UScellular recently overhauled its career site, putting candidate experience front and center by adding user-generated content, personalization, AI, and analytics to reach its goal of forging connections with candidates. Eric Clemons, Sr. Manager, Employment Brand Strategies, oversaw the project and shared his story on the May 27 episode of Talent Experience Live.
As online consumers, we've come to expect things like personalization, customized content and easy, seamless interactions that allow us to find what we're looking for faster and take immediate action. Think of Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify — their services for us, according to our unique preferences, keep us coming back for more shopping, movies, and music.
This is what we now anticipate when visiting a website — and career sites are no exception. But too many organizations are failing to deliver. Employers must optimize their career site and candidate experience to attract top talent, and then engage those candidates with a compelling, personalized experience.
So where can your company begin?
Get the details behind UScellular’s newly refreshed career site, including its all-new personalization features, video and employee testimonials! Watch the full episode in the video player below, and read on for highlights.
Telling authentic UScellular stories
As a senior-level TA manager for the nation’s fourth-largest cellular provider, Eric Clemons leads his team as they recruit for roles that span the talent spectrum — from frontline sales and customer service positions to engineers and IT professionals.
When a company-wide rebranding initiative spurred a career site refresh, Clemons took the opportunity to modernize the site so it matched the needs and expectations of candidates. “It was one of those situations where while you’re under the hood, you might as well address everything down there,” he said.
Getting cross-department input was key for identifying changes and selecting new content for the site. “It gave us the opportunity to meet with different stakeholders and subject matter experts throughout the organization to say, ‘Look, here’s what we have. How can we really make this page pop? What stories can we share? What testimonials and videos can we put up?’”
Real stories from real employees. For true authenticity, Clemons opted for user-generated photos and video instead of stock images. Employee testimonials are a major element — Clemons believes having associates share real-life stories of their experience is far more impactful for candidates.
”We want to put our storytellers out there," he said. "I personally can tell you how great of an organization it is from an employer branding perspective, or I can let the actual associates tell you.”
Highlighting the commitment to DE&I. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) sits at the top of the priority list for many job candidates. UScellular, named by Forbes as a best employer for diversity, wanted to better communicate its dedication to DE&I and how those efforts benefit employees.
In addition to giving the DE&I page link a more prominent position on the site career site, Clemons worked closely with their internal DE&I team to design a new, high-impact page, drawing on employee resource group activities for content. “It’s really just taking some of their best stories and pushing them out to the site," he said. "If you have a great story to tell, it’s a matter of how do you want to tell that story. How do you want to share that externally?”
Ensuring job candidates are comfortable with the process
Making sure applicants are comfortable with your company's application process is a critical part of delivering a great candidate experience. “As we think about the interview process, we want everyone that applies to be successful," Clemons said. "This isn’t a ‘gotcha’ moment. We want to set expectations up front."
He and his team developed a “What to Expect” page that includes video tips from TA advisors that cover helpful tips, like how to dress and how to answer behavioral interview questions. “It puts a face to the other side of the email,” Clemons said.
UScellular also makes it as easy as possible for candidates to access "What to Expect" information. Instead of making applicants dig for it on the career site, they’re automatically redirected to the page after scheduling an interview through the site's chatbot.
Personalizing the candidate journey
Forging lasting connections with candidates is a primary goal of the UScellular TA team, and it largely depends on the personalized experience each candidate receives. With that in mind, the team implemented a few critical updates:
Skills-based job recommendations. Candidates who wish to apply for a job with UScellular have the choice of uploading their resume or filling out a questionnaire. On the back-end in the CRM, their candidate profile is automatically populated. “So each time they visit the site, they’ll have job recommendations pop up,” Clemons said.
Chatbot. The chatbot on UScellular's career site acts as a personal recruiting assistant, answering FAQs and guiding the candidate through the job search and apply process. It's a tool that makes application processes easier and more memorable for top talent.
Talent community. When candidates join the UScellular talent community, the recruitment team can create a profile in the CRM. Having candidate information on hand helps recruiters more easily stay in touch with targeted campaigns and talent, pushing out relevant content on resources and new jobs.
Using analytics to guide career site updates
A career site refresh is a great opportunity for TA teams to more effectively reach candidates, but with that update comes the possibility of overhauling hundreds of pages and thousands of pieces of content. Daunting and intimidating, the project can cause a lot of stress and loads of extra work for the employees involved.
To help prioritize efforts, Clemons relied on Phenom analytics for a clear view of how well various pages were (or were not) performing. While the career site homepage gets a lot of time and attention — and rightly so — job description pages will likely need significant updating, too. After all, they're the first point of interaction for candidates who find your organizations through job boards.
“We looked at some of the analytics behind the pages, and one of the most interesting things we found in the process was that our job description pages were the No. 1 visited pages, but drop off was high,” Clemons said, “What that told us was, people are coming in through job boards, they’re looking at the job descriptions, and then most of them are leaving.”
Armed with that information, the UScellular TA team is now experimenting with approaches to create more engaging job descriptions, testing the impact of using video, and directing users to other site pages for more information. (Bonus: Phenom’s no-coding-required CMS makes it easy to experiment like this.)
Next up: focusing on the employee journey
Clemons is noticing that the employee experience — particularly career growth opportunities — is the top driver of attracting and retaining top talent. “We’ve been working really closely with our leadership development team," he said. "We’re finding with external data that career growth and development is a significant attribute that someone looks at when they’re making the decision to join the organization."
The team plans to build out additional career site pages to showcase UScellular’s commitment to employee growth and development, including a spotlight on the company’s leadership academy and career progression resources.
“We know this is what people want to hear. These are the stories that we need to be telling,” he said. “It’s really just pushing the limits on this new canvas. What can we do from a greater flexibility perspective? How can we make this site stand out from the competition?”
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