"Actually, I have someone available
to start immediately!"

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could say this more often – heck, ever– to clients?

We all know how tough recruiting has become; qualified candidates are worth their weight in gold right now. But even though talented people may seem scarce, they are out there – you just have to find them…and convince them to apply!

So, where should you start?

Consider your career site.

By building a better portal — one that efficiently attracts, engages and converts talent, you can:

  • Enhance job discovery – so your jobs are viewed by the right people.
  • Improve the candidate experience.
  • Increase application completion rates.
  • Fill more job orders – and build a healthier bottom line.

Here's how to optimize your career site – and convert more job seekers to applicants:

Know your metrics.

What's working well with your site? What needs improvement? You can't know unless you have the right data. Here are four metrics you should track to dramatically improve conversions:

  • Bounce rate. This measures the percentage of people who land on your site and don't visit any other pages. Start by tracking the overall bounce rate for all pages on your career site (anything above 50% is cause for concern). Then drill down to individual page bounce rates to determine which pages on your career site could use improvement (e.g., by strengthening CTAs).
  • Application drop-off. Arguably the most important career portal metric, this is the percentage of people who start, but do not complete, your application. To capture this data, make sure you have trackable pages throughout your application flow – and assign a unique URL to each page in the application process.
  • Mobile vs. desktop. You should track the percentage of traffic to your site on each type of device, as well as the performance on both mobile and desktop.
  • Page load speed. This measures how quickly pages fully render content, images and video. A site that takes more than two seconds to load doesn't just irritate visitors (and cause them to navigate away), it's also penalized by search engines (which makes it tougher for your jobs to get found).

Use a site-monitoring tool like Google Analytics to check your career site's performance at least once per quarter. Then, apply what you learn to identify the areas where you should focus your optimization efforts.

For example, if you identify a page on your site with an unusually high bounce rate, scrutinize the content to make sure it provides the information visitors would expect to find. Then, look at the way the page is structured: Is it attractive? Is content skimmable? Finally, review and strengthen the calls to action (yes, every page on your career site should have a conversion opportunity). Is it clear to people what their next step should be? Does it drive them to your job board, lead them to complete a form, or compel them to take some other desired action…or does it lead nowhere?

How can you get the performance insights you need?

Haley Marketing's ROI dashboard shows performance of your career portal at a glance:

  • See where your talent is coming from and how they are applying.
  • Set job performance alerts to let you know when jobs are not getting the results you want.
  • See the source and application method for every application received.

Our career portal sends weekly performance emails right to your inbox with actionable data to help you: understand how well your site is working; identify potential areas for improvement; and measure the ROI of your marketing investment.

Does your job board do all that?

Get your career site – and your jobs – found.

If you want to make more placements, you need to get more eyeballs on your jobs. What can you do to ensure that your career site – and every job on it – is showing up when job seekers look for work?

Ways to get people to your career site and jobs:
  • Career site SEO. Make sure your site is secure (i.e., your career site URL begins with https://), jobs are on your company domain, and each job has its own webpage. On-page SEO. This includes keyword research, URL optimization (including the job title, location and word "job" in the URL), H1 and H2 tags, image optimization, alt tags, page titles, meta descriptions, body copy and internal links, load speed, structured data markup, and time on site. Don't let the jargon intimidate you; you can learn everything you need to know by downloading our SEO eBook.
  • Google for Jobs optimization. Your job information needs to contain structured data that allows Google to understand all the details of your job. This structured data is something your career portal software should automatically do – and if it doesn't, get a new career portal on your website! Your career site should also use the Google Cloud Job Discovery API to automatically notify Google when new jobs are posted.
  • Distributing jobs to aggregators. Your site should automatically send your jobs to Indeed and ZipRecruiter, up-and-coming sites like Talent.com and Adzuna, and niche job aggregators like Careerjet, Jobcase, Jooble, and JobFuel. If your job board can't do all these things, contact us. Our career portal can!
  • Paid distribution. To get your job in front of the widest (or most targeted) audience, you will need to pay to post (or sponsor) jobs on Indeed (the #1 traffic source for most of our clients), ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn. You may also want to test niche sites like Jobcase for blue-collar workers, Nurse.com and Health eCareers for nursing, and GitHub and Stack Overflow for IT professionals. And don't forget Facebook, where you can promote job posts to targeted audiences. While the costs, quantity and quality of traffic will vary greatly, you can measure your cost per job application (and cost per placed candidate) to determine which paid sites work best for you based on your local job market and the kinds of people you place.
    • If you're looking for a more effective way to manage your paid advertising spend, look into programmatic advertising, which allows you to better control what you bid and how much you spend on each job to use your recruiting budget wisely.
  • Featured jobs. Increase applications by highlighting your best opportunities in multiple places on your site (not just your career site): home page, large format drop-down menu, top of the job seekers page, sidebar of your blog, contact page and more.
  • Search widget. By embedding a search widget in different places throughout your site, you give candidates the ability to search jobs by keyword from wherever they are likely to enter your website.
  • Inbound links. Drive more job seekers to your career site from other pages (e.g., your blog), as well as candidate marketing communications (e.g., your candidate e-newsletter) and look for opportunities to get candidate-focused content published elsewhere on the web.

