can frustrate even the most interested job seeker.
One way to improve the speed in which your website loads is by optimizing your image sizes for mobile devices. Talk to your web developer to learn more about what size is appropriate for your images. You can also search online to find the most recent recommendations.
While you’re looking at image sizes, notice the recommendations for social media images. There’s a big difference in the size and shape of a Facebook cover photo compared to the image that accompanies a Facebook post. Try to keep the size of your images as small as possible to increase your website’s speed.
In addition to slowing download time and draining device batteries, speed can affect your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. This means a page that’s slow to load could actually make you appear lower on the search engine results list! Before you implement your mobile-friendly website, here are a few things to consider to speed it up:
- Content – search results data, SEO, wordiness
- Images and Video – necessity, quality, size
- Hosting Company – reliability, speed
- Third Party Scripts
- Website Platform – current version
2. Trust your intuition.
These days, it seems like everyone is in a hurry. While fancy designs can be eye-catching, they can also be confusing. No matter how fast your website loads, nobody wants to spend unnecessary time trying to navigate to find out how to apply for a job.
Here are the top three tips to help improve the intuitiveness of your website to recruit the best people:
- Your menu, or navigation bar, should be at the very top of your website. Some websites also include these links in the footer of the website for a second access point.
- Consider what’s driving viewers to your website. If you want to attract job seekers, include “Careers,” “Jobs,” or even “Apply Now” in your navigation bar.
- Ask someone outside your company to test your website. This could be a customer, client, or even family member of someone on your team. After spending hours helping build or refine a design, it will probably seem intuitive to you. Gaining an outside perspective of what’s easy to find and what was confusing will let you make changes before releasing the final version of your website.
Making it easy to find what they’re looking for removes a hurdle for potential applicants. An intuitive menu will make it possible for them to learn more about you before they decide if they want to apply.
3. Make it easy to get around.
It’s important that your website is easy to use regardless of what device it’s viewed on. If you want to attract the best people to your website, here are a few things to avoid:
- Pop-ups. While pop-ups have a useful place when trying to get people to sign up for your newsletter or alert them of an upcoming webinar, they can make things difficult on a mobile device.
- Scrolling. Be aware of how far your visitors have to scroll to get to the end of your pages. A few scrolls on a desktop can equate to way too much time on a mobile device.
- Zooming. While mobile devices allow viewers to easily zoom in to view content, avoid including things that would require the extra step.
Before promoting your new website, it’s important to test the features on all devices, including desktop and mobile. This includes making sure buttons and links work, as well as checking for any overlapping text. Many website subscriptions allow you to review your design in desktop and mobile view.
4. Give them what they want.
Think about your website from a visitor’s perspective. What do they want to find? If your goal is to design your website to recruit the best people, they probably want to learn about your company and see your open positions. If your goal is attracting new customers, they probably want to learn about your company and how your services will benefit them.
No matter who your target audience is, you’ll want to include a few common navigation bar buttons:
- About Us
Depending on your company, you may also want to include who you serve, services you offer, projects you’ve worked on, and more.
You can be as creative as you want with your menu names. However, if a viewer doesn’t know what it means, they probably won’t click. For example, if you saw “Opportunities” as a menu option, would you know it was the careers page? If your goal is to use your website to recruit the best people, you need to make your “Careers” page as prominent and obvious as your “About Us” and “Contact” pages.
5. Connect with the best people.
By adding a few buttons to the footer of your website, you can easily link to your social media pages. This gives job seekers the opportunity to learn more about your company, how you’re engaging with your target market, and what you’re doing for your team.
Your social media presence should align with your company’s brand and culture. It gives viewers a more intimate perspective by offering insight into how you interact with your customers, clients, and team.
Another way to connect with potential job applicants is by linking your leadership team’s biographies to their LinkedIn pages. This gives candidates a way to see who they could be working for before they click apply.
6. Make it engaging.
Your website should be easy to use and enjoyable to read. While you don’t need to include jokes or games, it should be engaging.
The more you capture your audience’s attention, the longer they’ll stay on your website.
Your company’s website should be the hub of your recruiting efforts. Once you’ve developed an effective website design, you can focus on what content to include. As job seekers explore, they’ll become familiar with your brand and culture, giving them a clear idea of who you are.
Before you finalize your website, here are a few things to consider.
- Always be recruiting. It’s engaging when a visitor clicks your Careers page and sees all of your open positions. If you want to build the best team, you need to keep your focus on recruiting and retention. Driving new applicants to your website is the first step in using your website to recruit the right people. Be sure to include reminders throughout your website that your company is hiring. Make sure all job postings are current and updated with the most recent details. Even if you aren’t hiring, leave an open position available for an interested applicant. You never know when you’ll need to replace someone quickly.
- Connect your website to your ATS. If your goal is to recruit the best people and drive applicants, you’ll want to link your applicant tracking system (ATS) to your website. This will give you an effective way to screen applicants and an easy way to get your team on board with your recruiting efforts. Ultimately, when a job applicant clicks “Apply” on your website, they’ll be redirected to your ATS to fill out the job application. Then, let the automation and screening processes begin! It’s engaging to applicants when the system walks them through the application process seamlessly.
- Include videos. Corporate profile and employee testimonial videos are great ways to offer a potential job applicant an insider’s look into your company. It’s engaging when there are videos that allow an applicant to learn more about what it’s like to work at your company before they even apply. Client testimonial videos are another way to show people what you do and what it’s like to work with you. If you don’t want to be focused on the speaker the entire time, you can collaborate with a video team to utilize images or videos of your work environment and team.
Having a pipeline of interested candidates makes an unexpected resignation a lot less stressful.
- DON’T avoid technology. Whether you’re avoiding updating your website or you’re still asking for applicants to fax in their paperwork, it’s important that you consider the impact that will have on the quality of applications you receive. It’s not engaging when your website isn’t up with the times. Using modern technology shows candidates that you’re invested in the future.
- DON’T be vague. When posting a specific job opening, you need to be very clear about who you want to hire. Are you looking for a foreman with years of experience? Do you need someone in the office to handle customer service calls? It’s not engaging when people don’t understand who you’re looking to hire.
- DON’T hide the jobs. The easier your “Careers” page is to find, the more people will click “apply.” Make sure all of the links on your page work properly. It’s not engaging when people are confused and don’t know how to apply for your job openings.
Launching a New Site
Websites take countless hours to design, develop, and implement. You need a system in place to attract and recruit the right candidates. Without an effective website, you will dampen your recruiting efforts.
At Core Matters, we help construction companies who are struggling to attract and recruit good people. Your website should be at the core of your recruiting efforts as it’s likely the first way people will interact with your brand. If you’re frustrated by the lack of quality candidates applying for your jobs, it may be time to review your website.