Staffing Websites & Talent Engagement

3 strategies to attract, engage and re-engage candidates.


How many unfilled jobs do you have right now?

Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?

What would it mean to your business if you could fill all those jobs?

With unemployment at 4.1 percent (and much lower in some markets and skill disciplines), it's no secret that finding talent is tough. But there are people out there. They are working jobs they don't love. They are working for your competitors. They are open to new opportunities.

How many candidates are you losing every day?

How many people never see your jobs?
How many people have the wrong perception about the kinds of jobs you offer?
How many job seekers leave your website without ever applying to a job?
How much money are you leaving on the table by churning talent?

If you want to fill more job orders—and make a lot more money—you have to get better at attracting, engaging and re-engaging talent.

Strategy 1: Attract.
Six ways to get more people to your jobs.

Strategy 1: Attract banner
  1. Crappy jobs. Crappy response.

    On a scale from 1 to 10, how desirable are the jobs you are trying to fill? While every job can't be a 10, you need quality jobs to attract quality talent. So, how do you get better jobs to fill?

    • Offer incentives (lower rates) to premier employers in your market.
    • Educate clients.
      • Show them what they get for various pay rates in your market.
      • Discuss time to fill and how higher pay rates = faster fills and greater ROI.
    • Say "NO" to unfillable jobs.
    • Fire crappy clients.
  2. Write better.

    Ninety percent of the job posts written by staffing companies stink. Okay, I made up that statistic, but if you look at the jobs page on most staffing websites, the descriptions are awful. They don't sell. They don't convey value. And they don't make you want to apply.

    At a minimum your job posts must have search-friendly job titles, key selling points clearly outlined, a brief list of duties and responsibilities, and a call to action.

    However with the launch of Google for Jobs, you also want your posts to contain pay rate and the street address of the job location (yes, Google wants this). Ideally, an entire post will fit on one screen (on a desktop), and the search and apply process must, must, must be optimized for mobile job seekers.

    If you'd like some tips on writing more effective job posts, check out this article: 11 Ways to Write Better Job Posts

  3. Increase distribution.

    • Free distribution. Post all your jobs to your website. Optimize jobs for SEO. Post jobs on Facebook. Distribute jobs to the big aggregators: Indeed, ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor as well as secondary aggregators like Simply Hired, Careerjet, JobRappido and JobFuel. Share jobs individually and via RSS feeds on social media. And take advantage of local trade associations and colleges that have career centers that will take your jobs for free.

      If the careers page on your website can't do all these things, call us! Our Job Board software can!

    • Paid distribution. Test out paid advertising on Indeed (the #1 traffic source for most of our clients), ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, Monster and LinkedIn. And don't forget local sites like Craigslist.

      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. Top programmatic solutions include Recruitics, AppCast, PandoIQ and Joveo.

    • And don't forget Google. With Google for Jobs, 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!

  4. Turn temps into recruiters.

    Referrals are your best candidates. And every staffing company has a referral program. But is yours working? Here are the keys to an effective referral program:

    • Offer a compelling incentive (a chance to win something big may be better than a small reward).
    • Make it easy to participate.
    • Clearly define your needs.
    • Communicate often.
    • Promote your incentives (and reiterate your needs) EVERY CHANCE YOU GET.
    • Make it easy to respond.
    • Keep the program fresh (fun, competitive, update reward, celebrate winners).

    If you'd like more ideas on creating an effective referral program, watch this on-demand Lunch with Haley webinar: Recruiting Insights and Innovations

  5. Build your employment brand.

    How is your company perceived in your local job market? Are you known by most people? Are you known for being a path to great jobs?

    To build your employment brand:

    • Win awards. Be a best place to work in staffing, in your local market, and in the industries you serve.
    • Increase your visibility. Participate in community events. Have an active PR program. Participate in more job fairs. Sponsor and advertise in places that job seekers will see your brand. Be active on social media. Work with your temps to develop them into your brand ambassadors.
    • Build your reputation. Proactively collect testimonials and encourage happy candidates to leave reviews on Google, Indeed, Facebook and Glassdoor.
    • Your website. Make sure it tells your story the way you want it told. Make sure it SELLS your jobs. And make sure it's optimized to get found in searches.
  6. Get your website found.

    If you want to make more placements, you need to get more people to your website. The best strategies for driving website traffic are SEO, PPC and social media.

    For SEO, you need to consider on-page optimization, which includes keyword research, URL optimization, 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.

    If that mess of acronyms and jargon didn't scare you off, you can learn more by watching our on-demand webinar: Staffing Website SEO or just call us at 1.888.696.2900 and ask for help!

    Of course, on-page SEO is just half the battle, you also have to consider off-site optimization, which can include: directory submissions, Google My Business listings, social profile creation, guest blogging on other sites, article syndication, PR distribution, YouTube video optimization, RSS feed submission, social sharing, social bookmarking and blog/forum commenting.

    Yes, that's a lot, but great SEO is a lot of work…and something you need to continually work on every month.

    And speaking of working on getting found every month, think content. The more content you add to your site—and share on social media— the more inbound traffic you will drive to your site. A great content strategy will include:

    • Blogging at least once a week.
    • Longer format "pillar" content with landing pages for conversion.
    • Jobs – they are content and should be on your website domain and optimized for SEO!
    • Talent profiles – skill marketing makes for great content!
    • Testimonials and case studies are also terrific content.