Use Facebook for Jobs.

Facebook has become a recruiting giant. Their Jobs feature allows you to find highly qualified candidates in hard-to-hire locations – and get your jobs front-and-center with them, where they're already spending time online. If you haven't already, add a Jobs tab on your Facebook Company Page and populate it with your active jobs, so potential candidates can easily explore them.

Does your career portal integrate with Jobs on Facebook?

Manually posting, managing and removing jobs on Facebook can be time-consuming, so Haley Marketing created a new integration to automate the process. Our Jobs on Facebook integration allows you to reach their 2.7 billion monthly users:

  • Automatically publish jobs on Facebook and review applicants directly from within our career portal.
  • Source candidates who may not otherwise find your job posts on traditional job boards.
  • Improve distribution and visibility of your jobs to fans and followers of your page.
  • Create a better candidate experience with a seamless mobile application flow.

With just a few clicks, you can easily integrate with Facebook to publish your jobs and review applicants right from your Career Portal. Available on July 6.

Does your career portal do all that?

Optimize your candidate experience.

Often, the first contact you have with a potential candidate is through your career site or job board. If you were a savvy candidate:

  • Would the content and design appeal to you and make you feel welcomed?
  • Would you find the application process easy or frustrating (especially using a mobile device)?
  • Would the job board's search and filtering options quickly serve up relevant jobs?
  • Would the job postings do enough to entice you to apply or pick up the phone?
  • Would the application process require you to jump through too many hoops?

Put yourself in a potential candidate's shoes. Today's job seekers want to feel respected, understood and appreciated. They want a hiring experience that matches their preference for using tech and/or interacting with humans. And they don't want to waste their time on a tedious application process or on pursuing the wrong jobs.

Here are a few ways your career site can deliver a simple, inviting intake experience:

  • Consider adding a chatbot. This includes deploying the most effective chatbot to answer questions, gather information, and deliver a fully personalized experience in the conversational way that a growing number of candidates prefer (more on chatbots below).
  • Create a great mobile experience. Apply for a job at your company on your mobile device (go ahead, I'll wait). Is it easy or frustrating? Too often, career sites do not offer a good mobile experience for candidates resulting in – you guessed it – abandoned applications. Your career site must have a mobile-responsive design to ensure a great user experience and because Google and other search engines practically demand it.
  • Improve job search and filtering capabilities. Make it easier for job seekers to find and apply to the right jobs:
    • Search vs. display all. On your primary job board page, you have a decision to make: Should you allow people to search jobs or display all your jobs? Your job board should enable you to offer either option based on your needs.
    • Drop-down lists / type ahead. As job seekers type, predictive typing and/or drop-down lists make it easier for job seekers to find what they want. These options are essential in situations where candidates may not know all the options available to them.
    • Radius reach. This feature allows people to search for jobs within a certain distance from their home, so they can control their commute time.
    • Remote vs. on-site. Allow candidates to search for jobs that match their work location preference.
  • Add more one-click apply options. Invest in tech that allows job seekers to grab and transfer information from 3rd party sites, including Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more.
  • Consider using an ultra-short form. Start by gathering just the candidate's name and email address. (This way, even if they abandon the application process at that point, you still have their contact information. Then, you can follow up and encourage them to complete the application process.) In step two, you can direct candidates to your full application form.
  • Write better job posts. Frankly, most job postings staffing companies write suck – they're little more than a laundry list of requirements and job duties. To generate more response to your jobs:
    • Sell the job. Explain the "what's in it for me" for candidates, highlighting key selling points about the employer, their culture and/or the role itself.
    • Create search-friendly job titles. Think: What would someone looking for this type of job likely type into a search engine? And remember, more people are searching for remote jobs. Be sure to include verbiage for roles that are hybrid or remote-friendly.
    • Educate employers about the realities of today's employment market to convince them to pay a bit more.
  • Choose the right imagery. Can imagery impact conversions? Absolutely. Images that are modern, relevant and high-quality influence the way candidates perceive your brand and your jobs. Scrutinize the images throughout your career site to make sure they reflect your ideal candidates and represent your organization (and the employers you represent) properly.

