Joanna KeelMarch 21, 2024
Topics: Candidate Experience

Is It Time to Rethink Your Career Site?

Some argue you can meet your talent acquisition needs without a career site. We say, not so fast.

Joanna Keel, Product Marketing Manager at Phenom, joined Talent Experience Live to tackle the big questions surrounding organizational career sites and content management. 

We explored how to source content, measure and enhance engagement, optimize job recommendations, and more.

Read on to learn why a career site remains vital to your employer brand amidst diverse application methods. You can also view the entire episode below.

Why do companies still need a career site?

It may seem like providing multiple options to apply (e.g., through online job boards, social media, job fair events, or text-to-apply) is enough to accomplish the end goal of converting candidates to applicants. 

But a robust career site is still critical for two main reasons:

  1. It’s your organization’s “source of truth” where candidates go to find out more about your company once they’re hooked by the job description. As TXL host Devin Foster noted, expecting candidates to apply for a job without a career site is like expecting an e-commerce customer to buy shoes without a photo or item description.

  2. Career site content is essential to rank on search engine results pages. As Keel pointed out, today’s job seekers are heading straight to Google and firing off a search that goes like this: find [job title] near me. “They know they’re going to get those results specifically tailored to them…and without your career site, it’s going to be really hard for you to show up in that type of search.”

See how to showcase its employer brand and drive results.

What are the advantages of applying through a career site?

Reduced spend. Every candidate who applies through a job board costs the organization exponentially more than leads that come in through your company’s career site. “It helps you spend those dollars more wisely and figure out where to source the right candidates from,” Keel said.

More right-fit candidates. Career sites that properly showcase culture and employer brand give job seekers the context they need to understand whether they’d be a good fit. Job boards, in contrast, don’t provide this opportunity, leaving candidates with a potentially long list of unanswered questions that could either deter them from applying to open positions or cause them to apply to positions they’re not well-suited for. 

How are authenticity and consistency related?

It’s not the first time you’ve heard this: authenticity is essential to attracting and converting job candidates. In Keel’s view, a consistent experience is one of the most important aspects of authenticity, and your career site serves as the centerpiece.

Keel used her journey as a Phenom candidate as an example. The best thing about her experience? “It was consistent,” she said. “What I read on the job boards matched what I saw on the career site. And I saw similar colors, a similar look and feel, so it felt like my journey was very consistent.” 

This unity and seamless experience built the trust and confidence Keel needed to feel comfortable applying. 

What are the best practices for sourcing career site content?

The biggest debate in this area might be whether to leverage stock or user-generated content when it comes to images and video. 

While stock imagery and photos can get the job done, they have a couple of caveats: Stock assets tend to be more forgettable and can also cause brand confusion if they appear on other sites.  

Self-created content, on the other hand, gives TA groups the ability to be authentic and transparent about culture and the employee experience. And while self-created content needs to be high-quality (achievable on today’s average smartphone), it doesn’t need to be pro-level perfect. 

“Don’t be scared to grab your phone…and take a photo. That will resonate a lot more with job seekers and candidates than just a stock image,” Keel said.

How can you measure the effectiveness of career site content?

Of course, career site content shouldn’t remain static. TA groups need to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t and tweak accordingly. But looking at career site analytics can be intimidating, especially if you have a large amount of content, Keel acknowledged.

“Start small,” she advised. For example, begin by examining content related to top positions you’re trying to fill, asking questions such as:

  • Is this content being shared on social media? If not, could doing so increase traffic?

  • Are these pages indexed for search engine discoverability?

More good news: With an , you don’t need technical or coding experience to understand career site analytics. “All you have to know is where to look on the dashboard, and then make some decisions,” Keel said.

“Once you start doing these little pieces, before you know it, you’ve just audited your entire suite of content.”

See how Mastercard transformed their candidate experience and TA strategies

What about job recommendations?

Job recommendations have become career site bread and butter and should have a prominent placement. 

However, as Keel emphasized, job recommendations must be relevant to the candidate — or it doesn’t matter where they’re placed. “Job recommendations only work if they actually give recommendations that the user wants,” she said. 

Irrelevant job recommendations actually can detract from user experience and result in decreased candidate traffic, she added. 

The key takeaways here: First, ensure that job recommendations are personalized. Second, display them above the fold. “That’s what’s most important about the career site…you need the flexibility [to place content strategically],” Keel said. “You need to have that ability to meet the candidate where they are.”

What’s the best way to source feedback on the career site?

There are two main avenues for career site feedback: net promoter score (NPS) survey tools and analytics. Both are valuable for guiding career site development and for demonstrating business impact, Keel said. 

NPS scores are key for benchmarking and for evaluating the broad impact of changes to the career site. 

Analytics provide insight into more granular improvements. “Talent analytics is giving you that real-time data to make changes on the fly,” Keel explained. 

These two methods work well together to give you a full picture of information. Keel recommends that teams use analytics to track data regularly and guide efforts needed to meet those long-term goals to improve NPS scores.

What’s the benefit of Hosted Apply?

With Hosted Apply, candidates can complete an application without leaving the company’s career site for a more seamless experience while ensuring all the appropriate data gets captured by talent acquisition teams.

“People want easy interactions in life…and that’s what hosted apply does. It delivers a consistent experience for candidates,” Keel said, which reduces drop-off and increases conversion.

Hosted Apply also gives applicants confidence that their data is safe, which is a hot-button issue for today’s job seekers. 

How does a chatbot improve the career site experience?

A career site chatbot is a TA professional’s best friend, Keel said. “Think of your chatbot as your buddy who works all the time and doesn’t demand anything from you.” 

After all, people work all hours and across multiple devices — and so do chatbots. Chatbots enhance the career site experience and promote conversion in a few ways:

  • Increasing candidate engagement

  • Simplifying site navigation

  • Encouraging candidates to build a profile 

A chatbot should be considered a must-have on your career site. As your trusty side-kick, your Chatbot can instantly engage and support job seekers, enhance user experience by answering questions, and helps streamline the application process, leading to increased candidate satisfaction and higher conversion rates.

How else can technology help create a great candidate experience?

Without a doubt, AI scheduling tools top Keel’s list here. “Even with all the technology today, 60% of recruiters say that [scheduling] is their number-one challenge,” she said. 

Scheduling tools automate this historically manual, time-intensive process by synching directly with calendars, offering convenience for both candidates and recruiters. They also give organizations a competitive edge with high-volume hiring.

“These tools now enable you to quickly change on the fly, which allows you to get people through the door and hired a lot faster,” Keel said.

What are some key takeaways on career site optimization?

The most important thing to do? Just get started, Keel said. And if you have kicked off some improvements but are stuck for the next steps, start small. “Choose a few things. Try to identify where there are blockers and focus on that.”

Now is the time to prioritize delivering a personalized, relevant experience complete with authentic content. “By streamlining that process with that personalized journey, you’re going to see business impact across all departments,” Keel said. “You’ll be forced to do it in a couple of years because you will not get the candidates [you’re looking for if you don’t].”

Get started now! Learn how Phenom can help you deliver quickly and at scale. 

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