Career Pages: Why Employers May Need One and How to Avoid Common Mistakes
<div class="grey-callout"><h2>In This Guide You'll Learn</h2><p><ul><li>Why employers’ career pages are often ineffective in helping them recruit.</li><li>How to set up a good career page – one that applicants will actually use and be happy to apply through.</li></ul></p></div>
Employer career pages are pages on a company’s website where jobseekers can apply for jobs direct and find information about working for the company. They can be costly to create and maintain, and aren’t essential for SMEs. But if you do have a career page, then it’s worth posting your job on it at the beginning of the recruitment process. (For more on the various channels for publicising jobs, including career pages, see our guide: How to Attract Enough Applicants.)
Why Employer Career Pages Often Fail to Bring in More Applicants
To attract applicants, career pages need to help jobseekers find and apply for jobs and to prepare for interviews. Too often they don’t, and for the following reasons:
- Jobseekers don’t see the career pages. People look for jobs using standard search engines, which rank job sites more highly than company career pages. Sometimes, firms bury a “we’re hiring” link in their website footer which visitors will tend to miss.
- Employers make the mistake of redirecting jobseekers from job sites to their career pages. My own studies have shown that companies lose over 90% of potential applicants this way – don’t fall into this trap! Jobseekers hate it when employers redirect them: when they press “apply” on a job site they want to apply, not be taken to a different website, and they’ll often give up altogether. It’s even worse if they’re taken to a general career page where they then have to hunt around for the job again, or if the role appears there under a different job title. And while they might have earlier uploaded their CV onto the job site, they may not have it on the device they’re now browsing on and so can’t upload it to the career page.
- It’s too hard to apply. Careers pages sometimes require applicants to register before applying, have a lengthy application procedure and ask applicants to fill in an application form when they’ve already supplied the same information on their CV.
- Career pages are often overloaded with company information. This prevents potential applicants from quickly finding jobs and they’ll often get frustrated and go elsewhere.
Guidelines for Employer Career Pages
Career pages can be a great help in finding new people if you follow some best practices:
- Put job posts where jobseekers will immediately see them. Information about your company is certainly important, but make sure to place it after the jobs (and anyway most applicants won’t even look at this unless their application leads to an interview).
- Make the page easy to scan by using headings, bold text for keywords, bullet points and short sentences.
- Make company information truly informative; don’t pad it with corporate jargon and hype.
- Photos of your workplace and staff as well as case studies of actual employees can be a great help in communicating to jobseekers what it will be like to work for you.
- Make it as easy to apply for a job as ordering from Amazon. Don’t ask applicants to register or to fill in an application form. Ask them for their CV only, but get their contact details first so that you can get in touch with them if they’re accessing your site on their phone and don’t have their CV immediately to hand.
- Make sure that your career site is mobile compliant because many jobseekers browse for jobs on mobile devices.
- It doesn’t matter how great your career pages are if no one finds them, so make sure to use search engine optimisation. For this purpose, it’s better to give your career pages a unique domain (e.g. ACMEJobs.com). In addition, to make sure your job adverts are ranked on Google’s job search engine, Google for Jobs, you have to display adverts in a particular format.
- Provide a link to your career page in a prominent place, ideally in the main navigation. The best anchor text is “Work For Us”.
<div class="grey-callout"><h2>Key Takeaways</h2><p><ul><li>Career pages aren’t a must, but if you have one it’s worth posting your job there at the beginning of the recruitment process, ideally in a Google-friendly format.</li><li>Career pages can be bad at attracting applicants. They’re frequently hard for applicants to find, overloaded with irrelevant information and involve over-lengthy application processes. When employers redirect jobseekers from job sites to career pages, they lose roughly 90% of potential applicants, so don’t do this!</li><li>Career pages can be a helpful slow burning recruitment channel as long as you follow best practices: make job adverts prominent, make the pages easy to navigate, include genuinely useful information about your company, make it easy to apply for a job, make the pages mobile compatible and use search engine optimisation.</li></ul></p></div>