    If you add just one page to your website each week, in a year, you have 52 new optimized web pages, which is probably way more pages than the rest of your site!

Strategy 2: Engage.
Six ways to get more people to apply to your jobs.

Strategy 2: Engage banner
  1. Information architecture.

    When most staffing executives think about a website, they start with their vision for the design and copy. While bold visuals and compelling content are essential, that's not the place to start.

    A great staffing website is designed with the end goals in mind, and you begin the process by thinking about information architecture, which refers to the way you will help employers and job seekers get to the content they want (and the actions you want them to take) as quickly and easily as possible.

    A well-designed website structure has calls to action integrated throughout the website (in multiple places and formats) while enabling visitors to get to desired content with as few clicks as possible.

  2. More CTAs.

    You want more people to take action? Have more calls to action!

    A great staffing website will incorporate many different ways for people to respond, which can include:

    • 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.
  3. Think beyond jobs.

    While your end goal may be to get more job applications, your first goal is to get visitors to take an action, any action, that provides you with their contact information and enables you to continue to market to them after they have left your website.

    Here are a few ideas for things you can offer:

    • Automated job alerts
    • Newsletter opt-in
    • Salary guides
    • eBooks & Whitepapers
    • Interactive quiz
    • Webinar registration
    • Click to call
    • Free resume critique
  4. Optimize entry and exit pages.

    Do you know the most common entry pages on your website? While your home page is probably #1, what other pages are entry points to your site?

    If you look at the top 10 entry pages on most staffing websites, you'll see that most of the top entry pages are either individual job posts or blog posts. And if you don't know how to find this data, check Google Analytics and search for Entry Pages.

    Once you know your entry pages, go look at them on your website. Are these pages optimized to drive response? Do they encourage people to search your jobs, submit their resumes or take some other action to engage with your firm?

    Next, take a look at your exit pages (the last pages people visit before leaving your site). Ideally, every exit page is the "thank you" page after someone has completed a form. But more realistically, people are leaving without taking action. So go look at those top exit pages and brainstorm ways to add new calls-to-action to improve response from those pages.

  5. Kill the long application form. Now!

    Last October, a client of ours contacted us to tell us her website was not working. She was only getting five to seven completed job applications each week, and she wanted to know what was wrong with her website.

    We did a little investigative work and saw this company was getting LOTS of website traffic. We then tested her online application to discover it took nearly 20 MINUTES to complete! So, we suggested temporarily removing the ATS-supplied application form and replacing it with a simple submit resume form.

    So what happened? This company received 8,000 RESUMES in the next four weeks!

    If you want more people to apply to your jobs, make the apply process as easy as possible. If you need to have a long application, break the process into two parts: step 1: collect contact info and resume, then step 2: the full application form.

  6. It's 2018, mobile matters!

    In December 2017, the staffing industry passed a milestone (well, at least our clients did). For the first time ever, our clients had more mobile visitors (51 percent) than desktop visitors to their websites.

    If your website is not built to be responsive (i.e., to adapt to any size screen), you are losing candidates—50 percent of your candidates!

    Given how much you spend on job boards to get those candidates to your website, make sure your website is designed to provide a great search and apply experience from a mobile phone.

Strategy 3: Re-engage.
Four ways to get more candidates back to your jobs.

Strategy 3: Re-engage banner
  1. 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!

    Yes, we can help! Haley Marketing's career portal software (our job board) makes it easy for candidates to opt-in for alerts and save searches, plus you can send out automated, scheduled and manual notifications to bring candidates back to your website and applying to your jobs.

  2. Re-Recruiting.

    Did you know that a candidate who comes back to your website a second time is more than two times as likely to apply for a job? Getting candidates to your website is important…getting them back may be even more so!

    With re-recruiting, you can use Facebook (and Google and Instragram) to show display ads to people who have previously visited your website or engaged with your firm in the past. Without getting too technical, we can add a tracking cookie (a little piece of code) to the PC or phone of every visitor to your website. We can then show these people your ads as they surf the web or when they are scrolling through Facebook 27 times a day.

    Re-recruiting is a low-cost way to keep your brand visible to job seekers and encourage people to find a better job and check out all the opportunities on your website.

  3. Match Audiences.

    Want to re-activate more former candidates? Try matched audience advertising!

    With matched audience, you export a list of all the candidates in your ATS. You can then match those email addresses to data lists in Google, Facebook or LinkedIn, and only show your advertising to people on the matched list.

    Since most candidates use their personal email addresses when applying for a job, and that's the same email address they use for their social media, you can often match a large percentage of your former candidates, then use your advertising to bring them back to your website and all your new job openings.

  4. Automation to create a better candidate experience.

    How many candidates do you lose because they don't show up for the interview? How many candidates do you lose to the competition because you don't redeploy them?

    It's not humanly possible for your recruiters to be in touch with every candidate as often as you would like, so the solution is to automate! You can use marketing automation technology to:

    • Tagging individual visitors to your site.
    • Follow up with personalized communication (via email and text).
    • Tracking engagement with your content.
    • Delivering more relevant follow-up.
    • Driving people to your jobs.
    • Create communication workflows to stay top-of-mind with your candidates, reduce no-show rates and increase redeployments.

    Two staffing-specific vendors who can help in this area are SenseIQ and Herefish. Both offer excellent solutions for talent engagement and automated communication.