Keep visitors engaged.

  • The longer a job seeker spends on your career site, the more likely they are to apply to a job. What's more, return visitors to your career site are twice as likely to apply!

Add response-optimizing content and technology to maximize engagement, return visits and ultimately, conversions:

  • Improve your information architecture. When a job seeker lands on your career site, how many clicks does it take them to find the information they need? Think through your career site's information architecture to make it as easy as possible for job seekers to find the content they want (and the actions you want them to take).
  • Use CTAs effectively. Tell job seekers exactly what you want them to do, and provide multiple ways for them to take action:
    • Forms: Easy to find. Easy to complete.
    • Navigation: Intuitive. One click to anything.
    • Fly-ins and pop-ups: Semi-intrusive, visually engaging, compelling CTAs.
    • Sidebars: Banners, buttons to drive action, promote jobs.
    • Inline CTAs: Text links, buttons, graphics with compelling CTAs.
  • Consider integrating a chatbot. As natural language processing – how computers understand and interpret human language – continues to improve, so does the value of chatbots in recruiting. How can a chatbot generate more responses from applicants?
    • Improve candidate experience by providing 24/7 assistance. With the right functionality, a chatbot can answer candidates' basic queries about your firm's policies, benefits or culture – and alert a human recruiter if it cannot assist someone.
    • Improve recruiters' efficiency. By handling routine, time-consuming tasks (e.g., gathering basic data, prequalifying applicants, scheduling interviews), a chatbot can give your recruiters more time to spend converting their strongest candidates.
  • Use live chat. Unlike a chatbot, a live chat feature allows candidates to engage directly with recruiters in real time without picking up the phone.
  • Add job alerts. When candidates come to your website, can they opt-in to receive job alerts? Can they save searches to be automatically notified when a new job that matches their criteria is added? If your career portal doesn't offer job alerts, and allow you to automatically send candidate re-engagement emails, it's time for a better career portal!
  • Include more than just jobs. A great career site is more than just a job board; it's a destination for job seekers at every stage of their journey (i.e., whether they're gainfully employed, exploring their options, or actively seeking a new job). Build a robust site with resources that drive visitors to take action, including alternatives to applying (e.g., filling out a form that allows you to market to them after they've left your website). This way, even if an individual isn't ready to apply today, they'll be more likely to come back to you when they are. Here are a few things you can offer:
    • Automated job alerts (more on that below)
    • Newsletter opt-in
    • Salary guides
    • eBooks and whitepapers
    • Interactive quizzes
    • Webinar registration
    • Click to call
    • Free resume critique
  • Invest in re-targeting. While technically not part of your career site, re-recruiting is an effective, low-cost tool for keeping your brand visible and bringing potential candidates back to your website. It uses Facebook (and Google and Instagram) to show display ads to people who have previously visited your website or engaged with your firm in the past.

Build trust from the start

Today's job seekers are more cautious about sharing their information online. They need assurances that you will deliver on your promises. Build a strong employment brand and clear social proof of your value, e.g., case studies, testimonials and reviews.

Here's how you can get started:

  • Assess your online reputation. Search for your business name online and see where you are mentioned, how you are spoken about, and how many stars you are getting on Google, Glassdoor, Facebook and Indeed.
  • Address the problems (and leverage the successes). The reality of our industry is you can't place every candidate—which can lead to lots of unhappy individuals. To minimize the risk of negative reviews, take a proactive approach to reputation management. Ask for feedback from every candidate, and when you get a complaint or a bad review, address it quickly and through private channels of communication.
  • Be proactive. Don't leave your brand at the mercy of unhappy candidates. Put a system in place that will help collect positive testimonials regularly, so the good always outweighs the bad..
  • Showcase great experiences. Testimonials, reviews, and success stories are the best way to prove the quality of your services and differentiate your company. Add new testimonials to your website, email communications, and social media content. Convert your positive feedback into social graphics and videos and share on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Monitor, analyze and refine. Keep track of new testimonials, find and address problems early and continually mine for insights to identify competitive advantages.

Want a career site that generates more response?

  • Watch Recruiting Strategies 2021 (on-demand webinar) for the latest strategies for attracting talent, reducing ghosting, and getting more of your job orders filled.
  • Get the FREE Smart Recruiting Checklist with questions to assess your career site's health and performance.
  • Get a FREE Recruitment Marketing Roadmap. Let us review everything you're doing now and lay out a roadmap to fill more open orders.
  • Partner With Haley Marketing. We've been building staffing and recruiting websites since 2003. Whether you need a complete website, a stand-alone career site, or a more effective career portal added to your website, we can help.