Ed NewmanJanuary 12, 2017
Topics: Recruiter Experience

Are You Wasting Your Money on Employer Branding?

Employer branding has been coming of age since the early 2000's and it seems that it has finally landed as one of the top priorities for 2017. More and more companies are engaging in developing an employer brand - starting with an underlying employee value proposition (EVP), and ending with a library of content targeted at attracting the right talent.

According to the Talent Board, a non-profit organization responsible for the Candidate Experience Awards, 75% of candidates surveyed named the corporate career site as the primary source of information when they are conducting research on a specific company. It should come as no surprise that companies are investing in building out branded content on their career sites.

But is this investment going to waste?

What if I told you that nearly 70% of your candidates might never see your content?

Here's the deal. Most companies utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage job requisitions. In addition, the ATS also comes with a candidate job portal - allowing job seekers to search for and apply to jobs online. Typically, these candidate portals are limited in their ability to house any type of content that is not encompassed in your basic job description. In response, companies will build out a set of career pages with all of their rich branded content, employee testimonials, videos, career path information, and so forth - setting up a separate link for candidates to search for available jobs. Then, when the candidate clicks on the job search link they are redirected to the company's ATS job portal.

There are two major problems with this functionality.

First, the vast majority of job seekers do not begin their journey on the home page of your career site. Based on aggregated analytics from Phenom People platform, nearly 70% of all job seekers will land on the job description page first. Of course this makes a lot of sense, because it is common for candidates to search for jobs on sites like Indeed in order to evaluate jobs from multiple companies at one time.

Second, theres's an even bigger problem when the candidate clicks on the company's link in the Indeed posting, and they are sent directly to the company's job description hosted through the ATS. They completely bypass all the branded content viewable on the corporate career pages.

If you are in this situation you are not alone. Approximately 50% of Fortune 100 companies rely on their ATS portal for job search and apply - creating a completely separate experience from the branded career site content. I call this the Great Content Divide.

Here are a few examples:

Best Buy

Link to job detail from Indeed search

Best Buy Career Site Home Page

American Express

Link to job detail from Indeed search

Amex Career Site Home Page

If you navigate to these links, you can see that job seekers who come from Indeed will get a much different first impression than those who land on the career site home. Not only is the experience different, there is absolutely no navigation path to all of the rich content available on the career site home page. As far as the candidate is concerned, this is the corporate career site - bookmarking it for future access.

Keep in mind that you never get a second chance to make a first impression!


We will have more on this subject and how to address the problem in future post.

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